Suicide Squad – Movie Review

It’s been over a year since we first saw the official cast photo of the Suicide Squad featuring the villains we’ve always wanted to see on the big screen. For the most part Harley Quinn received the biggest reaction as a Joker/Harley team up has been something we’ve see only in cartoons and read in comics. The speculation of how good this would be started to turn when Jared Leto‘s version of the clown prince of crime surfaced, covered in tattoos and sporting a silver toothed grin. The crowd begin to split and it was only after the debacle with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that Suicide Squad was looked at as a savior for the DC cinematic universe. The first Suicide Squad trailer hit with a happy go lucky feel and with rumors of re-shoots to add more light heartedness, the promise of this movie living up to the hype it was being given was looking more and more promising. The past few weeks prior to the movie being released have been filled with the cast doing the normal circuit of press to promote the movie, using funny stories and on set antics to show that this was just an all around fun movie. It was only after the movie was released to the press that negative reviews started surfacing and the news started to surface concerning corporate involvement. There a petition opened up on Change.org by Abdullah Coldwater to shut down Rotten Tomatoes due to everyone bashing DC movies. The petition started out serious then Abdullah changed his tune and stated it was just to bring awareness of the low ratings in comparison to Marvel reviews. The movie came out on Friday, I saw it Saturday and I’m writing this Sunday because I wanted to give it a day to settle in and see if I changed my mind after taking some time to thing about it. No matter what your stance is, the Rotten Tomatoes score has not changed from a critics score of 26% and an audience score of 73%., which is decent and puts it above Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Now that I have given it a day to settle in and I’ve thought back to the movie, the characters, the plot and how everyone was portrayed I can stand tall and say that my review has not changed. I took my mom to see it because she watched both Flash and Arrow, and knows the history of the Suicide Squad through those shows plus she likes comic book movies in general. She’s pretty positive when it comes to movies and I really wanted to come out and talk about how great the movie was, but it didn’t turn out that way. She was about 75% positive on the movie, while I was only about 25% positive.

Squad Fails

My issues started out with this being a Suicide Squad movie but them really putting focus on Deadshot and his story.He was the first of the squad to be shown and had the most scenes involving action and story development. The movie did show an assassination that Deadshot pulls off, which was pretty cool and proved that he was an excellent marksman.  Harley Quinn also received a backstory that introduced Joker, but there was really no reason for him to be in the movie at all. The Joker has about collective movie screen time of about 10 minutes and he never interacts with any of the other members besides Harley Quinn. Harley’s portrayal and her look really is the best part of the movie. She is amazingly gorgeous and you even see a few iconic costumes as well as her signature mallet. After Deadshot and Harley Quinn were introduced with well put together flashbacks the rest of the characters got mini flashbacks, which showed The Flash capturing Captain Boomerang, which fit with hi being in Flash’s rogue gallery. His boomerangs were sharp, but there was a lot of him just holding them like small knives and fighting enemies. I believe he only threw his boomerang to do something 2 or 3 times. Killer Croc was shown living in a sewer like prison and he was just described as a big brute. El Diablo received his story in two parts for reason, the first part when ou meet him and it shows him surrendering when he used his powers to murder his family accidentally. He later is yelled at for not fighting and after he tells the rest of the squad what happened he’s forgiven. I’d also like to point out that almost each member of the suicide squad received the equivalent of the stats behind their comic book card on the screen, but they were there for maybe 2 seconds. No one could read that all that information that fast. If you did get a chance to read El Diablo’s, you see that it stated he didn’t know the extent of his powers which is pretty much foreshadowing for the end of the movie. Slipknot didn’t even get that much of a backstory, but was also given the weakest hook shot that I had ever seen. The effects of him shooting and repelling up a wall were so bad, it looked like something a low budget TV show would have. He obviously didn’t make it past the first few minutes of the mission, as he tried to escape and was promptly removed. The last member of the squad was there mostly as an enforcer and did a lot of apologizing and crying, this being Katana. She had a few minutes more on screen than Joker and she was part of the Suicide Squad. It was brought up many times that her sword would take the souls of those she killed, but you really never saw that happen. Katana sliced through enemies and moved onto the next ones. The main person that this movie could have absolutely done without is Enchantress, the way she is written into the role of the villain was pretty poor. Oh yes, she is the main villain and not the Joker, despite what all the trailers portray. Her powers are shown as she retrieves top secret files from an enemy country across the world in a matter of seconds, but she wants to use a machine to destroy humanity. That part didn’t really make a whole lot of sense with me, but more on that later. The final member of the squad is Rick Flag, who isn’t a bad guy but put in charge to lead the squad on missions. The main brain behind the Suicide Squad is Amanda Waller, who was done really well in this film as a cold hearted good guy. She was for saving the world, but not against killing her own people because she didn’t have the proper clearance.

