[Review] Suicide Squad (2016)

Written and directed by David Ayer.

I am not a superhero movie fan. I’ve seen a couple of them (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America:Winter Soldier, X-men). I saw the previews for Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn’s character, along with the cool action scenes, is what sold me. I told myself “I have got to see this movie”. My plan was to see it at the midnight viewing, but after talking to my mom and convincing her that it wasn’t a movie about suicide, she said she wanted to see it as well. I put it off for the weekend because I was going to go see her, however the weekend got too busy and we ended up not being able to see it. After I got home on Sunday, I was like “I am going to see this damn movie!”, so I ran out to the theater and got into line to purchase my ticket. Sure enough, with my luck, the person in front of me bought the last ticket and the showing that I arrived for became sold out.
I ended up seeing Nerve instead (more on that later…), but during Nerve I went and bought tickets for the next showing of Suicide Squad on my iPhone. After Nerve, I had about 3 minutes to bust ass to the restroom, pick up my ticket from the automated machine outside, and find my seat in the Suicide Squad theater. Good times…Good times.

Let’s get into what I thought of the movie.

Entertainment Rating: 5/5

Quality Rating: 2.5/5

[Total: 3.5/5]

–Spoiler Alert!!–

I have had countless people ask me how the movie was and all I can really do is smile big and say “ahhhhhhhh ehhhhhhhhhhh” and then just keep smiling. Personally, I don’t think the movie was bad. This is because my rating scale functions differently than most. I find it very hard to not be entertained by movies when I watch them, and that in itself is a success to me because it did what it set out to do. So in terms of entertainment, Suicide Squad gets a 5 out of 5. Lots of fun music, costumes, cool fight scenes, and great graphics. Prior to seeing it and just having the trailers as a basis for my impression, Harley Quinn was going to be my favorite character and now having seen the movie, she still is. I enjoyed the interactions between her and the team, as well as Deadshot’s leadership role. The non-villainous characters (Flag and Waller) had strong personalities as well, which I felt fit them nicely. Overall I think in terms of character, the movie fulfills what I was looking for and I feel satisfied.

As for the quality of the movie…that’s a different story. This podcast by Rooster Teeth pretty much sums up how I feel. The beginning of the movie seemed far too choppy and it was like the movie was just throwing information at you that didn’t really have cohesion. The setting is a hypothetical “What if the superheroes go nuts? How will we fight them?”, but then the example given is “We thought Superman was indestructible and now he’s dead.” What? So the proposition is that the U.S. military needs to create a task force of the baddest, nastiest villains around. They discuss the characters and brief bits of their backgrounds that make them “bad”, and then proceed to gather them together. During this gathering period, one of the “good” bad guys, Enchantress, goes rogue and starts making shit go crazy, thus becoming the main villain of the movie. BUT WAIT! Joker is also doing his best to throw the military off because he’s trying to rescue Harley Quinn, his not-lover, lover. So now we have two antagonists, one of which isn’t really an antagonist and just kind of interjects his presence here and there. Great.

The movie progresses and we start seeing weird stuff going on with the Enchantress. Fight scenes happen and we get to see the squad of villains show off their skills…which consists of Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang basically just doing some CQC fighting while Deadshot does his thing with guns. Let me remind you that this is supposed to be a group of people capable of taking down a superhero…yet, sans Deadshot, all we are seeing is their ability to street fight and shout one liners. The remaining member, El Diablo, is a pyrokinetic with a serious guilt problem and has proclaimed himself as a pacifist, so we don’t really get to see him do anything. At one point, Deadshot pisses him off to the extent that he blows some bad guys up and after that he’s like “I’M NOT DOIN’ THAT AGAIN!”. After this scene, some plot stuff goes down where Waller gets kidnapped by Enchantress and the team feels like they’re doomed so they all want to flee. Here is where Harley Quinn leaves to go be with Joker…then Joker gets “killed”…so she teams back up with them like nothing changed.

I forgot to mention that during the character introductions, a “good guy” fighter named Katana shows up and joins their squad as a bodyguard…who then joins them as an actual member. There is literally no background for her or explanaition, she just shows up and starts fighting. The character is Japanese and for whatever reason, only speaks in Japanese (despite working for the U.S. Government). For the most part, there are subtitles explaining what she is saying. However, I did notice a few scenes where she was speaking and there were no subtitles, so non-Japanese speaking folk have no idea what she’s saying. This is nitpicking, but I just felt like it was a bad exclusionary mistake. Her character never feels like she has a place…just always a weird bystander who interjects.

So now we’re at the 3/4th mark of the movie where they decide to start doing character backstory. This really pissed me off, because it came out of nowhere and really felt misplaced. Especially the Harley Quinn story. They had already explained that Joker tortured her and made her crazy. Then they went into some love story where the semi-sane Harley Quinzel agreed with Joker that she’d kill herself for him, so she jumped into a vat of acid? I say “acid?” because after both Harley and Joker jump in, their clothes are the only things that have “melted”. Then BOOM, we’re back in real time and Harley gives some shitty motivational speech and they take off to kill the big baddie. They fight Enchantress, she loses, and the world is safe. After everything is said and done, they all go back to prison with reduced sentences and some minor luxuries like a TV that plays BET and an espresso machine. Low and behold, the camera focuses on Harley and while she’s reading a book and drinking her new espresso, the Joker blasts into her cell and saves her, despite “dying” earlier in the movie. Shit just seemed ALL OVER THE PLACE in this movie and it made the quality just feel…haphazard.

IN regards to the characters, I feel like Deadshot and Harley Quinn were the only two that really made an impact on me. El Diablo seemed very lame, and so did Slipknot, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc. I don’t know much about Deadshot but his character was satisfying in this movie. Nothing to complain about. Harley Quinn…I’m not a huge comic fan but I remember watching the Batman cartoons when I was younger and reading a few comics and I feel like she just didn’t get the accent or overall feel of Harley. Visually, Harley was great though. I just wish her character had more likeness to the cartoon.

Overall, I would watch the movie again but seeing it really made me think about how rushed and low quality movies are these days. I think Hollywood would do well to slow down, despite the consumer demand, and really flesh out these ideas so that they’re not just boom boom pow action flicks but actually memorable cinematic experiences.


2 thoughts on “[Review] Suicide Squad (2016)

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