Ten Thoughts on Suicide Squad
I was really excited when the trailer for Suicide Squad movie was released. I always thought it was an interesting concept in the comic books that could have translated really well to the big screen. However my excitement was dashed with a bucket of ice water when the early reviews came in and were less than encouraging. I ended up deciding to forgo my trip to the big screen and instead, wait to watch it on my TV at home. We’ll I’ve finally gotten a chance to see Suicide Squad and let’s just say, waiting was a wise decision.
Ten Thoughts on Suicide Squad
1. The main characters are just thrown at us.
The movie jumps right into it as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) pitches the idea of a meta-human team to another government official. These characters then seem to roll off an assembly line as they each (well almost all of them) get their own montage (set to Guardians of the Galaxy(ish) style music). Instead of going with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) approach and giving each hero the own movie, Suicide Squad instead ops to drop them all on the viewers in the opening minutes. The problem with this approach is that most of these characters are going to be relatively unknown to the masses. It’s not like it’s Batman or Spider-Man, where everyone has seen their origin story 20 times. The result was the viewer being overwhelmed with information and no real depth given to any of the characters (except maybe Deadshot, more on that in a minute.)
2. Jared Leto’s Joker was wasted.
Jared Leto is a pretty great actor and the pre-movie hype was really pushing his portrayal as the Joker. He had some really big clown shoes to fill as Heath Ledger’s Joker was probably one of the most impressive performance we’ve seen of the insane clown. However, in reality, Leto was barely in this film. He had a subplot of trying to rescue Harley Quinn from the Squad, but it never really made a whole lot of sense. In fact, at the end of the movie he breaks her out of prison fairly easily. Why he didn’t just do that at the start, instead of his complicated main plan, is beyond me.
As to his portrayal, I thought he made an OK Joker. It wasn’t as good as Ledgers, but that was probably a losing battle. Leto was more manic than scary, more creepy than psychopathic. But he really didn’t have enough screen time to do much with the character anyway.
3. Will Smith was great, with what he had to work with.
Will Smith’s portrayal of Deadshot was probably the best of the Squaddies. He is given some decent screen time for his backstory and his relationship with his daughter actually gives him some motivation in the film, something his other Squadmates are solely lacking. It does help that Will Smith is incredibly charismatic, so it’d be hard for him not to be loveable in just about any role.
4. Margot Robbie was OK.
Margot Robbie felt like the unofficial mascot of Suicide Squad as her portrayal of Harley Quinn was all over the media for this movie. However she wasn’t given a lot of great material to work with and oftentimes felt little more than a sex symbol. I’m OK with Harley Quinn using her sexuality to her advantage, but she still needs some kind of motivation. In the movie, Harley was the psychopathic cheerleader of the group. Always with a smile on her face, whether she is robbing a store or murdering someone with a gun. In that regard,Robbie had an interesting take on Harley Quinn. However, much like Smith, I wish she was given more to work with. Her backstory felt REALLY rushed and her connection to the Joker was a tad thin because of it.
5. Slipknot should have been wearing a red shirt.
Seriously, it seems like Slipknot’s only purpose in the movie was to die and prove that the neck bombs were real. He wasn’t even given an intro at the start of the movie. When the Squad was ready to go on their mission, he was just tossed in at the last minute. I had no idea who he was until someone said what his powers were (he climbs things), and then minutes later, he was dead and no one seemed to care.
6. The main villain wasn’t’ right for this movie.
The Enchantress has a lot of potential for a movie villain. With some super cool powers and a neat Jeckel/Hyde thing going on, I was eager to see what they were going to do with her. However, once she had her transformation and got her heart back, things got weird really quick. She turned into this uber powerful sorcerer that should have way overmatched the Squad. In fact, this was a battle more suited to the Justice League than the Suicide Squad. A major entity takes root on American soil and instead of deploying a powerful super hero, or even the military, they send in this group? This untested group? This untested group of villains? What?
7. This should have been more of an Expendables style of movie.
What they should have done with Suicide Squad is give them a more appropriate mission. When The Enchantress went into an Iran bunker and stole the secret documents, I found myself thinking that that would have been a better mission for the Squad. I was expecting Waller to drop them into some foreign country, where if they went off mission no one in the US would care, and solve a problem that the US Military or Heroes couldn’t legally do. Instead, It was basically another Super Hero movie, yet with “villains” instead of heroes.
8. The writing needed a lot of work.
This piggy-backs on thought 7. the writing in this movie was a mess. And that’s a shame because it’s not like writer David Ayer is an unknown quantity. His scripts for Training Day and Fury were great. So there was probably some behind the scenes issues here that we don’t know about. But that being said, the writing was still pretty bad. These villains never really felt all that nasty outside of their opening montage. And some how, by the end of the movie they are all best friends and Diablo is calling them their family? They had known each other for what, a few hours at best? Yet Diablo apparently loves them enough to sacrifice himself. Then they were able to kill The Enchantress’s brother with a well placed bomb. If it was that easy to kill them, why didn’t Waller just send in a drone strike on the building?
9. The whole movie felt really disjointed.
The entire Joker subplot to the movie felt incredibly unnecessary. It’s almost like he was in his own movie that would occasionally smash into Suicide Squad at times. He would have a flashback, or some build up, only to disappear for a long time, and then reappear out of nowhere. Then there was the casual bar scene where the villains are ignoring the end of the world literally right outside their door. And why were they in the bar in the first place? Because Flag apparently lied to them about his motivations. The whole movie is littered with plot holes like this that makes it really hard to stay immersed.
10. Felt like they were trying to mash up the Guardians of the Galaxy playbook with the DCU.
Suicide Squad felt like a mash up of Guardians of the Galaxy and any other DC Universe movie (Superman V Batman for example). It’s like they tried to take the dark and gritty DC Universe and combine it with a wacky team up and retro style music. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work. The movie was dark, but only in the fact that it took place at night, or in the rain, or in the rain at night. The music was some of the most overused songs in movies and the wacky teamup felt really shoehorned together. At least the people in Guardians of the Galaxy had the whole movie to build their chemistry before they had to work as a team. Suicide Squad skips all that and has them being friends within minutes of meeting.