I was planning on doing a comic review today on Batman and Son by Grant Morrison, but that will have to wait. As last night, I finally had the opportunity to watch the infamous Suicide Squad. Yes, I know I am way behind. This movie seeing its release back in early August. Thanks to the quick reviews from some great bloggers, I knew not to waste my money on the theatre ticket. And, yesterday, Dec. 13, was the official DVD and Blu-Ray release. Thus, the watching began!
Rewinding a bit, back before Suicide Squad was released for the world to see, this film had high potential. And, we were all hoping for a winner. There are many great story lines from the comics for them to work with. 2014’s animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham, featuring a rag tag Suicide Squad, was an edgy, thrilling, compelling, joy ride. The early previews, the mass market push of Margot Robbie’s Harley, the A+ posters, all signs pointed to this being a great comic adaptation.
Despite all of the negative reviews, and the bubble popping ratings, I went into Suicide Squad with an open mind. As many of us readers need to do with any adaptation. And, you know what? It started pretty good. It had a feeling of a cult classic. A new shape and form of what a comic movie could be. The introduction to the starring characters were effective, true to character, and entertaining. Then the plot started, and things went horribly wrong.
The biggest flaw this movie had, was the antagonists. Seductress is a great villain, for comics, and handled properly could make a great movie villain. But, she had no place in this film. At least not in the super natural, over-the-top computer graphic, doesn’t fit the rest of the movie, way she was portrayed. Then, they went further to bring in her monster brother, who was just ridiculous, and an army of… I don’t know whats. Changing the tone and feel of the film completely. What started as a dark, twisted film about villains, turned into 2005’s Fantastic Four disaster.
What I, and many other fans were hoping to see was a film about a dysfunctional group of anti-heroes, fighting for their last hope in life. A group of villains that don’t really fit together, refuse to cooperate, and ultimately are out for themselves. A story involving this many rogues should not end with everyone being friends, but rather ready to kill one another. Hell, end with them literally killing each other. What do they give us? A movie of bad guys turned heroes, that become best friends and work together to defeat the big bad monsters. Avengers had more adversity and team dynamics than Suicide Squad, and those were the good guys. Batman and Superman are trying to kill each other, but Harley Quinn and Deadshot are besties? There is no way Deadshot would falter a shot at a psychotic Quinn, ever. Those are the types of people Deadshot enjoys killing.
Some characters in this film were handled flawlessly, some were a mess, and others (ehem, Harley) were played out. The most well handled character was Captain Boomerang. His personality, and design was on point. Katana was pretty good, I would have enjoyed more. Killer Croc was… meh. Great casting for Amanda Waller. Will Smith as Deadshot? I love the anti-villain character, I just don’t know, it felt like Will Smith. When does Will Smith not feel like Will Smith? Leto’s Joker? Not a fan, I didn’t feel the crazy. Rick Flag was one of the worst parts of the film. And then there is Harley. It was good, not great. I appreciate how true to character and origins they kept her. But, the way they sold her up for months before this movie was released took most of the appeal, and intrigue out of her role. Her last half of the movie was terrible, culminated by her being the hero and saving ‘her friends’, it came out contrived, and laughable.
Going into this film with low expectations didn’t work, expectations weren’t low enough. You would think after the amount of comic based films that have been released to date, that DC should know better than this. They had an opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind piece, with characters that people are not overly attached. They gave us a garbage plot, and wasted the characters that the beginning of the film built up. Bringing Joker into this film at all was a waste, and I am worried I will be stuck with Leto’s Joker and Eisenberg’s Luther for the rest of the DC movies. That is reason enough not to get excited for future DC films. The only reason I give Suicide Squad a 2/5 is the strong start, and the quick homage to Alex Ross’s classic painting of Harley and Joker.
Thanks booknerds, had to get that out.