I had to take this off the beaten path for this cycle because our NYTimes data is driven by the Timesmachine, which doesn’t go past the early 2000’s. So when we are trying to build a chain and that chain goes through Killer Elite, you aren’t gonna be able to confirm many cases where the film of interest aired on the same day as Citizen Kane. So this one was quite an odyssey. Using a combination of LATimes and the WayBackMachine I was able to confirm that indeed Citizen Kane and Suicide Squad aired on the same day… but that’s about it. So no fun anecdote, only an evening of churning through LATimes archives… which is probably not all that much different than watching this movie. It’s a grind.
To recap, Superman is dead, so the government is looking for the next set of heroes that could defend Earth when baddie Metahuman comes along. Enter the Suicide Squad, a group formed by an evil government operator named Waller. The group consists of baddie Metahumans who were mostly caught by Batman and now are hanging in prison. They are Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn…. and then a bunch of other people. The government signs on mostly because they seem like great weapons to be on our side. The baddies sign on because they kind of have to, but also to potentially have their sentences reduced. Almost immediately one of the members of the group, The Enchantress, uses her immense ability to summon her brother Incubus and they begin to destroy Midway City. Since this is bad they gotta send in the baddies to out bad them. They fly in and battle a bunch of mutants. Turns out this was all just to save Waller who ended up trapped in Midway City. As she flies away her helicopter crashes so once again the Suicide Squad has to go after her and battle Incubus. They are not enthused, particularly after they learn that this was kinda caused by the program itself, so they quit. But after having some heart-to-hearts they decide that being bad ain’t good and so they go after Incubus and The Enchantress. Enter the giant CGIfest battle where a bunch of people sacrifice themselves in order to defeat evil. In the end they all get their sentences reduced and Harley Quinn gets freed by the Joker (who was actually in a lot of the movie, but his part was lame and useless). THE END.
I don’t think it’s possible to actually like this movie, but at least it seemed to be having some fun. I liked Smith and Robbie at least and that was enough for a small voice in the back of my head to say “Sequel?” My main complaints are that it seemed like the director and studio were on totally different pages. Half the film is practical effect, the other half is a crazy CGI mess, and neither are done well. This is really unfortunate for the practical effects which I generally like, but in this case it looks like a TV show. Second, the whole thing seems pretty uninterested in what it was trying to say. The first thirty minutes of the film is just exposition because there are so many characters. There never seems to be any stakes because I don’t think anyone involved really cared about the conflict. And finally, the Joker in the room: Jared Leto. Woof. That is all I will say. Like Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman it is a choice and not one I like.
Hot Take Clam Bake! Viola Davis’ performance in this film should have been nominated for an Oscar. Ow! Too hot. The take is too hot. Let’s try that again. Viola Davis’ performance in this film should have been nominated for a Golden Globe. That’s better. She is like the argument for Mike Trout winning MVP a thousand times for being on the perennially mediocre LA Angels team. It’s like, but doesn’t the team have to win games? But then everyone looked at Trout’s numbers and were like “numbers don’t lie.” Viola Davis basically is reading exposition voiceover half the time but there are moments where I was legit like “wow” as she said something dumb about metahumans causing World War 3 or something. She is hitting multiple grand slams while her team walks in 12 runs and forfeits in the 6th inning. Hot Take Temperature: Wild Things.
‘Ello everyone! What are we, some kind of BMT Squad? Let’s go!
- This movie feels oddly fun at times. Like you can see that kernel of a fun film floating inside of it, and you just wish that it wasn’t just a complete mess.
- Also, well. So some of this is a bit hard to tell, because I saw some Extended Cut or something? So all of the reviews and a few podcasts which discussed this film don’t seem to mention Leto much. Indeed, they talk like he’s only in one scene and it is fine. In whatever cut I watched though he’s in like half the film. He is constantly popping up and it is terrible. I’ve never seen a character so thoroughly ruin a film before in my life. He’s taking us away from the two charismatic leads in Harley and Deadshot, and he is an actual charisma black hole which ruins any scene he is in and makes it gross. Never before have I seen a worse performance in a BMT film. And that is saying something. It ruins the film!
- With that out of the way I do think Margot Robbie and Will Smith were pretty solid. He curses too much, and whatever they have her wearing is out of control. I’m glad they seemed to have fixed that in the sequel and remake. Because she is basically given what I would describe as a “cheeky bikini bottom” as a costume. That is unacceptably gross. I don’t like it one bit.
- The bad guy June Moone is a CGI disaster. It is Cara Delevingne’s inexpressive face on a gyrating CGI belly dancer body and it is real weird shit. Unlike most people (seemingly) I actually kind of like her as an actress. Here though she is asked to do less than nothing and ends up as a kind of one shot bad guy which doesn’t work.
- The whole thing just comes across as a mess. And they only really kill one of the Suicide Squad guys, Slipknot, and in one of the weirdest dumbest ways possible. It’s a mistake. They seemingly correct it in the next one where they get a bunch of weird side characters so you can kill a bunch and no one really cares. I imagine that’s the idea of Suicide Squad. Their reason to be.
- I think I liked this one more than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in general. But that film was much much more well made. It is just a boring downer. So I suppose that is fun … they both were bad in fundamentally different and interesting ways.
- I do like Scott Eastwood as a Faceless Assistant (Who?) playing GQ Edwards, Flag’s assistant and very confusing character in general. A Wait This is a Place (Where?) for Midway City, a DC comics location I’ve never heard of. And yeah, this film is probably closest to BMT for Leto’s Joker performance alone, bizarre choices abound.
Read about my sequel DC’s GQ Origin in the Quiz. Cheerios,