The Obvious Comparison

Almost every single scene in this movie had some kind of music to accompany it, and not just mood music but full on top 40 hits. I know I shouldn’t have, but the first thing that came to my mind was Guadians of the Galaxy. With the news of Warner Bros. wanting this movie to pull the DC cinematic universe out of the garbage fire that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s only logical that they would look to a similar property that actually worked. The only bad thing about this comparison is that we actually got to know the members of Guardians of the Galaxy and grew to care about them. Guardians of the Galaxy also had songs at appropriate times with titles that fit the scene to help progress the story. Suicide Squad had not only featured Spirit in the Sky which also was in Guardians of the Galaxy, but had  Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody covered by Panic! at the Disco which is an iconic song that they should have been able to pay for the original. I took a look at the rest of the songs off the soundtrack of Suicide Squad, and besides Heathens by Twenty One Pilots everything else is dubstep infused songs that I wouldn’t play with my windows open. This movie could have done with a few songs here and there, but throwing in Eminem to cover scenes of people grabbing their weapons was trying a little too hard in my opinion.

The [Scene Missing] Plot

As I mentioned above, Enchantress turns out to be the big villain of this movie and it’s because of her the Suicide Squad was formed. Enchantress is a spirit that lives with in June Moone and when the name Enchantress is spoken she turns into her and does Amanda Waller’s bidding. If you’re asking why she only obey’s Amanda Waller, it’s because Amanda has found the heart of the Enchantress and as long as she holds it she controls her. The heart acts like a voodoo doll with pokes and prods hurt Enchantress. Because nothing good lasts forever, Enchantress is brought on a mission, but takes off and uses passes the spirit of her brother onto a civilian bringing out Incubus. Incubus then shares his power with Enchantress enabling her to live even though Amanda Waller has stabbed Enchantresses heart. Enchantress then commands Incubus to guard her as she builds an army using people bodies and is making a machine to kill all of humanity. Whatever this machine is, I’m sure its full of bright lights and pretty sounds, because we never see it. What she actually does is use our own weapons against us, because that’s never been done. The suicide squad is made to take out the Enchantress and is turns about Rick Flag is there because he has been sleeping with June Moone, but that gets found out by the squad later even though the whole audience has already seen it in flashbacks. It seems that after the Enchantress starts her plan, the editors of the film started playing fast and loose with the edits. There are so many jump cuts that it almost looks like a music video, especially with the over abundance of pop music. The squad gets introduced to the audience and brought together in about a day, then they act like they’ve known each other for a while after meeting. El Diablo is the worst at this, because a few hours into the mission he calls the squad his family even though he’s been called a pussy by Harley and given crap by Deadshoot and Captain Boomerang for not fighting. You don’t get to call these people your family, because in the end when all of you go back to your cells you won’t see each other. The squad is treating this like they’re part of The Breakfast Club when they’re more like the cast of The Sandlot at best. There were so many scenes removed for no reason that it wasn’t even funny. A great example of this takes place at the end of the second act, when Rick Flag says that the squad members can leave if they want and Captain Boomerang takes off. Two scenes later he is shown walking as a member of the squad without any reason and no one brings it up.

The Joker is a Joke

I may be in a small minority here, but I really didn’t like this version of The Joker. The tattoos really threw me off and I couldn’t take him seriously, because I feel like they told him to throw in that laugh at very random times. Granted, it could be said that he was suppose to be crazy and it fits and that he fits at weird times. I would argue that not only did not he not need to be in the film, he was just put there as a way to get butts in seats. The Joker was used as nothing more than a pawn to sell tickets and that brings his credibility down immensely in my eyes.

Yes Batman was in the Movie

Batman got less screen time that Joker did, but he did more for the story that most members of the Suicide Squad. He not only brought in Deadshot and Harley Quinn, but he is the reason for the whole plot getting covered up. He protects Amanda Waller at the end of the movie in return for some files on The Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. This is how he knows where to go to recruit the team in the footage shown at Comic Con this year. Oh yeah, that was actually the secret mid credits scene. Bruce Wayne talking to Amanda Waller and getting files while learning that Amanda Waller knows he’s Batman. It didn’t introduce a new member of the suicide squad like Poison Ivy, Penguin or even Killer Frost, it did what this movie lacked and filled in the holes between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

Final Verdict

Waner Bros. was waiting to see how this movie did to determine if a solo Harley Quinn movie was going to move forward, and even though it broke box office records for an August movie we’ll see how it does next weekend. If a sequel is given the green light for Suicide Squad, it’ll have to be with a new Joker, new editors and no script interference from any suits. This movie had the potential to be something great, but in the end fell flat on it’s face while Chumbawamba‘s Tubthumping played in the background.

 

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