Directed by David Ayers
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jared Leto
I’m going to preface this review with a bit of a mini rant because I can’t go forward without addressing this:
Dear DC fanboys and neurotic man-children everywhere,
Critics don’t owe you SHIT. You are NOT ENTITLED to other people liking your crap or any other fandom. If they don’t like what you like that is just their opinion and they are fucking entitled to it (the same goes for enjoying it too cough Ghostbusters cough). There is no grand tinfoil hat conspiracy out there that exists where critics were bought and paid off by Marvel Studios or the Disney Corporation to post negative things three days in advance of a film that most people hadn’t even seen yet. Maybe some people just don’t understand it or maybe, just maybe, the film really is an underwhelming piece of crap. In either case, once again critics are fucking people too and you are NOT entitled to their praise or negativity of movies or any other art form. Movies are subjective and really a big fucking Rorschach test at the end of the day. What one person see’s in a film another won’t and that doesn’t make them less of a person or bought and paid for Disney and Marvel and going on literally EVERY comments section on the internet to complain incessantly about it won’t change that. Telling others they are wrong or bad people for liking or not liking a fucking movie reeks of same dumbass snobbery and arrogance that you are supposedly against.
So go change your diapers, sit your ass down, take off your stupid fedora and shut the fuck up!
The Kilted Samurai
(For the ONE BILLIONTH time, Rotten Tomatoes does not actually review movies! They only gather a consensus based on other people’s reviews. And, oh, THEY’RE FUCKING OWNED BY WARNER BROTHERS, YOU FUCKING MORONS!!!!)
Anyways, let’s get on with this review…
Given the critical panning this film was receiving and the notoriety of its predecessor, I went into “Suicide Squad” with the bar set somewhere in the Mariana Trench but ended up, despite all odds, kiiiinda liking it (calm down, fanboys).
It isn’t Masterpiece Theater by any stretch and as far comic book movies go it’s not terribly high on my list but “Suicide Squad” is a step, a very small step mind you, in the right direction for the franchise.
Taking place sometime after the events of “Dawn of Justice” (*shudders*), “Suicide Squad” introduces us to Argus and the bad DC bitch herself, Amanda Waller. Waller believes the threat of meta humans can only be combated with the use of other meta humans, in this case an entourage that includes a hitman (Deadshot), a serial killer (Harley Quinn), a gang banger (El Diablo), a bank robber (Captain Boomarang) and a crocodile monster (Killer Croc). Waller keeps the crazed individuals in control by installing detonators in their bodies that go off if they fall out of line and after one meta human decides to destroy humanity, Waller mobilizes the new band of misfits to combat the threat.
(Wait, that’s not the Suicide Squad, or is it?….)
The two biggest things this film has going for it over “Man of Steel” and “Dawn of Justice” is 1) I had fun and 2) I was never confused or lost by the plotline.
Two pretty simple things to keep an audience invested in your movie, DCEU. Better write that down.
(Whatever the fuck that means, Lex…)
Part of that fun is the generally good chemistry between the ensemble cast.
Will Smith is playing Will Smith as always; whether you think his Deadshot was comic book accurate or not, at least he was entertaining. Jai Courtney even with limited lines and a fairly inconsequential character was amusing to watch as the blubbering Aussie Captain Boomarang. Killer Croc was also a makeup and practical effects masterpiece and was also going full Deebo at times in the film which was funny.
(Pretty sure David Ayers just watched “Friday” on repeat instead of reading a comic book in his study of Killer Croc)
Margot Robbie was the true star, however, as the clown princess to the Joker herself Harley Quinn.
I, frankly, thought I was going to hate her the most after hearing the “we’re baaaad guys” line over and over again in the trailers on TV but she dialed it back just enough to tow the line between funny and annoying. Her outfit design isn’t great, if you were hoping for female empowerment in your film wardrobes, but she was comic book accurate as the crazy Harley Quinn and she stole the show each time she was on screen.
