Posts Tagged ‘ 2016 ’

Suicide Squad Review (Spoilers!)


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          I need to preface this review by saying that I am a big fan of DC. Especially their comics. However I always try to not let that affect the way I assess a movie. I just thought it was important to let everyone know my bias before starting with anything. Also if you haven’t watched the movie yet, do not read this review as it will be riddled with spoilers. Finally just wanted to say that I have watched the movie twice, so I was able to get a better perspective on it.


The Good:

Let’s start this review with some of the positive aspects of the film.

  • Harley Quinn

    Let start with the obvious one. Margot Robbie smashed her performance as Harley Quinn. She is the perfect choice for this iconic character. The direction that the character was taken throughout the movie was perfect. The most concerning aspect to me was how they would show the transformation from Harley the psychiatrist to Harley the sociopath. I think the way that they did it was really good. It gives us a lot of character depth into both Harley and The Joker. It shows us how The Joker is such a good talker and manipulator, that has always been one of his main characteristics. The Joker doesn’t have any superpowers or cool gimmick, all he has is his wits and power of persuasion. And we could see that in this film, The Joker managed to sweet talk and manipulate a PSYCHIATRIST into becoming his partner in crime. It also gave us a lot of insight into the Harley herself. We could see throughout the movie, even before her transformation that she has been missing something in her life. She wanted to fill that hole in her heart. That is perfectly where The Joker fit in and she managed to do everything in order to avoid that emptiness. I also really enjoyed that she was able to carry her own, and not need anyone else to help her out. She is actually in my eyes more fearless than The Joker himself from what I saw. This is what this movie excels at, the characters and their interactions. Everything else can go to hell. If they had put more time and effort to focus on character development it would have turned out better. But all in all, Harley Quinn was amazing and I can’t wait to see more of this character.

  • Amanda Waller

       To be fully honest, Amanda Waller was the biggest surprise of this movie. Viola Davis absolutely killed this performance. These are the type of characters that we need in these movies. One of the least generic performances in one of the most generic characters. We don’t usually see these type of characters in superhero movies. Usually they are just background characters that fill in the spots in between intense scenes. However whenever Amanda Waller was on the screen she was the one bringing the intensity. The way she commands and is able to get her way is amazing. She is somewhat of an evil/selfish Nick Fury. She wants whats good for her, no matter what the consequences are. Also that scene before she left the room she was in was jaw dropping. I literally said “Whaaaaat?” out loud while I was in the cinema. Its because you never see these things happening in these sort of films. This is a step in the right direction in my opinion, and I wish both Marvel and DC will start taking more risks with characters like Amanda Waller.

  • The Soundtrack

           This was another thing that actually surprised me. I have always been saying that superhero movies need better soundtrack. As I said with my previous article, I hold all movies with the same standard. I always take note of the soundtrack of film because it is a very important element that not many filmmakers take full advantage of. You can see so many experimentation with soundtrack and how it actually effects the film. Even lack of soundtrack like the movie “No Country for Old Men” was amazing because it actually gave more tension to the movie. So you can see how important soundtrack actually is. This is why I really liked the choice of music for this movie. In the first half of the film as the characters are being introduced each was given a very iconic song as sort of their “theme”. We saw “House of the rising sun”, “Seven Nation Army” and many many more. Not only during the introductions, throughout the entire movie we see amazing song choices based on the situations the characters are in. We see Black Sabbath during a fight scene and in another time we see Eminem as the characters are getting ready. The soundtrack just worked, and I wish that more superhero movies will pay a little more attention to the soundtrack as it actually does add an extra layer to the film that many filmmakers have not been taking advantage of.

  • Harley/Joker Relationship

            Unfortunately I am not able to include “The Joker” in this category. Because the character had a few misses and some hits as well. He was just fine, he was not mind blowing and he definitely was not a flop.  He did his part well and I feel like he will be able to shine more if he is the main villain rather than just a side character. However, what I actually thought was good was the Harley and Joker relationship. Because it is something unique and you don’t usually see it. Their relationship is such an abusive and complicated one. It goes beyond what is seen on screen. Usually in these types of movies, its just this person likes this person, gets a bit awkward, the get closer, and everyone lives happily ever after. This doesn’t happen here. On the contrary, the opposite occurs. You see a person giving away their life and their past for someone else. Doctor Harley gave up everything for The Joker. We see how much torture she was put through in order to be transformed and how messed up she had become. This is not a perfect relationship, and that’s good! I usually don’t like the forced romance that is pushed into superhero films. It seems like Hollywood has this cookie cutter style when it comes to certain aspect in blockbuster movies. However I approve of the romance in this film, because of how it pushes and develops the characters in the film. Everything in a film should be put for a reason, and I feel like this relationship between both Harley and Joker really strengthens their characters. Imagine if The Joker was not in this film at all. There would be no room for Harley Quinn to grow as a character. In conclusion, this is why I feel like we should commend DC for introducing this twisted relationship into the mainstream audience and we must try to encourage more studious to take more risks when it comes to this aspect of their films.

