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So ends the Summer of 2016 with the release of The Suicide Squad, and with one more, ‘highly anticipated’ comic book film to go (Doctor Strange), we are almost at the end of another up and down year for superhero films. So how was the Suicide Squad film? It definitely wasn’t a 33% (as of this writing) as Rotten Tomatoes had rated it (to much consternation), but it wasn’t epic either. Here are some highs and lows as we saw it.
Disclaimer: I am more of a MARVEL comic book fan/reader than DC, so although my background on the Suicide Squad and the members on the roster is limited, I have seen A LOT of comic book films (all of them in fact) and I have at least a rudimentary familiarity with the characters. So with that….LET’S MOVE FORWARD shall we?
When a powerful and destructive force threatens to wipe out the city and wreak havoc across the planet, a U.S. Government Intelligence Officer, Amanda Walker, decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains to deal with the problem. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals through trial and error, eventually unite to fight, while the diabolical Joker (played by Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.
Full disclosure, I did see the dismal score Rotten Tomatoes gave the Suicide Squad film the week prior to its release, although I did not read any of the critic comments. I also did not pay much attention to the early reviews coming out over the last several days.
I LIKED IT.
As I do with all comic book films, despite the reviews (good, bad or abysmal…ahem…Fantastic Four), I always go in with an open mind and low expectations. I’m not there to see how closely the film resembles the comic, or how close the characters look and act compared to their comic book dopplegangers. I’m there to be entertained, see some good acting and an even better story. THAT’S IT!
Fans that go into these films expecting to see a carbon copy story straight from the comics will be disappointed 10 out of 10 times. By now, if you’ve been going to these films over the years, you should BY NOW, NOT expect to see those sorts of things.
In any case, I liked it. I enjoyed the BRIEF reveal from Amanda Waller on some of the Suicide Squad members, as to how they were caught and incarcerated to begin with. Let’s just say we get to see a couple MAJOR Justice League supers here.
I like several of the characters and thought the actors that portrayed them did outstanding, although there were others I wasn’t so ‘impressed with’ and in fact one that totally annoyed me throughout, but again, this was just my PERSONAL opinion.
The action came in spurts, but only after a somewhat lengthy INTRO of the most of the characters, Amanda Waller, the government’s plan for these bad guys, and a few other items. ALL OF WHICH was absolutely fine! Some people tire of the seemingly needless and unnecessary banter and want things to go from 0 to 60 in action almost at the get-go which to me isn’t good story telling. Let things build, give us some understanding of the characters (especially for the non-comic book reading portion of the audience), then bring it all together, so that we’re fully vested and engaged.
It wasn’t all sunshine and flowers though, and several characters and parts of the film I didn’t care for. There were members of the team that belong on this particular ‘mission’ the squad was sent on, so that seemed far fetched. there were moments in the film where some things and actions seemed out of place and so the whole part felt weird and incorrect? Some of the dialog and interactions also seemed dumb. What specifically?
Joker and Harley
I realize there is something ‘between’ these two, but my understanding was that Harley was pretty infatuated with Joker and not BOTH of them madly in love with each other? There were moments where Joker showed a side of himself which I was not accustomed to and so it seemed weird and out of character. Again, with not a lot of background knowledge of these two I could be wrong, and maybe I compare too much with Heath Ledger’s Joker (DISCLAIMER – my FAVORITE Joker role ever!), but it turned me off and I hated every moment between these two.
Suicide Squad Roster
For this particular mission, seeing members like Harley, Boomerang, and slipknot on the roster seemed pointless. They are regular folk with no real abilities and seemed of little to no use. The same can be said of Deadshot, but then again, he ends up proving his worth at one particular and very cool moment in the Suicide Squad film. Yes, I understand that technically these individuals are on the Suicide Squad roster in the comics, but it seemed pointless for them to be involved with this specific dilemma – my two cents anyways.
I think the only reason they had Joker in the film was to add some recognized villainy to the cast. Everyone knows or is familiar with the Joker, so having him in the film would definitely help to draw in audiences, but I saw no reason why he had to be involved with the movie.
But on to the cast. With films like this, which revolve around the cast and members of the team, you can’t help but to come out of the theaters with favorite and not-so-favorite characters. Well, I’m no different…
|Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis was as ruthless and unforgiving as I pictured her to be. Could definitely be a recurring role I would love to see in the DC Universe. One could argue that Waller was worse than the inmates who worked for her after seeing her performance here.|
|Will Smith as Deadshot nailed it. His dialogue and demeanor were great, his portrayal as a ruthlessly accurate hitman and assassin was fun to watch and even the enduring love he held to firmly throughout the entire film for his daughter seemed to play out realistically well. Deadshot was definitely the break out performance of the show.|
|The Enchantress played by Cara Delevingne was amazing. This was maybe moreso attributed to the wonderfully done effects that accompanied the Enchantress every time she used her abilities. Just mouth agape at how cool she was here in the film.|
|Jay Hernandez played the remorseful yet convincingly regretful Diablo who was probably the strongest of the team, able to belch flames from his hands and perform other more powerful abilities.|
Unfortunately there were also some characters/performances I wasn’t fond of and as it turns out they come from two of the most anticipated roles in the Suicide Squad film…
|Definitely one of the more anticipated characters to hit the screen among her massive fan base - Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie had high expectations that didn't deliver - at least for this moviegoer. I found the character annoying, not funny and not needed. What can I say, I've never really been a Harley fan in the comics so maybe there's that?|
|I like actor Jared Leto, I didn't like his portrayal of the iconic Batman villain The Joker. Whether his performance was drawn from some abscure version of Joker in one of the many Batman comic runs or just made up for this film, I didn't care for it.|
The movie was entertaining, the action was good and even the slower scenes were still enjoyable to watch. There wasn’t a moment in the film, when I became disengaged, bored or regretting spending $8 to see. How does it rate against comic book films released this year? That is your own opinion. I know where I would rate it, but that is a discussion for another day.
In closing, I will state that it easily surpasses the piss poor score that Rotten Tomatoes saw fit to bestow upon it, and although it’s no where near greats like Captain America: Winter Soldier or Guardians of the Galaxy, it does hold its own in the DC Comics staple of films released thus far.
Again, just a personal opinion, I would love to hear if you liked it or not and why below if you find the time. As with all things please be civil.
‘Suicide Squad’ sets August opening record with $135.1M. So much for a shitty film eh Rotten Tomatoes? Even if it does falter in the weeks ahead, $135m for a weekend opening is no peanuts.