Suicide Squad: Snap! Crackle! *Fizzle….*
“Suicide Squad feels like an attractive date who turned out to be quite boring”
I feel like I was ‘Catfished’.
For the uninformed, a catfish is ‘someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.’ (urban dictionary – see also, movie and TV series)
After soooo much long-awaited hype and a mega marketing campaign that pushed The Joker and Harley Quinn as the forefront of the tale, I went to see ‘Suicide Squad’ with all geek-iness, ready to be Wowed.. Keep in mind I’m a lifelong comic book fanboy of the highest order; I love indulging in fantasy action movies. BUT, dammit – despite this impressive cast, and the promise of something fun and chaotic, unfortunately Suicide Squad was a big disappointment :-/.
In fact, Suicide Squad feels like a sexy date who turns out to be quite boring. Like someone you met on an dating website who looks great in the photos, sounded exciting, and said all the right things we want them to say. Seems like it will be a helluva fun time! – but despite all the gloss and promise, nothing much actually happens. All that built up excitement for a letdown. Overall, this movie just isn’t that good. But there are a few (very few) redeeming qualities which save this from an unmitigated disaster. But then, there are just some downright Terrible elements which had me zoning out at times. So here is the GOOD, the BAD, and the TERRIBLE that was ‘SS”.
Lets start with The UGLY:
This movie has rush job written all over it. From a story perspective it was surprisingly sloppy and the action was ‘by the numbers’. We start with short, choppy montages introducing the cast of Baddies – each with their own soundtrack (that got annoying very quickly). These quick snippets should help us build some kind of empathy or rapport with our cast. But not really. We we got is summaries of a bunch of people we really don’t care about and then watch them do a bunch of stuff for some reason, because a government official says so. They run from Danger Point A -to Danger Point B and shoot things and fight a lot. Shit blows up. One-liners are spewed. And soon I forgot what the plot was even about.
Outside of Viola Davis’ wonderful turn as Amanda Waller (government agent putting this team together) the rest of the script is pretty bad. The dialogue was gawd-awful. I haven’t heard so many terrible one-liners since ‘The Expendables’. I mean…it is REALLY that bad. There are maybe three characters in the movie and I’m thinking to myself ‘Why are YOU even here??? What’s your purpose??‘ I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie with such high hopes and came away with nothing to like about it.
I’m guessing that filmmaker David Ayers had a few days to bang out this script from conception to finish. At least it feels that way. From a direction and editing view, this movie is a technical blunder and looks sloppy. It uses about three different techniques (quick flashes, fade-outs, drug-induced flashbacks?) that have no kind of cohesion with each other. It’s as if Ayer simply tried different camera tricks and hoped one would work. All the scenes rush immediately from cut to cut, OR – even more disturbingly, we get AT LEAST 20 character close-ups that linger longer than necessary. Do we really need to pan in on Will Smith’s face every single time he says something? I mean, the fact that I even notice all of this tells you just how bad the editing job is.
So the movie is about the ‘world’s most dangerous criminals’. IN the pantheon of DC Comics, these guys are C-level at best. The ‘worst’ bad guys would be Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Doomsday, The Joker, Black Adam – real heavy hitters capable of doing real damage. Instead we get a guy who loves to climb (he dies immediately), a bank robber who tosses a boomerang (aptly named Captain Boomerang), and a Psychiatrist-turned-crime acolyte (Harley Quinn). There are more but does it really matter? Not really. Will Smith’s character Deadshot perhaps qualifies as the TRULY worst of the bunch, playing a an elite assassin of the highest order, the ‘world’s most wanted hitman’ who never misses a shot, ever. Throughout the movie, and we assume it is so egregious that he doesn’t want to talk about it – and yet,
All that being said, this Bad Guy bunch doesn’t quite live up to their reputation. They are not so unspeakably evil as to cause concern (despite getting the Hannibal Lector treatment), and after being corralled by the government, within a few scenes the movie rushes them into danger to be all heroic and blah blah blah. At no point do we get the feeling ‘Oh man….these guys ARE bad!” NOPE. Nothing to keep our attention for 2 hours.
Here’s where Warner Bros fails to match expectation with delivery. This movie should have been Rated R. Take Deapool for example. ‘Deadpool’ proved to Hollywood that a HARD Rated R action/comedy movie can work IF the story is well-written. Ryan Reynolds’. Deadpool was BRILLIANT. Deadpool delivered on all fronts; witty banter, hilarious vulgarity, clever action pieces all while chopping people to bloody bits with delirious glee. With Deadpool, we laugh our asses off while absorbing the viscera. None of these element exist with Suicide Squad. Not only does ‘SS’ give us nothing to cheer for, it gives us nothing to root against. Nothing to connect to to, and, in the end, NOTHING to care about. It’s a shame, really. So much lost potential.
Well, except Margo Robbie 🙂 🙂 🙂 My Goodness, Margo Robbie is a superstar!
THE GOOD (The very GOOD!)
Harley Quinn single-handedly saves this movie. Where does acting end and reality begin? I swear this was the living embodiment of Harley Quinn! – one of the best characters in recent memory. Margot Robbie NAILS Harley and is the #1 reason to go to see this movie, AND, the #1 reason to STAY and finish the movie! LOL 😛 – Harley was the PERFECT mix of sassy, sexy, sultry, slutty, and DANGEROUSLY chaotic….that was some damn good acting!
Every scene that Harley is occupies is a godsend. Every scene without Harley is really just wasted celluloid. No, seriously. Take Harley out of this movie and it flat out SUCKS. And I do mean suck. This movie wouldn’t have worked without Harley. NOT. At. Allll…..
Enough praise about Harley Quinn. Will Smith does his usual Will-Smith-iness. I mean, its Will SMITH. He nails his scenes and his lines. The guy has mastered effortless charm. We KINDA care about his character and we KINDA care that he succeeds? – But then again we don’t. His character is a cool assassin guy and well, thats it. In all honestly this could have been Will Smith and Margot Robbie (AGAIN), and I would have been fine with that. They have the BEST lines and the best dialogue. The chemistry was so-so, but not forced.
It would have made for an interesting love-triangle between Deadshot, Harley Quinn and…
Yeah, forget about the Joker. We were all hoodwinked. Bamboozled I’m not sure what Warner Bros wanted to accomplish here. Did they WANT to piss fans off?? Well, they did. For all the outrageous stories of the immensely talented Jared Leto going ‘full retard’ and method acting the FUCK out of The Joker – apparently most of his scenes got cut out of the movie.
Yes folks, all that hype and glamorous marketing, and the Joker only shows up for a few cut-scenes, flashbacks, and vignettes.
YEP. Total bait-n-switch. Which was too bad, because the Joker /Harley storyline is really what keeps this movie interesting!
Notice I didn’t even mention the plot. Don’t worry it is pointless. The plot is ridiculous. And this is coming from a true comic book geek. This was the whackest plot line in recent memory. I’m not even sure WTF the plot was, but it doesn’t matter. A bunch of scruffy villain are rushed into action to do stuff that we don’t really care about.
And then there was Harley Quinn 🙂
And that really sums up Suicide Squad.
If not for Will Smith and Margot Robbie I would seriously give this movie ONE STAR out of FIVE, just for sucking so badly. Without those two? this movie is unwatchable.