My Hot Take On The Suicide Squad
August 30th, 2016
Yes…yes…I know, I’m very late to the party, but I finally went to see Suicide Squad last night, and as always I have something to say about it.
Let’s start with the budget. I finally understood why this movie had to make so much money to break even from the initial investment. One word: soundtrack. The music in this movie is definitely a major component, almost another member of the cast, but it must have been quite expensive to license. Especially during the first half, when each character is introduced, every member of the squad get to have his/her own personal song1.
As I said, the best part of it, it’s not just the music per se, but the way in which a specific track is juxtaposed to the images on the screen. It very well conveys their characteristic and help amplify the personalities of the members of the Suicide Squad.
The movie itself follows a pretty standard plot line:
A. Humans discover alien/metahuman powers
B. Humans try to control them
C. The alien/metahuman power rebels against humans
D. Humans enlist team with superhuman abilities to kill/destroy/enslave the rogue alien/metahuman power
E. The superhuman team wins
F. Humanity survives
Stop me if you have seen this plot line already. In recent years it has become pretty much the default archetype for comic book movies, each with their own slightly different take, but all ultimately can be boiled down to the outline above.
In this specific take on the plot line, the initial mess is created while Humans are trying to protect themselves against new alien/superhumans threats after the demise of Superman in the previous chapter of the DC Cinematic Universe, the equally critically-bashed Batman v Superman. Compared to that, Suicide Squad comes out on top if you ask me.
Batman v Superman has many problems, but the biggest is portraying the characters for what they are not2. Suicide Squad has certainly the problem of introducing way too many figures in a very short period of time. Sometimes way to short to even question the usefulness of the appearance3. What I like about the ensemble is the fact that is clear they are mercenaries with the only objective to comply to the government request in order to gain something at the end. So even the critics that said the cast doesn’t interact well seems without foundation to me. They don’t interact because their characters don’t like to interact with anybody else. From their personal introductions it’s clearly explained how they all are usually working alone.
The only exception to this is Harley Quinn. We learn her origin story and we know how close she is with the Joker. So it’s not surprising that in her craziness she’s the only one giving apparently trying to create ties with the other members of the band. Also I’d like to give a shoutout to Margot Robbie. Her Harley Quinn is absolutely great and the highlight of the group in this movie. Of all the performances hers is the most believable, distantly followed by Will Smith and his Deadshot.
On the villain side of things, I like how the enchantress was portrayed by Cara Delevingne. Mostly the CGI on her was really good as she didn’t have that many lines over the movie. It won’t go down in history as the best villain of all times, but surely she’s not the worst we’ve ever seen.
Before closing, let’s spend few words on four characters that left a mark on the movie for good or bad.
The Joker: Jared Leto does an sub-par job with this character. He doesn’t come across as strong as he should and I felt like many of the visual clues about him and his henchmen were a plagiarised version of the ones seen in Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Amanda Waller: she’s the one coming up with the ideas of the Task Force X. I liked a lot how Viola David portrayed the character, being true to her comic book origin: tough, zero-compromises, very much always in control even when things go south quite badly.
Rick Flag: he’s the tough military guy in charge of guiding the Task Force X on the field. He does an ok job with it, but I was never fully convinced by Joel Kinnaman’s acting. He never seemed well integrated into the movie as all the other characters.
The Flash: I left the worst for last. Since The Flash is set to appear in the upcoming Justice League movie, it seemed appropriate to the director David Ayer to have him doing a 5 seconds cameo while catching the baddie Boomerang. Of course there’s nothing we can say about the performance, but there’s plenty we can say about how The Flash will look like. It’s all wrong. Like completely wrong. First, he looks like he has a mechanical suit. When I saw him he reminded me of a light version of the Iron Man suit, and we all know that that’s not what The Flash wears. But most importantly his light streak was blue! Yes you read it right, the light streak was blue! Since when that’s a thing? The light is only yellow-orange. Red is the Reverse Flash and blue is Zoom. They still have time to change this, and I really hope they do, because otherwise The Flash will be doomed before even trying to get our approval4.
So, what’s my final judgement on this movie? It’s definitely better than Batman v Superman thanks to the slightly lighter tone; better than the portrayal given by the critics; still nowhere near the level of polishing achieved by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Almost as if we were witnessing the entrance of difference wrestlers in a WWE arena. ↩
- Batman killing people like if it was normal for him. ↩
- Sorry Slipknot fans. ↩
- I’m not even sure if the Ezra Miller version on the big screen will be able to rival the Grant Gustin version curretly on the CW TV network. ↩