  • Honorable Mentions

      I’ll just go by this pretty quickly:

– Will Smith as Deadshot was surprisingly good. He did well even though I had no expectations from him. He was probably my third favorite character after Harley and Amanda.

– I liked Jai Courtney as Boomerang even though the character was pretty lame. Also I liked that Flash caught Boomerang. As comics fans know, Boomerang is a Flash villain.

– The Joker being a mob boss is an interesting idea, and I like how this Joker is radically different than the others. However still not the best. But good enough, and that’s all that matters.


The Bad:

             Oh boy, here we go. Just bear in mind this isn’t the worst of the worst. If you know what I am trying to do there will be another section called “The Ugly”. So strap on to your seat belts, because we will start listing all the bad stuff about this film.

  • The Editing

          Holy crap did I have a lot of issues with the editing in this film, while I did enjoy the way they introduced the characters, which sort of reminded me of Scott Pilgrim, I hated everything else about the editing in this movie. You could see that there was a lot of meddling going into this movie. It seemed like two people were arguing as to what they wanted and they couldn’t each have their own way, so they just meshed up the two. The editing was really choppy and felt really uncomfortable. It had no smoothness to it, like it was just like scene, cut awkwardly to another awkward scene quickly so that no one would notice. It really bugged me out throughout the movie. And after watching it the second time I actually noticed it more. It seemed to be more prevalent in the final third act of the movie. With that being said, I feel like David Ayer was pushed into a corner and had no choice but to accept some of the changes that Warner Bros wanted to make. This in turn lead us to having this bad editing plague the final cut of the movie.

  • Generic Tropes

        This is something which I always seem to criticize when it comes to these action blockbuster movies. It seems that Hollywood feels like we have to stick to a certain formula when it comes to these type of movies or it wont work. It is always the same thing over and over again. I remember just last week going to see the new Jason Bourne film and a quarter of the way through the movie my friend leans over and tells me “I’ve seen this movie before”. Because that’s how it is nowadays. All movies seem to have these constants that you cannot change and then you can just wiggle around with the variables that you are given. A great example of this when it comes to superhero movies was given by a reviewer at hitfix.com by the name of Drew Mcweeny. He talks about the “glowing doodad”. Whether it be the Tesseract from Marvel or the Enchantress’ heart in Suicide Squad. There seems to always be this glowing thing that comes from outer space or another world that allows the heroes to defeat these incredible villains. It is boring, and it is so repetitive. We are sick of following the same tropes with every film. Likewise, it always seems like superheroes are going towards a huge portal or some alien flashy lights in the middle of the city that is a threat to the entire world. Why can’t the conflict just be between the villain and the hero. Why does every villain just want to go after the entire world. Why can’t it be like Civil War where he tries to cause struggle internally, or The Joker from The Dark Knight where he wanted to make a point, that even the most honest and perfect man (Harvey Dent) can turn evil. These villains were so well made, which is why those movies were good. They had a point and good direction to go to. Whereas if you just see a huge non-human entity in the middle of the city with a big portal in the sky trying to take over the world. There is nothing to that, no story, no arc, you can’t do anything new with it. Which is why I am hoping, and praying that Wonder Woman and Justice League will move away from these awful generic tropes and try to bring something new to the table.


The Ugly:

             Now, what I mentioned above was bad, but it wasn’t the worst of the worst when it comes to this movie unfortunately. It saddens me that these aspects ruined the movie, because if these aspects were done well, this movie would have been great.

