“Is it possible to be simultaneously excited and apprehensive of a movie? Because that’s pretty much how I felt going in. These characters excite me. This cast excites me. The idea of an antihero premise excites me. Director David Ayer excites me. The current state of the DC comics universe worries me to no end. The panic the studio went into after the epic fail of BvS worries me. The idea that said panicked studio would go in and alter the film in attempts to course correct their mistakes worries me.
The buzz going in was that this was an even hotter mess than what we saw earlier this year. Personally, I don’t think it was that bad. Suicide Squad had some potential and even some flickers of potential greatness, which BvS had none of. However, we still ended up with a rather incoherent jumble.
Let’s start with the good, because there was some good, and it was exactly where I expected it to be: in the cast and characters. Can I first and foremost declare my absolute love and adoration of Harley Quinn. Is it bad if I said that I really wish I could be her? Well in some respects at least. But yes yes OMG yes, Margot Robbie nailed it and gave us an instantly iconic and forever memorable portrayal, stealing every scene she was in. Could we maybe give her a standalone movie next time?
Also a win, Will Smith as Deadshot. Smith has said that working with Ayer was the reason he took on the very against type role, but what I saw is an actor having more fun than I’ve seen from him in a very long time. I liked this look on him, and I could tell that it felt right to him too. He was able to bring some more gravitas to anchor things and far more depth and dimension than you’d expect from a hitman type baddie.
I also wanna give a shout out to Jay Hernandez as Diablo. We just saw him a couple weeks ago in a breakout role in Bad Moms, so I hope this one-two combo punch of summer movies cements him in Hollywood. I’ve been following him since he played basketball with Anthony Anderson (oh maybe they never shared seasons) on TNBC’s Hang Time. He also had a very interesting character with a dark backstory.
Oh and of course, Viola Davis as the mysteriously motivation Amanda Waller. Really, I shouldn’t need to say more than Viola Davis.
But that’s about where the good ended. When you start diving into the story, it makes no sense. You never really know who the big bad they’re all fighting is, there’s minimal character development, and we’re overstuffed with people of various levels of interest. Oh and the Joker is there because he’s the Joker, even though his B storyline with Harley really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with anything else. There’s a reason Marvel released The Avengers after most of our mains got introduced with their own films, which would have been a wise strategy here. We took so long learning about where our flashier peeps came from, we never got to learn much about the others. The plot kinda meandered between showcasing something cool about one guy and then something cool about another, but wasn’t really held together with anything really cohesive. Sorry, try again?
I think there’s some real potential here though. Imagine how much better BvS woulda been against pretty much any of these guys instead of Lex. How much more energy would it have had? The Skwad at least has an idea of how to have fun in a film, and if the DC Universe is to continue, I hope that they use some of these guys to breathe life into the duller parts of the franchise. I know that either way, the studio is laughing all the way to the bank, but it’d be nice if they at least had a quality product to celebrate for once. That is what we need to make this cinematic world a much better place.
Suicide Squad – \m/ \m/ \n”