A Witch (she prefers Enchantress) wants to take over the world (or destroy it, not sure) and the powers that be assemble a band of psycho misfits to stop her. Ba-da-bing! Ba-da-boom!
I was really looking forward to SUICIDE SQUAD
and then I wasn’t. It’s not the bad word of mouth that turned me off (it never does, I love movies, I like going to see them and judging for myself), it was the online baby shite and the word that WB copped out on the initial dark vision that put a sour taste in my mouth. But I couldn’t stay away forever and I finally cracked yesterday and gave it a whirl. How did I feel? Well I did have fun with it, but it’s one of those that I’ll figure out via writing this garbage. So bare with me and lets see what happens!
Keep in mind that I am one of “those” that loved BATMAN V SUPERMAN. The theatrical cut (even though it took me two viewings to understand the Studio edit story) greased me right and the Director’s Cut i.e. the final cut
that the suits butchered down (they cut out half an hour) a week before release, scared of the long running time – is a masterpiece in my Necronomicon. I’m also a huge fan of Nolan’s BATMAN trilogy and MAN OF STEEL rocks my world. Basically through time I figured out that I’m a bigger fan of DC movies than I am of Marvel. Now although Marvel has made some solid stuff like IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER and CIVIL WAR
, DC celluloid parties, even if weaker, stay with me as they are more in tuned with my sensibilities.
On that, while smacking SUICIDE SQUAD's ass, I kept thinking: DC Movies need to choose a direction and embrace it cause this sucka came off as a compromised vision, no matter what director Ayer said (he called this theatrical cut his director's cut). Christopher Nolan pulled off something novel with his BATMAN trilogy; movies for grown ups that older kids can enjoy. The flip-side of Marvel which to me is all about: movies for older kids that adults can also enjoy. But after BATMAN V SUPERMAN got flack dfor being too morose – the peeps in charge got their panties in a bunch and they gave SUICIDE SQUAD a "soften up" job. Here was the result.
On the upside; I dug the DIRTY DOZEN like set up of the film and the anti heroes assembled were compelling to varied degrees. My favorites were definitely Margot Robbie who totally owned the show as the mucho unstable yet adorable Harley Quinn, Will Smith who gave an endearing display as Deadshot and Joel Kinnaman who made a on paper bland character engaging via his intense performance as Flagg. Furthermore, Jay Hernandez killed it as Diablo, Viola Davis was chilling as the heartless mind behind it all while I relished what I saw of Jared Leto’s Joker. I wasn't crazy about the Bling outfit (but hey at least it was different) but I was a huge fan of his whacked presence and that laugh (Ha-Ha-Ha) that I'm still imitating today! The bulk of the main cast had a zany chemistry together and following them around as they went from faceless bad guy to faceless bad guy (more on them later) had me grinning in my seat! Good shit!
Action wise, Ayer knows his trade as he choreographed a slew of visceral and eye popping action set pieces that never stopped pleasing. And the same went for the outstanding production and costume designs. This was a visually arresting opus to gawk at that's for sure! The warped humor was bang on as well – Harley Quinn in particular had me chuckling a lot due to her "out there" antics. And although the flick overdid it with the “hip” songs (specially early on) to communicate info/ a vibe about a character or to lighten up what was obviously at first a harsher affair – my knee did bounce – tight f*cking tunes (loved the use of You Don't Own Me" by Grace)! I may get the soundtrack! NOTE: Having Batfleck and The Flash in the house was gnarly too – I appreciated them tying the film to BATMAN V SUPERMAN and the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Unfortunately; the story beyond “bad guys assembling to fight lesser bad guys”
was pretty freaking lame. That whole Witch wants to end the world in a sea of CGI overload shtick was Zzzzz inducing. In fact, as the story clocked forward, I kept forgetting what our team’s mission was. Not a good thing. The bland enemies they kept clobbering (faceless CGI concoctions) didn't fare much better. Having human foes instead would have upped the stakes and the brutality factor of the piece. And was I alone in feeling that the film was a bit all over the place? It felt like the thing was overcooked in the editing room resulting in a bit of a choppy and disjointed air. Although John Gilroy is the sole editor credited here, word has it that everybody and their uncle's mistress had a pass at the movie in the edit – and it showed.
Then we had the Harley/Joker “love story” being a little too basic for my liking. Of course I have since learned that their union was initially way more twisted/layered (with the Joker being way more abusive as per the comics) but the Studio snipped that out after the BvS fiasco (resulting in a peeved Leto as lots of his scenes wound up on the cutting room graveyard). Lastly more graphic violence would have helped a tale about super villains whooping ass and some of the main anti-heroes didn’t get the screen time they deserved. I yearned for more Killer Croc (an understated Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Captain Boomerang (Jay Courtney chewing the scenery fervently).
On the whole, I perceived SUICIDE SQUAD as a KEY moment for DC Films. They need to make a firm decision; embrace the darkness or don’t. But this middle ground shit is for the birds and there are just so many times a “Director’s Cut” or an "Extended Cut" on disk will make up for the mucho coin I spent in cinemas to see a conceded "try to please everybody" version. Start trusting your directors and their vision DC! Stay true to your convictions and stop knee jerking every time critics/audiences throw a whining cocktail your way. My 3 cents for what they are worth - yes - nothing.
Dry gunshot wounds and CGI concoctions beings chopped, slashed, gun downed etc. Man of Steel was more violent. Go figure!
That ass! If I didn't say that Margot Robbie was all kinds of sexy as Harley Quinn, it would mean I no longer own a penis. Girl looked finer than red wine poured on a hooker's ass!
Groovy set up, action driven, visually stimulating on all levels, with memorable performances (Robbie!!!!), a twisted sense of humor and some slick tunes; SUICIDE SQUAD wound up being a decent time at the movies. But it could have been MUCH more than that if it didn't lose its grit and balls behind the scenes before it hit our screens. Oh and an actually interesting villain and human foes (instead of CG fodder) would have helped as well. Word has it that the Studio cut a "light" cut version and Ayer cut his "dark" cut - they tested both of them and the "light" cut won resulting in a mix of both. I know that's "Studio" filmmaking at its worse for ya - but maybe its time for DC to remember that old saying: Too many cooks spoiled the pot. Here's hoping that disk release rectifies this mistake and that future DC releases hit the screen with more confidence in their talent and material.
Yes that was Scott Eastwood in the film. Talk about a thin role!
Zack Snyder directed the "The Flash takes on Captain Boomerang" flashback.
Thsi was Karen Fukuhara's (Katana) film debut!