Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

I was expecting something worse than BvS, but holy shit, this was fucking awful. I know it's all been said before, but Suicide Squad represents just how big of a disaster DC and WB are when it comes to putting together a superhero movie. Top to bottom, the film is a total clusterfuck of confusion and superficial storytelling. If it wasn't for the myriad of youtube analyses and derisive articles already permeating the web, I would love to sink my teeth into the wrongness of every scene of this. I'll try to be quick, though (no promises).

First, the film's very foundation is flawed. On one level, you have DC/WB straining to have their own Guardians of the Galaxy — a team movie of mostly unknown characters who become unconventional heroes. But they want to be "gritty" (so everyone constantly refers to how "bad" the squad members are). But they also want a PG-13 (so no one's does anything all that disturbing or offensive). But they also want to be kind of fun and lighthearted (so they include a fuck ton of popular songs to make things seem more exciting and flavorful than they actually are). But they also don't have any confidence in their C-team ensemble drawing a crowd (so they shoehorn in the Joker to mug for the trailer every once in a while). There's a whole lot of conflict in these intentions.

Then, there's the team itself, which is bloated beyond reason. Deadshot and Harley Quinn take center stage and pretty much everyone else becomes window dressing. Captain Boomerang is the closest thing to a "lovable shithead" that they have, but he doesn't get enough to do. Killer Croc stands in the background and looks menacing before he gets to swim underwater near the climax. Diablo gets a tragic backstory but has the most predictable arc. Katana is a throwaway last-minute addition who didn't need to be there and Slipknot is a fucking joke. "He can climb anything." Are you shitting me???

Then there's the mission, which is poorly thought out. I couldn't find a single good reason why resorting to this group of criminals to solve this problem made more sense than, I don't know, ANYTHING ELSE. When things start to go wrong and the people in charge realize their mistakes, you can't help but say "Duh."

Then there's the villain, whose storyline is consistently bewildering. So, a woman goes into an ancient temple, finds some old statue/charm and immediately snaps its head off intentionally, releasing an evil, magical spirit? And apparently she can go from normal to possessed and vice versa without warning? And the military powers in control of her don't have her locked up and subdued at all times? And she falls in love with a soldier for reasons that are never explained? WTF to all of that. The Enchantress looks ridiculous. She sounds ridiculous. And her romantic subplot w/ Joel Kinnaman's charcater (which becomes a major part of the story later on) is hard to take seriously.

I can't take any of these characters seriously because none of them are properly developed. As has been widely talked about, most of the backstories amount to what are essentially individual trailers for each person. They give us the basic details and are cut like drawn-out advertisements. This montage takes up the first 25 minutes of the film, after which, the action begins almost immediately.

And this is another thing. This movie is missing a second act. About 40 minutes in, I genuinely thought that I'd accidentally hit fast-forward on the remote, because it felt like the third act was suddenly getting started. The last hour and a half of the film is a bunch of loosely-structured events, most of them having very little weight. The Suicide Squad wanders around town, bickering with Kinnaman every once in a while and fighting off a bunch of boring enemy minion hordes in the dark (and of course they're faceless non-human beings so the studio can get away with a lower rating).

I've got to cut myself off or I swear I'm going to be here all night. It's almost morning here and I'm wasting time that could be spent sleeping writing about Suicide Squad. FUCK. Okay, so real quick:

- The needledrops in this movie are beyond obnoxious and excessive.

- Will Smith should not try to play bad guys. His character's reversal isn't earned and I never bought him as a real "villain."

- The writing (and I'm talking about the dialogue this time) is among the worst of the year. Exhibit A: Will Smith confronting The Enchantress at the climax of the film "Lady, you are EVIL!"
(One of many times in which someone explicitly spells out the already obvious demeanor of another character)

- Jared Leto and Margot Robbie are horrible. I've liked them both in other things, but what happened here? Leto is way over the top (and not in the way that the joker typically is) and Robbie's Brooklyn accent comes and goes almost as unpredictably as her character's apparent insanity (which is occasionally replaced by a sudden rationality when the script needs a serious voice)

Watching this with my brother tonight, I lost track of how many times we paused the film to rant about how terrible it was. I lost track of how many times I rolled my eyes, of how many times I exclaimed in frustration "This is SO BAD!" I also lost track of how many times we replayed Slipknot's hilariously tacked-on intro.

DC better get its shit together, because this is embarrassing. Ugly-looking. Lazily slapped together and then frantically, incoherently re-assembled. Characters that are either cliched or hollow. Derivative. And most of all, desperate to a pitiful degree.

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