SUICIDE SQUAD Review

OH FOR THREE

Suicide Squad 
A Review By Ben Hunter
3 Out Of 5 Stars 

GET TO THE POINT BEN!!

You’re now “Oh for 3 DC” … I hope you’re happy! 

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In yet another attempt to compete with Marvel Studios instead of finding their own route, DC Comics has yet again succumb to peer pressure and rushed out a premature project.  All in the hopes and effort to finally get the train in the right direction to auspiciously compete with their rival.  Once again, the marketing would suggest they know what they’re doing and that we the fans are just being too vigilant with our entertainment.  For the 3rd time now, such vigilance has been proven justified. 

Writer/Director David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch) has taken upon himself to enlighten us with enlightening material for the next DC Comic book film within the cinematic universe struggling to be created (The DC Extended Universe, DCEU), Suicide Squad.  A group of bad guys locked away by Batman, released alongside military help to do good for the really hard mission(s).  This comes after the failure of Warner Bros./DC’s latest comic book installment Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (BvS) who critics seem to think the problem us fans had was the tone.  Though that might seem to be the surface level reason, we forget that good storytelling is good storytelling and tone is simply one element of telling a story.  So most people probably said it was the tone not knowing that a brilliant story with the same tone could change their view.  Nonetheless, Ayer, already wanting to make a “lighter tone” of a film, having received a full endorsement/direction from the studio that the tone MUST now be as far from dark and down as possible after the failure of BvS, gives us this heavily marketed with bright colors and pop culture that we all can relate to, type of film.  Covering up the basic elements of what makes a good movie.  Thus, yet again, failing DC to carry the ball on getting the DCEU together and rushing to get things going.  Just so they can compete with Marvel by doing exactly what Marvel’s doing at this point on their already in full motion train as DC thinks that’s what will get them up and running at the start, “do what Marvel’s doing in full swing now at the start”.   

You’re now “Oh for 3 DC, I hope you’re happy!”  

The Suicide Squad
So, more crap rushed to the fans to compete with Marvel.  More unnecessary maneuvers to get where you need to go DC.  More frustration and heartache that the DCEU is nowhere near greatness, but bottom of the barrel quality that it’s now just become sad that it’s gotten to this point.  When critiquing this film I feel like a reluctant mosquito at a nudist colony, where do I begin?  

The first name on the title is Will Smith.  The most bankable actor in Hollywood today, right alongside Tom Cruise.  It’s been clear for sometime now, ever since 2008’s Hancock, it’s been official really, that Smith wants to be a Superhero.  Apart of a lucrative franchise and be remembered when he’s old and gray as that hero he played and have it be apart of his legacy.  Yet, he’s been struggling to reach this.  So, why not do something different to get there and be a bad guy?  Take a character (Deadshot) and make it his own, diverse actors have done this before in all types of roles (including himself before).  Bad move.  He played down instead of up, going backwards instead of forwards.  Will Smith, one of the few ethnic celebrities to cross the color barrier and be seen only as a great person and not an ethnic one, has decided to play the ignorant thug negro who’s really good at shooting guns.  He’s the hitman who’s in and out of prison, the yet another black male on the streets who only knows crime as a way of life.  The yet another black male with a record who’s smart of the streets but not of the books, and with the vocabulary to prove it.  Thus “setting us back a thousand years”, way to go man!  But Smith just has to be apart of a lucrative Superhero franchise right?  This was DC’s attempt to rival Marvel with their version of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), a sleeper that came out of nowhere to knock it out of the ballpark and spawn sequels and spinoffs and make everyone boat loads of money.  So, why can’t DC do that?  I mean, right?  Who cares if the DCEU isn’t properly established to set the right foundation?  Correct?  You know better Will.  You could’ve been a hero in your own movie instead of one of many in a cluster pluck of chaos.  

Which is the main problem with Suicide Squad.  TOO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!  David Ayer spends the first quarter of the movie establishing all the characters and spends way too much time setting things up.  Too much time trying to make sure we the audience know who this character and that character is, where this person came from and where that one came from.  “Okay, is everyone all caught up on every bad guy and government official and military personnel? … Good, okay, now let’s get to what we all came to see!  Here we go!”  By then I was already in the “this is probably not going to be nowhere near as good as I hoped it would” mode of feeling in the experience.  But it’s upbeat and fun right?  An improvement from BvS, correct? 

