“The following is a guest post by The Silver Screen Mage.”
These “bad guys” just aren’t bad enough.
DC kicks off another highly anticipated movie called Suicide Squad. The story mainly takes place in Midway City and ventures out to a government official, heavily guarded, underground, unknown prison. This prison, Belle Reve, is holding what is known as a team of “really bad people who can do some good”. There are a big group of villains in this maximized prison who will forcefully be turned into what Amanda Waller, a secret government official, believes will be the saving grace of the world in the instance that a super powered alien, of evil-heart and Superman-like abilities, comes down and decides to overthrow the entire government (try saying that in one breath).
And just like all snazzy superhero stories, as soon as a team is built to save everyone, the unstoppable villain appears. That’s when the team of “bad guys” is unleashed with a chaperone, Rick Flag, who is highly skilled in combat, tough guy portrayal, and very little patience for nonsense. Oh, and did I forget to mention that The Joker is tossed in the movie less times than what you can count on one hand? Anywho, back to the real story. The Suicide Squad ventures out into danger to fight a female god trapped in an archaeologist’s body by the name of Dr. June Moone (yes, her name rhymes). So let’s walk through a few things that I feel (please notice how I emphasized the “I feel” part) worked, and didn’t work for the latest DC Universe movie.
Let’s talk about the Cast and Crew
Let me just say this before anything. What frustrates me the most about this film is that it was sooooo highly amped up how bad this group of individuals were. After hearing the foreshadowing characteristics of the group Amanda Waller describes, you’re thinking some pretty vicious thoughts about them. Unfortunately, this group of civilians are nothing more than petty criminals. I’ll give some credit to the fact that not all of them were petty, but not a single one of them were evil to the core. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely enjoyed them in their roles, but it shouldn’t have been so emphasized how villainful (not a word) they were.
I loved Deadshot! Will Smith did an awesome job portraying his character. He was a great comedic relief and it wasn’t overdone or misplaced. My only concern is that he was just too likable. I wanted to see less talk about rebellion and more acting on it. I loved how they gave him a few spotlight moments to show us what he can do with his talent both out of danger and in the midst of it.
What negative thing can I say about Miss Quinn? She played the role as it needed to be played. She was very spunky and annoying and “quite vexing” too. I loved that she was truly committed to rebelling and she acted on it when her chance came. Throughout the movie you always knew what team she played for.
As I stated in my intro, The Joker played a very small role in this film which was quite a pity. I think a lot of fans wanted to truly see what Jared Leto was made of. I personally loved his performance. You could truly see the transformation he did in order to become this character whether it met the true essence of the comic portrayal or not. I think his only flaw was that there wasn’t an apparent “hate” for Harley like there should have been. I can see how that would have been a challenge for the story and the role he played, but that shouldn’t have been an option. I enjoyed him a lot and can’t wait for more performances with him as The Joker.
Wow, wow, wow! Stunning performance by Viola Davis. Boy can that woman put on a show. She had this fire about her that entranced you. You hated her with a passion but it’s that very passion that she had that made you love her. Her only flaw was the pumping up of the badness of the Suicide Squad.
So here we have our main villain who goes by Enchantress who lives within Dr. June Moone. June Moone takes on 3 forms in this movie. Personally, there was only one form that I loved. One form was herself as an actual human/doctor. That form tasted a little bad as far as acting. Another form was the human version of her but as a god. She wore this two-piece type swimsuit and moved her hips around far too much for me to feel threatened by her. It was too awkward for me. But there is still hope in her character because her dark, demon-possessive form killed it. She had the ability to teleport, as well as stare you down in a way that would freeze you. I enjoyed the creepiest version of her and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more.
You have Mr. Tough Guy Rick Flag. You liked him and you disliked him several times in the movie. But you never loved him or hated him. For me, he was kind of a weak character. They pumped him up a little too much. Personally, I was not threatened by him enough. I would have liked to have seen a well-built, brick wall, beast type character (am I allowed to say that?). I think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would have fit the role a little better, or a type like him. You get rid of the gun and the tough guy chatter, and you’ve got this scrawny guy in camo. Thumbs down for Rick.
I enjoyed Diablo a lot. I loved his conviction throughout the movie. He was on strike against himself and he portrayed it very well. They did a great job building your suspense for the reasoning why he was so reserved and against using his own gift. The only problem is that when they finally drop the reasoning and story for his standoff-ness, they cut it way too quickly. They could have taken his sorrowful story and made it of value to all the characters. It would have made a far better change of heart for the rest of the Squad.
