A Second Look at Suicide Squad- Warning- Some Spoilers

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So I went into Suicide Squad on opening night. I was aware of many critics tearing this movie to shreds. (Not my most trusted reviewer Jeremy Jahns though. Respect!) Check him out and his review of Suicide Squad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKaLy54AbWs

 

Despite this I walked out in love with this film.  My brother, just about all my friends, and family did the same.

The movie made me laugh, it excited me with its various action scenes, even got me with the heart.  I loved all those crazy characters to varying degrees.

I found it to be this wild comic book film that I’ve wanted for some time. (Like actually take a comic book and putting it onto the screen) Yes, compared to Man of Steel (2013) and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), this movie has a very different feel. (Did you really want the movie as dark and serious at those two? Really?) As for what it reminds me of, the closest I’d go is Burton’s Batman Returns (1992) in style and humor.

So I came out completely confused to why the critics hated on this film so much.  Does it have flaws? Of course it does.   However, was it worthy of 27% on Rotten Tomatoes? I don’t think so. (You are free to disagree of course. This is America after all.)

So let me break down the movie. What I didn’t like and a lot of what I liked.  (BIG OLD SPOILER WARNING RIGHT HERE.)

Things I don’t like.

There were a few lines early on by The Joker which landed flat. I felt his meeting with Monster T (Common) was off. It just felt awkward and didn’t sit right. The lines coming out of his mouth didn’t work for me. Especially since it was quite different the rest of the film.

The same thing can be sand of Rick Flagg played by Joel Kinnaman. Sometimes he fell flat with his delivery.  He was serviceable, but definitely not the star in this film.

The Enchantress kinda did exactly as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse. The same plan to shoot a beam in the sky and destroy things.  To destroy the world as it was known in order to establish a new world order.  It is over done and too many movies (Avengers: Age of Ultron, TMNT: Out of the Shadows, Man of Steel to name a few) are doing that now.  That whole idea was weak and cliche.  If you had a problem with that, I can respect it.  Did it ruin the movie for me?  No.

There were a few moments that were awkwardly edited. Some I think to keep the film PG-13 while other times to cut time and keep tone of the film.  The editing in this movie was not perfect, but it didn’t destroy my good time.

So of 10 points- drop a full point for cliche ending 9/10.  Poor editing in spots- 8/10

They could have explained Croc and Captain Boomerang more. I’ve heard some of this was actually in the full version of the film, but it was cut for time among other things.  Still, they are not the leads in this film, they don’t need the same amount of screen time as the others.  Still, let’s go 7.7/10

Add in the flat lines by Leto and Kinnamen a few times during the film  7.5/10

Again, the editing crew did few favors for this film and I’ll knock off a couple more notches down to 7.3/10.

Being as critical as I can, this movie still gets a 7.3/10 which in terms of an IMDb score would be a respectable film.  Not great, but definitely above average.

What I Liked

Jared Leto’s Joker actually grew on me.  He character is a bit of the deranged mob boss now and I’m okay with that.  He is all tattooed and with the grill. I get it, not the typical Joker we all know and love, but I was fine with change.  Change can be good and refreshing.

Some people said they disliked him because he was too sexually ambiguous at times.  He is the demented clown king of crime. What does he care for what is standard sexual practices?  He loves to make people uncomfortable, to watch them twist and turn.  The only thing he cares about is what wants to care about.

Harley Quinn is oversexualized and I can understand why people would be upset with that aspect. That is on the New 52 and Hollywood in general.  I felt that Margot Robbie just did a phenomenal job with the character. I loved her the first time I saw the film.  However, in the second view I witnessed more of her sadness. There is this person locked beneath the madness still.  Almost like that sane version of her escapes to the surface for breaths of air occasionally.  There is this light within the darkness of one of the most tormented minds. She was this beautiful, tragic, unpredictable character and I loved every minute of it.

Deadshot played by Will Smith was also masterful. He was funny, he was charismatic. Will Smith is just a natural leader and I don’t blame them for focusing on him in this film. Smith can still steal a movie and he did a few times. He has the best lines in the whole film, his action scenes are amazing.

It’s hard to make a film with seven leads. Starlord (Pratt) and Gamora (Saldana) were the leads in Guardians of the Galaxy. We still got a sense of what the others wanted more or less. I feel the same with this film. I think Smith and Robbie really make me enjoy these characters in the DCU more than ever before.

As for the others in the cast

Slipknot was in this movie to simply show that Amanda Waller wasn’t kidding. She will kill them.  Captain Boomerang totally sets him up just to find out the truth about these bombs in their head.  Very Fitting of his “Doesn’t work well with others” persona.

Captain Boomerang by Jai Courtney was actually pretty sweet. He had a few great lines, did some neat stuff. It felt like the best I’ve ever seen of Courtney (take that for what it is).

As for Diablo- His story arc is pretty cool. I feel for him. He has this troubled past. He didn’t want to be a weapon or a tool for someone else. He didn’t believe he had anything left to offer the world. Slowly, he realizes that he still has something to offer. That he has found acceptance with a group of people for what and who he is. They won’t shun him for it, but try to encourage his potential.

Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis. Again, would I have preferred a more heavyset character much like the comics? Yes.  However, was she a badass? Absolutely. I was scared of Amanda Waller, I hope I never meet a person half as cruel as her.  Yet, I could understand her in MOST of this movie.  I see what she is so serious, so intense (except for one scene).

As for Croc- He was ferocious, and though he didn’t speak much. Almost everything he said was enjoyable. (Won’t mistake him for a Shakespearian actor anytime soon.) Could have been a bit more Cajun sounding, but I can roll with the punches on this one.

So I loved the cast, the interactions between the various characters. The rise and fall of their dynamics throughout the film.

I felt the movie did a great job world building.From the Justice League, to more Suicide Squad. The romance of Joker and Harley.  Waller mentions  other groups forming (DC has a lot of super groups good and bad.)

What I loved most was the ideas represented which can speak to all of us. Many of us aren’t villains (some of us the jury is still out).  However, we all have flaws, mistakes. We all have this idea of what our lives could be.

If only I got this job, or lived in this location. If only I was there at this time, things would be different. That we are the product of our lives.  Some of us will do things we may regret, hopefully nothing too bad.  These are villains, they’ve done terrible things and I don’t think that is ever lost in the film.  However, they are also people with dreams and hope for a better future. They have or had family, and the good times always seem just out of reach.  Not every villain wants to watch the world burn. Maybe they went down the wrong path in life, but they aren’t completely bad.

I think that idea about owning our imperfections and flaws. Accepting the mistakes we have made. How it will allow us to grow stronger and reach out full potential in the future.  To also add  people to your life who bring out your finer qualities.  These people don’t have be perfect, but if they add positives to your life, embrace them as family.

I could continue, but I think you now get a feel for why I like this film. I thought that it was beautifully made, the soundtrack was amazing alone, and the heart of the film speaks to me..

I want to see the uncut version. I want to see the deleted scenes. I will own this soundtrack and this movie in the future.  I hope it makes tons of money to merit a second film (already nearly 500 million).

Yes, there are many critics willing to tell you that DC has created a nightmare with this film.  I would say that is fair, this movie built like an actual nightmare you could have. Filled with insane characters, dark themes, twisted humor, but not without some hope and some heart.

 

I know many out there did not enjoy the film, but a lot people I know still did.  Fact is, nobody is right or wrong. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts about the film. This movie I could relate to, enjoy on various levels.  That clearly won’t happen for everyone.

Critically I can give this a 7.3.  My personal score is about a 8.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

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