“Let’s Go Home”: Suicide Squad review.

I need to preface this with a few things.

  1. Even as an avid comic book fan, I knew next to nothing about Enchantress, Slipknot, Rick Flag and Diablo going into this. That being said, the only one that affects the movie due to this is Enchantress but we’ll get to that in a bit.
  2. I’ve been called “Biased towards Marvel” and a “Marvel Fanboy” before. I’ll be the first to say that I enjoy their movies more but it’s not because I hate DC. I love DC Comics and I want these movies to be great but it doesn’t always happen like that. That being said, I’m still holding out hope for Wonder Woman.

This film was purely insane but that’s not always a good thing, I’m going to get into some spoilery areas later but I’ll let you know before that happens. The story structure reads like someone who was kicked out of Film School but was given his one shot before he left, quick cuts and a lack of focus on any certain character ruins what could’ve been a fun story about the villains of DC coming together for a common cause. The base concept of the film is that the government needs a privatized team that can defend them from Meta Human threats and can also take the fall for anything that goes wrong. It’s basically The Dirty Dozen set in the DC world. Amanda Waller(Played by Viola Davis) is the one who is bringing the team together but right after she initially gets her crew together, a villain pops up and starts attacking everything so she brings in the worst of the worst and they’re introduced in a very stylized way. We get some background on different characters like how everyone was captured and brought to Belle Reve and what their power set and abilities are. The rest of the film is very procedural: side characters get killed off like nothing else, primary characters get kidnapped cause they’re stupid, cool characters have to say cool lines and multiple fight scenes and shootouts happen before your eyes before you realize that none of this really has any weight to it unless Robbie or Smith is on the screen or unless it’s the scene in the bar. DC and Warner brothers have this insane way of putting characters that we enjoy reading about in front of us and then somehow making us not care about what happens to them. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it and I would’ve hated this movis if it wasn’t for a few factors

  • The action does have some entertaining moments, Killer Croc and Katana who don’t speak too much shine when it comes to these scenes.
  • Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is absolutely phenomenal, she deserves a better film, a better script and a better Joker to play off of. Despite all those odds stacked against her, she’s pitch perfect and incredibly entertaining. That being said, she is overly sexualized and I always hate it when that happens to a character.
  • Will Smith was much better than I thought he would be. His Deadshot isn’t perfect but he’s still entertaining and he does fine as a leading man.
  • And most importantly…it’s still better than Batman V. Superman. That isn’t saying a lot but hey, it is still better.

So, to recap : Action’s decent, Robbie and Smith are great and it’s still better than BVS. Alright, let’s get spoilery.

Spoiler Alert(Don’t look, Ethel)

So right off the bat, Enchantress was really annoying to me. Cara Delevingne does the best she can but it’s honestly just her doing impressions of the girl from the Grudge, Gollum and Zuul the Gatekeeper. Her plan for world domination alongside her brother doesn’t really make sense and I never really knew what she was trying to accomplish. Earlier I said that not knowing much about her affected the story and I stand by that, I had no idea what her plan or goal was besides the classical: Villain wants to destroy the earth. Also, her hula dancing magical abilities were not only useless but also just stupid looking.

Rick Flag, Slipknot and Captain Boomerang are basically jokes all throughout the film, Slipknot dies after 3 scenes in the film, Flag is seriously just useless and Captain Boomerang literally does nothing. He has three or four scenes but it’s all just about him trying to run away as soon as he can.

Diablo is just sad because he could be a very interesting character but instead he hardly gets to do anything and when he does, it all seems very forced. Saying “I’ve already lost one family, I’m not losing this one” after being together for like two hours is just poor writing on Ayer’s part. He makes almost no connections to anybody except Deadshot and that’s a very small part of the film so when he gives his life to save the team, it hardly holds any weight.