My girl (an honorary member of my favorite actresses), Margot Robbie, was AMAZING as Harley Quinn!  Dr. Harleen Quinzel, the Psychiatrist of The Joker (Jared Leto) who becomes overrun by him and his minions, ironically now his new patient to now become his lover and #1 girl and sidekick.  Both were great, as was Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, “Batfleck” (more proof that he is indeed THE DEFINITIVE BATMAN!).  However, an enticing and brilliantly done character doesn’t justify their presence in a movie.  If it’s out of place it’s out of place.  Jared Leto finally got me over the hump of honoring Heath Ledger who played The Joker last.  As this entire time I kept saying it’s too soon.  But I feel we can can finally let that bury with Ledger in peace and holy matrimony.  Nonetheless, the Joker wasn’t needed.  Maybe hinting at him to gear up for a future installment in the DCEU, like Harley’s solo film.  But having him here as a prominent character that we all know and love and to have him with as little screen time as he was given was a slap in the face.  I wanted to know more, but more only added to the cringeworthy pile up of character development.  

Harley was PERFECT!  But she, almost was unnecessary herself.  Is she really necessary as a soldier-like asset to a team to go carryout a military style mission alongside military personnel?  In high heels, a bikini bottom, a baseball bat, and one pistol, taking cross fire from assault weapons?  She looks cute though right?  She can hold her own as was made clear with her martial arts and seductive/alluring combative way of progress, but she was out of place in a film with Military men to carry out a soldier-like mission.  Mark my words, we’re going to loose track of how many Harley’s walking around come Halloween.  Just like with Maleficent a few years back.  Harley was absolutely SPOT. ON!!  More of why Margot’s LOCKED as one of my girls, she’s got it, and will continue to soar in Hollywood.  But I kept asking myself throughout Suicide Squad, is she really necessary for this story?  I kept answering, “though it can work, not really”.  She’s more suited for her own story.  Harley Quinn is becoming stronger and stronger by the issue and animated episode.  She doesn’t need The Joker anymore to survive or even to thrive.  She’s a strong female character to help get a lesson out to young girls who partake of her stories.  She’s embodied and able enough to lead another film where she’s the face of the story or one of the only FEW faces we see.  So a Deadshot, Harley film with The Joker lurking in the background (Harley has love interests with both in the comics), could stand on its own two feet, and pretty substantial I might add now that I think of it.  Or one of them as the villain up against Batfleck in a standalone.  These are all heavy, robust characters, each with WORLDS of their own that can carry series upon series of films ALL ON THEIR OWN … DC lumped them ALL into ONE movie.  

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
I wanted to see more of Deadshot going against Batfleck and what’s going on with his daughter, his baby mama drama, and how he’s a super villain even worthy of Batfleck’s attention because the police are too weak to stop him.  

I want to know everything about Harley.  I’m glad the execs at WB know the obvious.  Leading up to BvS they know Batfleck was amazing and decided to center the DCEU around him and give him most of the attention.  Same with Harley.  Whether she works or not in this one movie, as a separate character and solely critiquing that character she was amazing.  And before Suicide Squad it was released that she’s getting her own movie which hopefully will lead to more of her in the DCEU.  All sparked by my girl Margot, more proof that she’s amazing.  But all of this is dropped in the middle of a movie that needs to be congruent and work together, not separate with cool characters that stand out on their own.  

The star of this universe is just that, the star that we all want to see wherever he’s placed.  So be careful how you use him for he can easily steal the show.  Whenever he appeared, from the first shocking moment of stealing arrival, the kid who first saw Batman for the first time as a real life, living and breathing man in the form of Michael Keaton, IMMEDIATELY STRUCK TO LIFE!!  “Oh my gosh it’s Batman!  It’s Batman!  What’s he going to do?!  Where’s he going?!  What’s this mean?!  What’s that mean?!  Oh my gosh it’s Batman!  It’s Batman! …” … He can easily take over your movie.  I kept thinking about him the rest of this movie and if he were to get anymore screen time, not really caring about anything else.  

So it’s tough.  A failure in my opinion, but at least director David Ayer and the execs at WB can at least look at all the money it’s racking up over this opening weekend and call that a “success” as the Hollywood higher ups always do when this is the case.  If word travels though about the quality of the content, such success may be short lived.  

Please WB, don’t ruin what’s next up on the slate.  Please please please … DON’T!!  RUIN!!  WONDER WOMAN!!!  

You’re now “Oh for 3, I hope you’re happy!”  

Suicide Squad (2016) 
Action/Adventure, 123 Minutes, PG-13
Written & Directed By: David Ayer
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jay Hernandez, Karen Fukuhara, & Viola Davis 

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