Aug 13, 2016

Suicide Squad: As Bad as the Reviews Say?

This summer has been frustrating, movie-wise. Every time I wanted to see something, it got crushing reviews and I decided to wait for the next one. I'd been looking forwards to Suicide Squad for months, and I liked the trailers. Then the reviews started coming in.

Oh boy. Not another one.

My first reaction was disbelief: how could anyone screw up such a great premise? In the end I decided to see the movie anyway, because I really wanted to see Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. She didn't disappoint: Harley was the best thing about the movie for me. I also liked Will Smith as Deadshot. I know people haven't loved Leto's Joker, but he actually didn't bother me. But yeah, the movie, while not the unwatchable train wreck some reviews would have you believe, was a mess.

I actually liked the origin stories, but they felt all too brief; there just wasn't enough movie to give them the time they deserved. Each of them could have been a movie of its own. On a related note,  the movie had way too many characters. It would have been much better if they had dropped the boring ones (rope-guy, boomerang-guy, and Katana come to mind) and focused on five or six main characters. Another problem was the villain. Just a cardboard-cutout Evil Temptress out to destroy the world, just because. I also hated her alter ego, the spineless archeologist who mostly just had crying fits and waited for Big Strong Soldierboy to save her. And the plot! So by-the-numbers, like they didn't put any thought into it. They completely wasted Joker as a character, none of the character motivations felt real, most of the time we had no idea about character goals or what was at stake. Waller as a character feels inconsistent, and even her plan to assemble the suicide squad isn't really explained. Why did she decide to go for the criminals when there are heroes available? And where were Batman and Wonder Woman and the Flash while the Enchantress was doing her thing?

This could have been a great movie, if they had given it half a chance. So much potential, wasted.

My verdict? If you really like Harley, maybe check this movie out, but otherwise just go watch Deadpool again.

What would I like to see next?  What about a buddy movie where Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy paint the town red? Okay, Deadshot can come; I liked Deadshot. Maybe they could flip around that scene where everyone is ogling Harley while she's changing? For the record, I didn't have a problem with Harley's costume. Let her wear glitter hot pants if she wants, I think she totally would, but maybe subvert audience expectations once in a while?


  1. I saw it yesterday, because the lady I went with chose it from the multiplex, a plea that has a grand looking floor-wide expanse of stairs. Stupid, because they need a little box elevator to get wheel chairs up the three meter rise.

    Because she needed the toilet part way through, we avoided lots of action, from rescuing "they were expecting Nelson Mandela" to the part where—I forget, more forgettable action. So for us it was good. Also good was that silly elevator jammed both going up and down, so we lost action time at the movie, and—Normally I'm a shy star trek fan (not really) but all the heroic action got me pumped up to ask for a ticket refund. And we got two free ticket-passes!

    As for Walker, I liked her unlikely character: "Are you the devil?" asks Harley. "I could be."

    I liked your review. As for number of characters, I often tell people there's a good reason why the original Enterprise transporter room had only six spots.

  2. Yes, I think six main characters is plenty:)

    I love Star Trek: TOS, but I'm probably one of the few people who didn't like the remakes. It's just not my Star Trek, but something else entirely. It belongs to the next generation, I guess. I was so disappointed by ST:Into Darkness that I didn't even go see the newest film. I think the reboots had similar problems to Suicide Squad (and so many other movies): too much action, not enough character development, and an overly twisty plot. Maybe it reflects the world we live in? You can't just watch TV anymore, you have to check Facebook, browse the news, and write a few tweets as you do. Do the filmmakers think that moviegoers will be bored if there are slow parts? The pacing feels wrong to me. We have action scene after action scene, but where are all the sequels?

  3. Yes, it bothers me too. I hope others think the same as we do. Even as a child I knew that, how ever much I loved the phaser pistols shooting things, too much would be bad for the show, like how too much icing is bad for the cake, or too much action is bad for the movie.

    Come to think of it, I liked how the first two Terminator movies both managed to avoid having too much action.
    In the paperback version of T2 by Randall Frakes you don't learn until page 95 that the "resistance fighter" is a robot. This resolves the many pages of tension as to why you don't see the good guy harmlessly tying up a policeman to take his uniform. But today with tablet media someone is sure to leak the robot's true identity, before the movie even opens. It's as if people can't handle boredom and can't handle suspense either.

    It's strange how even though I am a book lover, I have taught myself to do without books in public—while non nerds can't seem to ride a bus or walk a river path without devices. It's a pity.

    As a writer I don't dare have a TV, so I can't advise on any good shows, but I did enjoy seeing all of Lucifer season one at someone else's house every Monday. There is a good Youtube of him singing sinner man. The piano Youtube of him and a priest is nice. Any other Youtube clips give away too much.


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