So I went to see Suicide Squad last Monday, giving a chance to this anti-hero movie that got me super hyped up but according to the overwhelmingly piss poor reviews on the opening weekend, I was going in to waste two hours of my life. As much as I love superhero movies, I love anti-hero movies even more. Like Deadpool. And Suicide Squad is a promise of a whole movie built around a bunch of super-villains. It sounded like a dream come true, introducing enigmatic actors portraying this bad guys, like Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis. I was under an impression that Suicide Squad was sometimes to be a squad working for the government in secret to do shady business, like assassinations and other morally dubious stuff that only stone-cold killers and crazy psychos have the heart (or the lack thereof) to do. But instead I got a mess of a film. As of today at Rotten Tomatoes, Suicide Squad stands in 27% among critics and I think I understand why.
Is it really that bad? Does it actually deserve the 27% while so many other worse films that got a higher score like the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, our friends in half shells, got 38%. It might not deserve the extremely low score, but this is what I like to call a fine-dining-phenomenon. When I pay 80€ for a meal, and I’m sitting in a fancy ass restaurant with white linen cloth covering the tables, I’m expecting for some culinary fireworks, feasts for my eyes and orgies on my tongue. You get the jist. But if I’m hanging out at my local fast-food chain joint, sitting on hard benches and wiping out sticky tables and paid only 7€ for my supersized meal, very little has to be accomplished culinary-wise to make me happy. So when the trailer of Suicide Squad dropped, and all the trailers and clips following it, they were really really good. For a high-end restaurant, visually they definitely looked the part. Along with every trailer, I got more and more excited until the point I was convinced that this would be DC movies’ savior. So when the first horrendous reviews hit after the premiere, I already felt angry. For getting my hopes up. And I’m not even a big fan of comics, I just like the movies. So I understand why the critiques are being extra harsh on this one, cos they paid the high price emotionally but didn’t get the goods they paid for.
While there are tons of problems in this movie that I would get into in a moment, my biggest problem with it is, to put it shortly, false advertisement. I was promised a group of bad guys, but even Deadpool’s roommate, that blind old lady is more bad-guy than this Suicide Squad. Right from the beginning of the movie, they were trying to make this ‘bad guys’ more relatable by making them into victims of merciless borderline bullying by the mean prison guards. And then they became the victims of the plot to use them, the idea pushed forward by Amanda Waller. Now that bitch was evil. The whole movie felt like a little coward. One that’s afraid that the audience wouldn’t relate to the leading men and women if they were truly evil. Again, Hollywood has once more underestimate our capability of liking purely bad guys. I mean, the audience did love Loki. Acting upon selfish reasons is relatable. All in all, the squad wasn’t evil enough and Hollywood should stop treating us like 13-year-olds. Speaking of which, being a super lame PG13 must have been one of those reasons why this movie is so blah. Whenever movies try to make more money by yanking down the age limit or they try to make everyone happy, that’s a fool proof recipe for a bad movie.
Here comes the giant plot holes, major trailers ahead. So Amanda Waller’s plan is to gather a group of baddies to fight the dirty wars. So far so good, sounds like a good plan. But when dealing with bad guys, how to control them, right? Waller’s brilliant plan was to control one of the most ancient and powerful metahuman ever, the mysterious Enchantress, by keeping her heart hostage and thus making Enchantress do whatever Waller wants. And Enchantress is supposed to be the one who could keep the squad in check. But why were the squad given the mini head grenade injected in their heads then? Even after acknowledging just how powerful the Enchantress is, Waller failed majorly at actually having her under control, leaving the metahuman roam around without much effort and breaking out her powerful brother. What a mess.
In the middle of the movie, I was super confused as to what the hell was supposed to be the mission again? And the squad seems to be as confuse as I was. Captain Boomerang is entertaining, but they never really explained his capabilities other than being the clown, so entertaining but so unnecessary as a character. Katana’s another odd character. They never quite explained her abilities either, or the story about her sword and the souls trapped inside. They hadn’t explaing where did her extreme loyalty to the government came from either. She doesn’t strike me as a hired gun only. But as loyal as they initially make her out to be, she turned coat quite quickly and went on the squad wagon without much reason or encouragement. Killer Croc, what is his function again? And the Croc was supposed to be scary, big and tall with cannibalistic tendencies… The soldiers, including Clint Eastwood’s son, were also unnecessary, I mean it’s supposed to be a Suicide Squad movie. They became friends then family in matter of hours…
And then, during the final fight when El Diablo was fighting the brother of Enchantress, why they needed to make a bomb? El Diablo, in his final tranformation was deadly and He was obviously winning the fight. Anyone else think the same that the transformed Diablo reminded me of the street fighter character Dhalsim that spits fire? 😛
And the other thing that didn’t make sense at all was the mess up timeline. I mean did they seriously become friends and family and an unbreakable group in a matter of hours and didn’t even have that much of a bonding time except maybe the bar scene. It did not make any sense when Diablo passionately shouted that he was ready to sacrify himself cos he had always lost one family and didn’t want to lose the other one either… And Harley Quinn, whose love for Joker was her main driving force, actually gave up a very plausible chance to get her ‘puddin’ back just because she was messing with her friends… The only real connection between any squad members was between Harley and Deadshot, started even before Deadshot spared Harley’s life.
