Opinions: Suicide Squad

So last Friday I, and my friend with the same first name, went to go see the summer movie, Suicide Squad. I wanted to watch this movie and so had he, and we finally had the money to do so. So after teaching my friend how to use Fandango and a lovely dinner with a third friend, we marched to the movie theater to see something we had hoped would lift us up after watching BvS…and oh my squad! That movie is kind of divisive (by divisive, I really mean that most people hate it, which isn’t what divisive means. I know. I know). Before watching the movie I had seen and heard reviews, mainly unfavorable and comparing the movie to trash. They spat on that movie and gave it massive hate. There was as much hate for that movie as the internet has for Kanye West. There was unnecessary vitriol. A lot of it probably came to, “It’s not Civil War,” which I mean fuck that noise. Why is that our golden standard? Even my friend didn’t like this movie, so with this I’ll give my opinion. This article might be long, so here’s a TL;DR version for those who don’t wanna go further: I liked the movie, cast was dope, story sucked, editing was el horrible…but at the end of the day it was okay. I’m going to talk about the characters, the story, the editing, and the cameos. Hopefully this’ll be fun. I’ll first start off with the bad, so I’ll talk about the story and the editing.

Story

Ha… the story game was weak. If you’ve seen any of the other summer action movies from this year, you’ve seen the plot of Suicide Squad: (Proper Noun) from (Adjective) Civilization plans to use (Adjective usually synonymous with big and then redundantly adverbed with large) portal/ machine to (verb synonymous with kill) humans because of (stupid reason). We can also look to our former golden standard, Marvel’s The Avengers, for this plot. And though the movie has all of its chances to be weird and zany, as it does with its cast, it decides to play it safe and phone it in with its plot. And also on a first movie level it’s terrible to start off with, “Hey let’s save the Earth”. It should have plotted on a smaller scale because at the smaller scale it shines. Backstories, character thoughts, etc. It just was terrible at dialogue–most times. As I’ve felt with BvS and now this movie, the writers are bad at their jobs. Dialogue at times made me sad. It made me cringe. You can only have Will Smith call the main baddy, evil, before bashing the audience over the head. On the level of overarching plot, it’s pretty vanilla, and at this point we’re all exhausted from it. Also the writing sometimes lead to terrible transitions like: Rick Flag showing Deadshot letters from Deadshot’s daughter or every cut that happens in this movie, which leads me to editing.

Editing

So one of the major flaws of this movie is how badly edited it is. Sometimes it’s the CGI, but also there was just some weird cuts. Just cuts every where. There seemed to be a large lacking of steady flowing footage for more than two minutes or so before a cut would happen and scenes would shift. During the bar scene I blinked and so much changed: Captain Boomerang was gone, Rick Flag randomly left and came back, we focused on Harley for some reason–and I realize that most of the cuts were due to unfortunate reshoots in order to make the movie more appealing and humorous, but it shouldn’t have been detrimental to it. If you realized that the reshoots were going to cause terrible cuts, you should have just given us the original shoots rather than give us an editing disaster. Another part of the editing seemed to be a fault of the writers. When there was nothing to say or nothing to show in the movie (nothing to write or no means of fluidly transitioning to the next scene) the movie’s crutch was either to play a song or just abruptly cut to a new scene. At points I got mad at the movie for it, but then stopped because it’s not the movie’s fault, you start to blame higher ups and executive moves. I wanted to blame writers and editors, but at the end of the day it’s the fault of executives for approving these things or, even worse, forcing these actions. When writers aren’t given much there’s going to be bad writing. When editors are forced to make reshoots flow with old content, the ugly cuts are going to show. As I’ve said with BvS, and I realize he didn’t have much to do with this, but Zack Snyder needs to stop touching things. I fear for the rest of these movies, because even though they’ll have awesome parts, they’ll still be brought down by terrible executive choices. Anyways, let’s leave the negative. Let’s go to the okay and the dope, starting with cameos.

