The concept of a renaissance is a strong one. The idea of new ideas, inventions and standards is a wonderful and powerful thing. For comic books and comic book movie adaptations, this has been the case since 2008’s massive unveiling of Ironman. Marvel has since brought out several movies that were not only major box office hits, but many of the critics agreed that they have hit the appropriate sweet spots. DC on the other side of the coin, has taken it’s time, formulating how to match its eternal rival. It planned to wow us with not one, but two huge blockbusters. Its first outing, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was a messy affair, and it left me leaving a theater thankful that I wasn’t the one who paid money for my place there. With an initial sour taste in my mouth, I tried to go into my second inning with an open mind and a bag of popcorn for Suicide Squad. What I experienced was….well…it was something.
Taking place immediately after the events of BvS, Suicide Squad takes a group of Villains and attempts to use them for the security of the United States. A group led by a generic “Best soldier ever trained by U.S. Forces”, and a decent chunk of Batman’s Rouge Gallery. The plot is essentially that something goes wrong, and the squad must stop it all costs. That’s it. Nothing crazy. Nothing that fleshes out the universe further other than brief mentions of whether the villain is from Batman’s usual cast or somewhere else. There’s a sense that the world could end…..but it also just feels like they have to fight because there’s a giant vortex of what looks like magic BS.
So with a rather standard premise for a “Rag Tag takes on the big bad”, how Suicidal is the Squad? The talent here is considerable….and considerably under used. We’ll start with Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller…..She is the physical manifestation of what DC has built for years. Davis’ conviction for this role is to be commended. Dead Shot played by Will Smith is the character and then some, he doesn’t miss his target (do you see what i did there?). Played as a man who does bad things to provide a good future for his daughter, is an excellent performance that I feel Smith has been missing for a while. Next is Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. She nails the physical aspect and mannerisms I expect, but there’s something not right and it’s not her mental state. As for the rest….Well casted but they are not as utilized as much as I wished. Why’d they even bother with Captain Boomerang? He added NOTHING to this except making snide comments that weren’t even clever. The biggest disappointment was Jared Leto’s Joker. Leto, who won an academy award before Leonardo DeCaprio did, is the biggest let down by far. Supposedly, there was A LOT more of him in this movie that was cut. If I have to watch an uncut version of the movie to see if he was actually a good Joker but poor editing made him that way then I’ll cut my losses on that one.
The editing in this film is another big issue. I saw this movie with fellow CFG KiyoD and we noticed the same thing…The editing is horrendous. Some scenes of quick transitions that are not only poorly done, they do not make sense. Some jolts from one view to another are jarring because of how unnecessary they are. Many of the action shots are simply too close to know what’s going on. This is unfortunate since the practical effects are damn brilliant. Oh and not just scene to scene cuts suffer here, the sound editing is sloppier than a grade school cafeteria on Sloppy Joe Day. This is a shame because some of the foley work here is top notch. But when you have to show your might as a music company in a superhero movie I question your priorities. The music is bombastic AND frequent. It’s kay to have an eclectic sound track…but don’t do it while people are talking.
Actually, less talking may have been warranted in places because the script is AWFUL. Punchlines have no lead up to them and the potential for great banter between outcasts and crooks is wasted. The humor is dry, flavorless. I can’t even start on The Joker and Harley’s dialogue because it would be too long to put in a review. Weak dialogue can sometimes be forgiven if there’s a good story at the bone, but it may as well be rubber.
DESPITE all of that…I didn’t hate this movie like I did with Man of Steel and BvS. There was some enjoyment here. The good stuff is realllly good, the bad stuff is in equilibrium. I think Warner Bros and DC really need to look closely at what they do with future films or they will be left in the dust.