There are other characters that weren’t fully developed that I felt didn’t play a major role in the film. There was Killer Croc who had little to no back story. You mostly found him either tossing people around or standing in the background just hanging out with no purpose. Then there was Captain Boomerang who got a mini-intro back story, but served no purpose in the squad. I did love his lack of heroism in the film. He was one of the most sincerely unmotivated characters in the film and you kind of loved him for it. Lastly, there was Katana who trapped the souls of her victims inside of her blade. Just like the other two above, she had a small role and very little background. I enjoyed her action scenes but there was no chemistry between her and “the good guys”. She was brought on the team to watch the Suicide Squad in case they got out of hand, yet she had no communication with Rick or Amanda Waller. But when they gave her some movie time, she really used it to the fullest, so great job!
The 8-Bit Review
As far as the visuals go, I had close to zero complaints. Incredible job on Killer Croc and Diablo and The Joker. You could see the detail and work they put into these characters and even the background scenes. Take a look at some of these photos. They’re even better on the big screen. Awesome job!!
As far as the audio goes, I thought it went really, really well. I loved the fact that it had motion picture audio to it as well as lyrical audio. When it came to the character development scenes, the lyrical songs worked really well. On the more dramatic scenes, lyrics can’t quite capture the feeling like an orchestra. I loved Steven Price’s theme music for this soundtrack. When I hear it outside of the movie or in a potential sequel, it’ll have a home.
The only issue I had was the fact that some of the lyrical music drowned out a few scripted scenes. I would have liked to have heard more of a balance between the lyrical and motion soundtrack. Overall it wasn’t bad.
Family Friendliness: 3/10
Let’s take a look at the poster. Would mom, dad, granny, gramps, or your pastor want to watch this? More than likely not! Between the language, sexual content, innuendos, violence, and lack of “good guys”, it’s probably not so family friendly. Now does that make it bad? Not to the right audience. This type of film is definitely an acquired taste. You find most viewpoints on it very extreme as far as loved it or hated it.
I loved that the movie stayed within itself. The psychotic, creepy, jailbird, crackhouse appearance of the movie really delivered. The characters were wacky and didn’t quite mash up well, but it worked beautifully. The reason for the 6 is the fact that there was no message that we were left with. It lacked depth and substance, which is okay for certain movies, but in this circumstance, there was way too much room for a deeper message. I wanted to leave the theater changed in some type of way and it didn’t happen. There was a bar scene where things got incredibly deep, but it didn’t take off like I hoped it would.
As far as the character development goes, I touched a lot on it in the top portion of the review. I really liked the obvious narration from Amanda Waller to give us a background on the characters. But unfortunately, it was just way too much exposition. It was just way too easy of a way of introducing the characters. It seemed a little lengthy, and kind of gave the movie a slow start. I think there should have been a little more creativity in the narrative aspect of the introduction of the characters, but overall, I wasn’t unhappy. I’ll tell you what: I felt like in most areas of the movie, the story was well portrayed and self-explanatory.
I loved how easy it was to identify with the protagonist and the antagonist for the story in most instances. But in a lot of moments, you lost sight of what was really going on and what everyone was fighting for. There is a scene where the Suicide Squad fight their way through the city and through a building, and when they get to where they’re going, the discovery and “rescue” mission is VERY unclear. You find yourself asking: “What the heck was the point of that?” The story also lacks real danger. You never fully feel like the Suicide Squad are in a situation they can’t get out of or could possibly die from. At the end of it all, it just seemed meaningless and you’re left with a very small point that the villain tried to make. The villain had some type of grudge against the human race that was very, very unclear and hardly touched upon.
How hard was it to find someone you loved so much that you maybe wanted to be like them? It wasn’t impossible, but it wasn’t apparent. You find yourself saying you like this character and that character, but there was a very small inner child in me that said “I wanna be Deadshot or Enchantress”. The characters had some solo action scenes, but there wasn’t enough that fully made you want to access their powers. Even Deadshot had a strong ability to strategically plan his killings with angles and measurements, yet it was only shown once in the film. For the screen time they were allowed, they did allow everyone to show us what they were made of, but I didn’t find myself saying “Dang! That was awesome” enough.
Has this been done before? I haven’t quite seen anything like it. The movie did a great job separating itself from a lot of the cliché superhero clamor. It definitely had a lot of what other movies in this category had, but I didn’t walk out the movie and think about how alike it was to another movie. It did an excellent job drumming to it’s own beat.
My Personal Grade: 5/10
Please don’t misconstrue my low grading. As far as entertainment goes, I give it 8/10. Heck I saw the movie twice in theaters, and I’d see it a third if an invitation went out. Unfortunately, there were just too many gaps, along with lack of substance, lack of depth, lack of danger, and a few character development holes. I enjoyed the action and the cool down when everyone was in the bar. But the bad outweighed the good. Most of all, I was very disappointed with the choice of “bad guys” in the Squad. They just weren’t evil enough. You could see that in the ending (which I won’t give away). The movie was fun and I’m so honored to have the privilege to share my opinions and thoughts about it. If this impacts one person than this was all worth it. Not to mention I had a lot of fun writing this. Please stay tuned for more reviews I’ll be doing.
–Silver Screen Mage out
Aggregated Score: 6.3