Then a few words about the cast. Will Smith was an entertaining choice, but I didn’t think he was edgy enough take on Deadshot, his Hancock was actually closer. And what do you know, Jai Courtney wasn’t annoying for once! I actually liked Captain Boomerang a lot. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, she was channeling her character from ‘How to get away with murder’ and then kicked it up a notch or ten. In short, she was bad-ass and so bitchy.
The brightest star of the movie must be Harley Quinn, portrayed by the phenomenal Margot Robbie. My favorite scene in the whole movie was Harley sitting on the roof of a car in the rain, deep in thought thinking that she had lost her puddin, her tears mixing with the rain water, but when she spots the rest of the squad coming her wait, she quickly put on her smiling face again, hiding her pain. Her chraracter was definitely the one who had most depth and her story seems most intriguing. I’ve heard that a lot of Harley and Joker’s story has been cut, thus leaving a very superficial ‘love story’ that doesn’t make any sense to me. I want to know more about her story with Joker but if they aren’t going to tell it in length about the actual dysfunctional quality and all the toxic and violence and mental abuse, they should have just left it more. I mean leaving Joker out of it, focusing on Harley. And Joker should have been just a silhouette, a shadow, a voice taunting her and so we get to witness her side of the story.
And I guess I have to say a few words about the Joker. First I have to say, I’m a huge fan of Heath Ledger’s Joker. And no, I will definitely not get over it. I will always, ALWAYS, adore his take on Joker. But that doesn’t meand I don’t have the brain capacity and the ability to fall for another Joker, when given proper reason. I don’t want a carbon copy of Ledger’s Joker. Joker is such a complex character that there are tons to pick from as to how to be a great but different Joker. And I was so ready to give Jared Leto a chance. He might be a little eccentric but nonetheless he is a great actor. I was expecting big things from him. But his Joker… in two words: fucking annoying. He wasn’t scary, he wasn’t intimidating. He made me want to bitch slap him until he drops his act, and that’s what it felt like, acting. Not for one sec did I believe him to be genuine. And that laugh… oh for fuck’s sake. He gave me a strong sense that he took acting lessons from the same guy that gave acting lessons to Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in BvS. -.- What a waste of a good Harley Quinn.
And then our villain of the movie, who must have been the lamest villain ever. The character design of Enchantress was fucking spectacular. Her first transformation from June Moone to Enchantress was simply haunting and magical at the same time. My first impression was her was that she was ancient, powerful, animalistic and ruled by her instinct. Her twitches and blank stares made her an unsettling apparition. I understood her desire to have revenge on Waller for torturing and controlling her, but once she turned into the belly dancing princess, it all switched from being a personal desire to hurt her capturer into this boring nonsense of world domination…
Okay, let’s put something good about this movie for a change, the freaking awesome soundtrack. It’s a rare occasion that someone high up just decides to hit the music department with tons of money and tell them to make it rain. All those songs, every song being great for the scene and recognizable, it must have been expensive as hell. There were also a few songs written for the movie and they are awesome.
There finally, just some random thoughts I had during the movie:
- Ugh, Batman Ben. Still can’t stand him.
- What’s up with Flash’s costume? Is that metal? Why is it metal? Why does he look like Iron Man?
- Poor Slipknot. But who is he again?
- They tried to make us think Joker actually care about Harley, but he left her to die in the car crash, knowing she can’t swim…
- So a squad of metahumans suppose to be fighting other metahumans, but three out of five of them aren’t actually metahumans, just humans with abilities.
All in all, Suicide Squad was a movie with its entertaining moments so packed with potential to be great. There are levels of bad with movies. Some are bad and they would just make you forget them real fast. Some are so bad that they become cult babies. And then there’s Suicide Squad bad, the kind that make you endlessly throw ideas at it, how to be it better cos it actually have the budget and the cast to pull greatness off. It had a weak ass plot, and really really shitty editing. The pacing was all over the place and seemed even like the handiwork of an amateur. The editor John Gilroy, seems like Suicide Squad was not the first movie he fucked up. Remember Salt? The Angelina Jolie movie that was decent but could have been great. Or the Bourne Legacy, the Bourne movie without Matt Damon. How about Pacific Rim, the scifi movie with humongous budget but was so poorly edited and had the weakest script that I hadn’t seen such a big money waster ever since? Suicide Squad could have been good with some heavy handed re-editing with the existing scenes. I wanted to like it. I wanted to like so bad. It wasn’t as bad as the critics claim it to be, it’s definitely worth seeing. And I would even watch it again with extended scenes. But will I buy the DVD? Absolutely not. My rating is a solid 5/10 for it, with an extra point for such a great Harley Quinn.
My IMDb rating: 6 stars out of 10