(Still not quite as great as Arleen Sorkin or Tara Strong but take a bow Margot)
But other than the cast, the movie is a fun ride for the most part from beginning to end. The action scenes are well shot, the fight choreography is great, the quips are funny and it just becomes such a great hot mess by the end of it that you can’t look away.
As long as you leave your brain at the door going in and just accept that it’s less a comic book movie and more just a dumb action flick on the level of “The Expendables” you’ll probably enjoy it.
(Oh yeah, Batman was in the movie….and yeah that’s all I have to say about that…)
As entertaining as it was, there were a ton of glaring flaws to it as well, as it feels obvious that in Warner Brothers panic they may have mangled what would’ve been a more fluid plot and story.
The film is fairly choppy, jumping into the action almost immediately and we barely get time to really get to know our heroes…err villains I mean. And this is another problem: our villains don’t feel like villains.
Chalk it up to poor editing or meddling studio hands but very little about the characters in Suicide Squad scream “bad guy.” Will Smith (because let’s face it, that’s not Deadshot) kills only one guy and he’s some rat mob boss in a flashback. Captain Boomerang kills his bank robbing partner, also in a flashback. If you’re not counting weird occult zombies Harley Quin kills nobody. Killer Croc kills some hapless prison security guard but it’s neither graphic, nor chilling; in fact it’s played out as a joke. El Diablo actually does kill his family, again in a flashback, but it’s seen more as a tragic accident so is he really a bad guy either?
These problems could be easily fixed in a multitude of ways; instead of Will Smith icing a rat mob boss, have him kill the family man District Attorney instead in a hit job. Instead of killing his scumbag partner, have Captain Boomrang just kill the bank security guards in a grisly fashion. Show Killer Croc eat a kid, have Harley Quin be Harley Quin and have El Diablo actually show his gang-banging past which I’m sure was not incidental.
Or you know what, better yet, have all these characters establish their backstories in a series of previous movies leading up to their major team-up? Naaaah, that never works in Hollywood…
(Yeeep, never works…)
But that’s the big problem here with the movie is there is a lot of spelling it out going on for the audience.
Each actor in this film appears to be contractually obligated to say “We’re/they’re bad guys” X amount of times throughout the movie and in the case of The Joker’s God awful design it’s literally spelled out as “Damaged” tattooed across his forehead. We are never showed why they are villains, we are instead literally told they are and the narrative falters because of it.
Speaking of the Joker, while the rest of the characters varied on levels of good to mediocre, let’s just say Tobias Funke failed less at performance art than Jared Leto did here.
(What WB execs were probably saying after the first reviews came in…)
Jared Leto turns in a very strange performance as the clown prince of Gotham; he actually growls more than he laughs in the movie. I’m aware that the Joker has been portrayed as a gangster in the comics before but he never lost his psychopathic charm when he did. Also, I can’t fucking stand the design they gave him; the mix of neon, gator skin trench coats, his silver grill and those God awful tattoos were distracting to say the least. It might seem unfair to compare Leto to Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as the character back in 2008 but still, even Cesar Romero’s version feels more natural as psycho clown than he does.
(And let’s face it, NOBODY is better than this version.)
Whether you prefer the mob boss or the anarchist version of the Joker, Leto and his strange Method One way of acting makes each scene he’s in fairly cringe-worthy.
Also, I think we already have a better Joker in this series, even if he doesn’t go by that name…
The result of all of this is a pretty clunky plot but in comparison to “Dawn of Justice” it’s damn near a Greek Epic. Is “Suicide Squad” a good comic book film? No, but it’s fun and for what it’s worth that’s really what going to the movies is all about anyways.
It’s dumb entertainment with a big emphasis on the dumb part but if you’re just looking to waste some time with some friends on a Friday night, “Suicide Squad” is where it’s at. No, this isn’t “The Dark Knight” or even “The Avengers,” but at least you won’t roll your eyes into your skull, at least as much I did, like “Dawn of Justice.”
So does “Suicide Squad” give the DCEU life? No, but it’s given it a small, very faint pulse now at least…
3 out of 5
Fourth time’s the charm right? = P