Cameos

I don’t know why I went into this movie not thinking there’d be more than one cameo. The characters in this movie weren’t only Batman villains, there was also a Flash villain in there too, Captain Boomerang. So first I’ll talk about the Batman cameo and to make it quick and sweet: it was dope.

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When the Bats was portrayed just right.

I mean I can only say that I love Ben Affleck as Batman so many times. He’s super good at what he does. He has the menacing look, he has the grunge, he has the anger, and I just enjoy watching him fight and interact with villains. When he deals with Harley before saving her I just went, “Yeah. Batman would do that. Batman don’t take no shit.” He just plays out the way I want an film Batman to play out. Then there was the cameo I didn’t expect, the Flash.

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His cameo was only like two seconds as he stops Captain Boomerang during a robbery and says something like, “Honor among thieves” with witty delivery, “Haha I’m the Flash, so I’m the quirky hero.” So I didn’t really have much thought about it, but I was glad to see him in cameo just to see that the Flash dealing with villains has a different spirit than Barry Allen interacting with people. I’ll take a moment to talk about the Flash and my opinion of him in the DCEU. The internet has been aflame about Ezra Miller playing as the Flash, and I don’t agree with it. Ever since watching him in Perks Of Being A Wallflower, I’ve seen him as a humorous actor with emotional depth and that’s essentially what Barry Allen is. Though he may look completely opposite of how comic book Barry Allen looks:

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As we can see neither the CW nor the DCEU executive boards can find blonde hair dye and blue contacts.

And though in the Justice League trailer his character seems to be far more awkward than what some may think Barry Allen to be, this depiction of the Flash still seems like it’ll be fun. The only problem I have with the Flash is his costume. It just looks too bulky and armor-y for my taste. I realize that it’s made to look practical for use and protection, but if Batman can wear his suit that doesn’t look all that protective, I feel as though the flash can too.

Characters

Thank squad that they actually got this right. The characters were awesome in this film. Will Smith featured in the film as Will Smith with a gun and awesome aim, but that still made for a good Deadshot. His lines were good, and he was still allowed the four Will Smith lines he’s allotted in every movie (if you want to understand what a Will Smith line is, then watch three Will Smith movies in a row and four episodes of Fresh Prince and you’ll figure it out). I enjoyed the dynamic they gave him.

Not many people appreciated Killer Croc’s characterization, I’ve experienced negative opinions while at a bar, but I enjoyed his characterization–though that’s mainly because I haven’t read comics featuring Killer Croc. He was humorous enough and that was fine in my books.

El Diablo served a good role, though I thought he could’ve had more screen time. I enjoy that he was a bad guy who wasn’t committed to being a bad guy. And kind of had to learn how to accept his role in life/ repurpose it. His story was a story of redemption and I believe, though it was rushed, it worked.

Captain Boomerang was a zany motherfucker and that was really all I needed from him.

The character that impressed me the most though was Harley. I was concerned the most about her character and how they were going to have her portrayed. They could have made her just a ditz or just crazy or just sex appeal and that might’ve been okay with some viewers or some actual nerds, but I wouldn’t have been okay with that. They made her a purposeful ditz. At the end of the day, Harley was once a psychiatrist and having once been a psychiatrist she still knows things about psychiatry. Her ditzy comments are made in order to force mood, and with every goofy or seemingly sporadic line she utters, Margot Robbie makes a gesture–a little nod to the audience that this is on purpose or that she has control on the situation. Her stupidity is obfuscated and her attitude is a persona to cover deeper emotion (and blah blah blah…I kind of got tired of this sentence because I feel as though I’m complimenting too much. Though the portrayal actually deserves this praise). I’d talk of The Joker and other characters, but they weren’t around enough. Though I’d like to say that Amanda Waller continues to scare me and it doesn’t matter what threat she faces or what situation she’s in, she’s still a terrifying person and I want her in more movies. I want her in all the movies.

Overall this movie has glaring flaws, but it’s fun. It’s a fun no-brainer movie. Go and watch. It should still be in theaters. I leave you with a “meh” video for an okay song soundtracked for an popcorn summer movie.

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