  • Cringe

          The thing that I hate seeing in any movie. Cringe can ruin any experience for me. It ruined my experience with the season finale of Mr.Robot for example. It just leaves a sour taste in your mouth as you are watching the movie. Now obviously this does not apply to everyone, some people really don’t care about this at all and sometimes don’t even notice it. However I just can’t let it go. Even after expecting those cringey moments during my second viewing of the movie, it still annoyed me whenever they came up. A lot of these cringe scenes had to do with the forced in one-liners that were added later on in the production of the movie. I felt like they did not fit in at all and they seemed very out of place in the context of the movie as well. Another main cringe factor for me was Captain Rick Flag. I could not take him serious at all. Even as the movie was in it’s climax he turns to Will Smith in the most awkward of ways and screams “HER HEART IS OUT, WE GOTTA SHOOT IT”. I really hated that scene. His entire character annoyed me to be honest and I don’t think he was cast well. He was the only bad casting decision in my eyes. That wasn’t the only cringe factor in the movie. Some came from The Joker actually. I hated the smile tattoo that he had on his hand. It looked so silly and out of place. With this version of the Joker he seems so intimidating and scary, kind of like a mob boss. However when he puts that hand tattoo on his face and laughs, it just makes me want to laugh at how silly it is. It doesn’t fit with what the character is meant to do. In conclusion, I did not like the cheesiness of the movie, it seemed forced and out of place. I would’ve preferred if they had let Ayer stick to his vision of the movie and having it have a very dark and serious tone, as I feel it would fit well with the whole concept of the movie of bad guys being brought in to do an impossible mission.

  •  Structure/Plot

        This was also another main issue that everyone seems to agree upon. The structure of this movie was so messy. Jumping around everywhere just confused everyone. Especially after cutting so many Joker scenes, it made the movie even messier. Half of the time we are just following these guys and we don’t even know what the hell is going on. There is no clear direction with the film. Everyone is riding the wave and seeing where it leads us. I don’t appreciate this at all. The thing is, I really do believe that somewhere in this movie, there is an excellent film. It just needs to be rearranged in some way in order to get that sweet spot. However as is, it is not doing the film justice. The first half was really all over the place moving from flashbacks to the pentagon to the prison to joker and it just keeps on moving on and on. They seemed to want to put the origin story for every freaking character when it wasn’t necessary. There should have just been a big focus on deadshot, Harley and The Joker. We didn’t need to see Katana killing up mafia men and “avenging” her dead husband. It was unnecessary. I don’t know what should have been done to be honest. But it isn’t this. There needed to be some more thought into how the audience would think of what the characters were doing. Hopefully the next few DC movies really lock down their structure and avoid any future meddling in any of the finished products.

  • The Final Fight/Climax

          There is one word to describe the last fight and it is “Unsatisfying”. That’s all that it is. Whenever you have a superhero movie, you are waiting for the final spectacle battle that is bound to happen. When thinking of the main villain you have to keep on mind the power level of the villain when compared to the heroes. Of course you don’t want to make the villain too weak for the battle to be over quickly and you don’t want to make him too overpowered. You have to find a balance. Also you have to choose the appropriate villain for the appropriate hero. They both go hand in hand, one needs the other. Batman has the Joker, one is about justice and peace the other is about anarchy. The Flash and Captain Cold, one nullifies the others powers. These are examples of good villains that provide an interesting dynamic when it comes to the struggle between hero and villain. In this movie however, the choice that was made was so bad. When you have a villain like the Enchantress and her brother against people with pistols, baseball bats, swords and metal boomerangs, its not much of a fight is it. Nothing happened, Harley takes a swing and gets thrown to the side, Boomerang throws something and gets thrown. No one can do anything against them. This limits what you can do with the fight. All they were able to do was bring Diablo into the fight because of his powers. Which ended up being very lame due to his stupid looking “Super Form”. The fight had nothing to it, and felt very disappointing for the viewer. When you have BvS which I criticized for including Doomsday. At least with that fight there was something going on. All three heroes could do something against Doomsday. This gave us a nice battle that satisfies the viewer. When you compare that to Suicide Squad, its like night and day. It was boring, no room for choreography and also a very lame way to end it all. I just wish they had chosen a better villain. The choice of villain is as important and sometimes even more important than the choice of hero. Because the whole plot has to revolve around the actions of the villain. This is why The Dark Knight was so good, the actions of the Villain made sense in the realm of the film. All in all, it was a poor villain choice which lead to a poor and unsatisfying climax of the film.


Final Thoughts

         This movie really made me sad. I wanted it to be so good. My score actually went up after my second viewing of the movie but not by a lot, which you will see below. I love the comics that DC produce, and I just want that to be reciprocated onto the big screen. I know that there is a good movie in between all the bad choices that were made. I also know that David Ayer was forced into a corner when it comes to the decisions that were made regarding the overall tone of the film. I feel like in order for the DCEU to succeed we need to just give full creative control to the director himself. Except for Zack Snyder, I wish they would stop using him. One thing is for sure, which was proven again in this film. Batman is being done right. Ben Affleck has proven that he is one of the best versions of Batman we have ever seen put on the big screen. This character is DC’s greatest asset and I am positive that the film that Affleck is writing and directing will knock everyone’s socks off. Till that time, we just have to hope and wish that Wonder Woman and Justice League will be good.

Verdict 5.9~6.1/10