Comic Book Movie
We all know the history of Suicide Squad’s production. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) went through meticulous preparation for his role as the Joker, including mailing a live rat to his onscreen girlfriend, Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street). Women all over were cosplaying as Harley Quinn months before this film even was completed. A group of fans formed a petition to shut down RottenTomatoes after critics gave it a 35% rating only three days before its release. So now, it’s time to ask: was it worth all the hubabaloo?
Essentially, in this first ever villain ensemble picture, these imprisoned denizens of the law are temporarily released from their cells for a top secret mission. The government is already worried of another Superman coming to earth, so they have no other options besides rely on these metahumans to stop a typical extra-dimensional villain from creating yet another doomsday over the world. If they succeed, they get ten years off their prison sentence. If they fail, they die.
The result is an edgier version of Guardians of the Galaxy, except without the fun, fascinating imagery, impressive CGI, or anything else that makes this stand out as its own entity. Like any other action movie these days, it resorts to constant close-up motion sickness in all the action scenes, overusing noisy colors and upbeat pop music to add flavor. The entire first forty minutes is a meticulous bore to manage through, as it overuses backstory exposition and flashback on every single character. And yes, I do mean every single one. Anyways, after this torturous, lengthy intro, the movie finally gets started with the villains gearing up for their mission under the supervision of the CIA. It’s a pretty wild ride if you are an expert at keeping track of ten different subplots from one-dimensional characters fighting for the audience’s attention.
The team is not full of the biggest failures known to mankind, but they’re not going to be remembered within an hour after the first meeting. From what I remembered, there was a masked Japanese warrior named Katana (Karen Fukuhara) whose husband is trapped in her sword. There was also an offensive Australian stereotype named Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who exists for no reason besides comic relief. Then there was Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who does next to nothing memorable besides being rolled in a restraining harness like Hannibal Lecter. Then there was the skeleton-tatted El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), who stands out with his surprisingly tragic backstory. Then there was the governmental supervisor of the squad (Viola Davis) who likes to control them as their god.
The squad does have a couple of redeeming members who want something out of their mission. El Diablo is certainly one, but the rogue gunman Deadshot (Will Smith) makes one of the film’s greater impressions. Now, it’s not to say that Will Smith was any good in the role, because he honestly does exactly the same routine as all his 90’s roles. Even his character’s backstory feels clichéd to Smith’s type of character. He has a daughter, you see, and she does not approve of his murderous lifestyle. She even puts her own life at risk to stop her father from killing anyone else. It feels pretty sweet, but haven’t we seen this before?
Now as for Jared Leto’s highly anticipated performance as the Joker, I hate to break it to you: he let me down. With all we have heard about what he did to prepare for his role to make it his own, the crew barely gives him any useful material to work off of. The closest thing to disturbing he gets to is laughing like a pedophile inside a circle of knives.
Everyone thought he would be the best part of the movie, but you know what was the best part? Not the Joker, but the Joker’s lil’ monster. Margot Robbie is both deliciously seductive and delightfully psychotic as Harley Quinn, balancing that behavior with a girly innocence to generate a believable romance with the clown prince of crime. She has the only flashbacks that I was okay with seeing, particularly one where she willfully jumps into a vat of chemicals for a twisted make-out session with her beau. Sure, she may have been a bit too sexualized for what her character called for, but I would have much preferred her to be the sole main character than to have five different leads.
We’ve never seen anything quite like this movie, and I’m sure this will not be the last supervillain ensemble picture. I’m sure that the crimes that Suicide Squad has committed on storytelling will not remain in the public’s memories, but I already presume a long and successful screen career for the fresh Margot Robbie.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Jedeikin, Desi. 6 Crazy Ways Jared Leto Prepared to Play The Joker. Smosh. Defy Media, 3 Aug 2016. Web. <http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/6-crazy-ways-jared-leto-prepared-play-joker>.
Lady Geek Girl. Sexualized Saturdays: Suicide Squad and the Harley Quinn Problem. Lady Geek Girl. WordPress, 27 Jun 2015. Web. <https://ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/sexualized-saturdays-suicide-squad-and-the-harley-quinn-problem/>.
McCluskey, Megan. Suicide Squad Fans Want to Shut Down Rotten Tomatoes Over Bad Reviews. Time. WordPress, 3 Aug 2016. Web. <http://time.com/4436621/suicide-squad-fans-rotten-tomatoes-petition/?xid=time_socialflow_facebook>.
Suicide Squad. DC. Web. <http://www.suicidesquad.com/>.
Warner Bros. Pictures. Suicide Squad - Official Trailer 1 [HD]. Digital image. YouTube, 19 Jan 2016. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmRih_VtVAs>.