Saturday, October 08, 2016

Friend Movie Review: Suicide Squad

It has been a month and a half, maybe more, since I took a few of Sister's friends to see Suicide Squad. (We would have included Sister except she away on an adventure for three weeks.) I haven't been in the headspace to write but I still wanted to give this review for a few reasons 1) the friends took the time to share their thoughts 2) I'm still thinking about the movie and this is away to formalize my thoughts and 3) there have been a lot of reviews focusing on the negatives about Suicide Squad and we didn't hate. In fact we all enjoyed the movie and I think it has been underappreciated.

I hadn't really wanted to see Suicide Squad. The idea of rooting for bad guys because there are even worse evil out there isn't my thing. I went because its a piece in the DC universe and like comic movies, even the bad ones. I excepted this to be another bad one. The bar was really low for me, I had recently seen Batman vs Superman and had been disappointed you can find the review here. I was convinced Suicide Squad as going to be more of the same and that I would hate it. I was surprised. For me there was more good than bad, it wasn't perfect, but it was enjoyable.

WARNING: there are spoilers a plot details ahead.

Good:
Darby: "A lot of it"
Brendan: the soundtrack was great, the characters were funny and felt real because they were broken people which gave them dimension.
Liam: the characters were fantastic and the soundtrack was enjoyable
Me: The intro to the characters, with the animation tie-in to the poster art, was great. Especially for the two characters the movie focused on the most, Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Very early into the movie I was able to set my prejudices aside.

I enjoyed Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and thought she made the movie. She was the right amount of emotion, comedy, and vexing. And while I don't ideologically agree with Harley Quinn on many things I found watching Robbie's portrait fascinating and fun. I convinced I was going to hate Deadshot. It bothered me in the previews to see Will Smith with two eyes. I am still very new to comics and DC. I admit I enjoyed the shows Flash and Arrow before I started reading comics. So my first introduction to Deadshot was Arrow and I didn't think I was going to like this new version. I was expecting be annoyed for by the change in backstory and him having both his eyes for the whole movie, cause I can be petty like that. I was quickly able to let go of my expectations because Smith's Deadshot felt different in a good way. I also really liked the interactions between Harley and Deadshot.  Diablo was another of the movies highlights for me. I was interested in his development and backstory and thought it was one of the more subtle good qualities of the movie.

And the few small bits that kept us in the extended universe I liked, like the T-shirt vendor reminding us Superman is dead, Batman's appearance, the post-credits scene between Bruce Wayne and Amanda Waller, and any hit of Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I am so excited for both of those movies, the studios will probably disappoint me but I am hopefully anticipating they won't.

The overall baddy wasn't important for the story being told, so I didn't mind the vagueness of the "machine," how it worked, or what is was going to do. It was more about the Enchantress' motivation and desire for revenge that interested me. Also idea of look what our (Amanda Waller's) actions created. I did think the Enchantress was thoroughly creepy and the first time the June Moone transformed into Enchantress was excellently done. The hand flip was a great visual.

Last thing, Amanda Waller was the greatest villain in this movie. Viola Davis was excellent and made me hate Waller. There is so much about her character's ideology I been pondering since the movie. I kick myself for not realizing sooner in the movie that the Squad's mission was to retrieve her.

Less Than Good:
Darby: Captain Boomerang and Slipnot felt useless. Other then that I liked it.
Brendan: The explanation of Harley Quinn bothered me. I would have also preferred the Squad going on a number of missions, failing and then coming together for the big final mission.
Liam: the plot was very scattered and they almost completely ignored Katana which is disappointing because she is an interesting character.
Me: I did like the movie but it wasn't without its flaws. It felt like the writer/director tried to cram three movies into one. There was so many elements that they wanted to include that each theme/subplot became weaker. Makes me think of finger painting as a kid, I would mix all the colours till the picture was just a muddy swirl.

I agree with Darby and Liam, Captain Boomerang, Slipnot, Katana, even Killer Croc and Diablo were poorly incorporated characters with little over there backstory being told in comparison to Harley Quinn and Deadshot.  For a team bonding movie to work each character needs to have a reason to be in the movie to further the plot. It felt more like the Harley Quinn Deadshot movie. And maybe if they did that story and then a Squad movie it would have been better.

The other issue for most people was the Joker. There was so much hype beforehand about how dark and twisted and great Jared Leto was going to be. I don't think anyone could have lived up to the expectations especially after Heath Ledger's performance. I didn't hate him but found most of the Joker scenes didn't help advance the plot especially the club scene.

2nd Favourite Character:
Across the board we all said Harley Quinn was our favourite and the best acted character.
Darby: Katana
Brendan: Diablo
Liam: Captain Boomerang
Me: For favourite it is tied between Diablo and Katana, the little we saw of her was great. I would have liked more of her and more explanation of why she was joining the team. And I still like them best, but the more I think of it the best villain was Amanda Waller.

Rating:
Darby: 4 Harley Quinn bats out of 5
Brendan: 3.5 slow Joker laughs out of 5
Liam: 4 dead Slipknots out of 5
Me: 3.2 Soultakers (Katana's katana) out of 5

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