Okay, before you say anything, I
know I’m being ridiculous. I watched this hideous mess of a movie three weeks ago. So why am I posting about it now?
Well apparently, Suicide Squad is still doing pretty well. As in, it’s consistently been at the top of the box office.
Guys. Do you want studios to keep pumping out shitty movies? Because this is how you get studios to keep pumping out shitty movies.
And yes, I know I’m part of the problem too. I went and paid to see this crowded, contrived, clusterfuck of a film and I regret it. I’m urging you to not make the same mistake I did.
Now, you could say that I’m overreacting. And sure, I am. A little.
But I think that if you really want a DC movie that is actually “good,” rather than, “eh, it had some good parts,” then we need more people to overreact to this.
(I mean DC movie within the context of the developing DC Cinematic Universe. Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is amazing and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s turn as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin is inspired.)
Okay, so here are some spoiler-free reasons why you should illegally torrent Suicide Squad instead of spending eleven bucks on it.
- It looks like crap.
As in, it literally looks like someone smeared a fine layer of feces over two thirds of the film.
See, I think the reason a lot of people go to see movies in the theaters because of the spectacle, the huge set pieces, the explosive, colorful images that you just can’t fully appreciate from your laptop screen. And that’s probably why I enjoyed Batman vs. Superman so much. All of the DC movies seem to have a shitty Instagram filter on it to make it darker for some reason, but it wasn’t bad in Batman vs. Superman. Cinematography and the fight choreography were spot on and that made the movie worth seeing in theaters, despite the rather lackluster plot.
But Suicide Squad? If you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve already seen every memorable shot in the movie. The first act of the movie shows some promise, with some bright colors and a bit of liveliness. And then for the rest of the movie, it’s like someone threw dirt on all of the cameras. It makes the action hard to see and kind of boring. Not to mention there’s nobody on the team that can do anything really flashy. Which brings me to my next point.
- The characters are inappropriate.
And I don’t mean that they’re vulgar because they’re not. Which, now that I think about it, is really strange considering they’re all supposed to be terrible people. You’re telling me that an Australian criminal wouldn’t be saying “cunt” all the fucking time? C’mon, talk about unrealistic.
Hurrah for PG-13.
What I mean by inappropriate is that the main threat is extremely disproportionate to the power levels of the squad. I won’t spoil who the baddie is, but Viola Davis’ character literally says that this person is so powerful they could possibly even take down Superman. Anyone who knows anything about Superman would know that’s unreasonably strong.
But okay, let’s accept that. Who’s going to be in the team to defeat this terrible being?
Harley Quinn, a crazy, yet completely human woman who fights with a baseball bat and is also a huge liability since the Joker is sure to come for her. Captain Boomerang, a jewel thief that likes boomerangs. Slipknot, who can climb stuff. Katana, a Japanese stereotype. Deadshot, who I guess has the superpower of accuracy. Killer Croc, who is strong and can swim really well. Eats people too. And El Diablo, a walking flamethrower.
Whoever decided these are the people to recruit in case of a world-ending event should be fired immediately.
Look, I don’t mind a gap in power levels as long as the lesser has a trump card that is also believable. In Batman vs Superman, Superman clearly states that he could’ve killed Batman immediately if he really wanted to. Which is true. But Superman held back for various reasons and that allowed Batman to catch him off guard with kryptonite and make the fight much more even. Whatever you think of the movie, at least they made an attempt to address the monstrous gap in power level.
Suicide Squad makes no such attempt. There’s absolutely no reason the main villain couldn’t have wiped the floor with these jokers in 10 seconds flat. It made the final battle feel empty and completely devoid of tension. Also, going back to my comment about nobody being able to do anything fancy, only El Diablo can do anything besides punch or stab or shoot. It limits what you can do in terms of fight choreography, so on top of having no tension, it’s not even fun to watch. It’s fucking boring.
- The apocalypse is cancelled…again.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, the bad guy’s plan in this movie is world destruction. How…original.
I’m not saying that end-of-the-world scenarios are inherently bad, as cliched as they may be. They just don’t work when you’re trying to build a cinematic universe.
Standalone movies are great for apocalyptic situations because even if you kind of know that the good guys will win, it feels more real. Major characters can die and the win can come at great cost, so there’s still that tension in the air.
But when you’re starting to build a cinematic universe that has a dozen movies planned and you’re only on the third movie, which doesn’t even involve the major players in the universe in a meaningful way, it just isn’t believable when you say the world is going to end. Especially when both the Flash and Batman make a cameo and then they don’t do anything to stop the laser in the sky that could potentially kill everybody. So that, coupled with the underpowered characters, makes the movie deflate and become listless. And fucking boring.
- Nobody talks like that.
So one of the very few good things about this movie was the acting. Will Smith, Viola Davis, and Margot Robbie gave good performances. Jai Courtney and Jay Hernandez did okay with what they had. It’s hard to judge Jared Leto’s performance because he was barely in the movie, but I thought it was decent.
However, no amount of fantastic acting can overcome terrible writing. I’m not even talking about the plot, which I think I pretty much covered already. I’m talking about how the dialogue in this movie was flat out cringe-worthy.
You could blame part of that on the insistence of the studio to keep the movie PG-13, but even after taking that into account, the dialogue is incredibly stilted and contrived. It speaks to Will Smith’s charisma that he was able to pull off half the lines he was given without sounding like a complete idiot. It also helped that he got the most screentime and was allowed some backstory to his character.
Margot Robbie also had a lot of screentime and she did her best to make Harley Quinn’s signature quips and bad jokes land. There were a few instances where it worked, but a lot of it fell flat. This, I blame not only the writing, but the editing. Which brings me to my next point.
- Humor is all about timing. So are relevant blog posts, but whatever.
A lot of Harley Quinn’s lines are meant to be funny. For something to be funny, you absolutely have to get the timing right. You can’t just throw out punchlines willy-nilly; the initial set up is crucial for the payoff to be satisfying.
Yeah, Suicide Squad did none of that shit.
There were so many scenes of Harley Quinn making psychopathic-but-still-playful remarks that were haphazardly spliced into random points in the movie. It was all punchline with no real set up and it made the jokes sound incredibly forced.
This isn’t limited to just Harley Quinn and her antics either. The editing throughout the whole movie was so jarring, I couldn’t immerse myself in the story at all. The first half of the movie just felt like a long trailer.
Having never studied film theory or anything like that, I never thought I could tell the difference between good editing and bad editing. And I can’t. But I can spot really really bad editing quite well.
Okay, I think this will have to do for now. I could go on and on about all the problems in this movie, but I told myself I would keep this spoiler-free.
After reading this and all of the other reviews telling you to not watch this movie, you may still think that it’s worth watching in theaters. Maybe you want to see what the fuss is about. Maybe you think it won’t be that bad. Maybe you think you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself.
I enjoyed movies like X-men: Apocalypse and Batman vs Superman despite the negative reviews. They weren’t amazing films, but they were still fun and I don’t regret spending money on them.
This movie was not fun. It was fucking boring.
I’m not telling you to not watch it. I’m sure you’re curious to see for yourself exactly how bad it is. I’m telling you to not waste your money on it. Torrent it. Stream it. Wait until it comes on Netflix in 5 years. Something. Just don’t buy a movie ticket.
And now, I’ll leave you with a perfect example of what DC got right many years ago. Let’s hope we return to those days.