But…I’ve saved the best for last, Jared Leto’s Joker is absolutely horrendous. It’s over the top when it doesn’t need to be, misrepresents the character beyond the level of Directoral/Actoral differences and becomes a metatextual joke by the end of the film. It’s like he just wanted to act really stupid instead of giving the role any level of intensity or care like it properly deserves. He wants to be a method actor like Heath Ledger so bad but it shows so much in the film that it just took me out of it entirely. Now, Leto himself has come out and said that most of his scenes were cut and that’s a heavy possibility but it doesn’t change the fact that he still filmed the scenes that were featured in the film. It wasn’t like they added things that weren’t supposed to be in there.

The film ends with Joker rescuing Harley Quinn and setting up the next Batman film with the simple line : “Let’s Go Home”…I agree, because if this is what DC can offer us in films then let’s go home and watch Marvel Studios films until they get a decent director and writer with a proper vision.

Speeding Bullets #4

As always, the “Speeding Bullet” articles are focused on talking about the latest news in the world of fandoms. Typically if I talk about breaking news then I do it on the Facebook page but sometimes, certain subjects require a few more words…this is one of those times.

The State of DC Films: Can Geoff Johns save them?

Geoff Johns is one of my favorite writers. His work is full of hopeful messages, strong heroes and brilliant villains. Johns has, throughout his entire career, thrived on reviving properties that were either forgotten or weren’t selling very well. (“Green Lantern”, “Teen Titans”, “Justice Society of America”, ETC.) Now he has to revitalize something that has taken a turn for the worst: The DC Cinematic Universe. They’ve chosen him (as Chief Creative Officer) and Jon Berg (as Executive VP) to head up production of the newly created DC Films. Furthering themselves away from Warner Brothers and becoming their own entity is something that I have wanted ever since they announced a shared universe. I think on paper it is a brilliant move and I’m hoping they can stick the landing with it. Obviously some changes have needed to happen because no matter who you are, whether you hated or kinda liked it, you have to say that Batman V. Superman had it’s fair share of problems. I’m not doing this article to bash the film, I don’t want this site to become that, but it’s so clearly the reasoning behind this shake-up that it has to be referenced.

Considering that Johns is one of my favorite writers I want to enjoy this but I have to do this with a slight bit of reticence. I always try to look at the big picture and understand what decisions have to be made before we, the public, see anything. Johns is a great choice for leading the films but as WiseSage said to me, “It’s too reactive.” I agree with him to an extent because I, too, would have preferred DC to make this decision from the beginning but obviously that wasn’t the case. Instead we have to remedy the situation that has been placed before us.┬áNaturally, WB/DC has seen the varying reactions to their film and Marvel’s “Civil War” and saw the stark contrast between their film being heralded as an apocalyptic force to the superhero genre and Marvel’s single-handedly making everyone believe in it again.

So, the question is: What can DC do to save themselves? Johns is a good start but this could create problems for their comics. Over the past few years Johns has been spread very thin over the Comics, Shows and Films and many people have deemed this to be a major issue with DC considering how certain issues with the comics or shows have only gotten worse or haven’t been fixed at all. This summer marks the premiere of “Rebirth” which is going to be a comic book event that could make or break them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for it but the more I consider it the more I see the chinks in their armor.(Be on the Lookout for WiseSage’s new article on the issues with “Rebirth” in the next few days) They have a limited number of A-List creators in their upcoming line-up and it worries me that their stories might be focused more on fixing the problems that people are complaining about and not about trying to create great stories in the first place.

I hear you already, “But Vance, isn’t fan outcry exactly what this entire article is about?” Yes, but not just for the sake of trying to please everyone. Comics, and their subsequent adaptations, are in their very nature something that is 50% based on fan appreciation and 50% on creative quality. If either one is compromised then something needs to be fixed.

In conclusion, Johns is someone that can easily turn DC around for the better. Less than 3 years ago, DC was at a new height of financial and creative power that I think they can easily return to with the right leadership.