Suicide Squad

Aside from the newest entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have so far avoided most of the blockbusters of 2016. The reason? Well, it feels as if they are all marketed and created in a way that can only leave one outcome: no matter what you think about them, you will sound like a troll when you express your opinion on them. Ghostbusters 2016 might be the best example of this, as it split everyone to the point where it was nearly impossible to say anything about it without sounding like an irrational bag of dicks/ovaries. So I thought it was best to start with the blockbuster that to me seemed to have caused the least amount of controversy. I probably shouldn't have done that, because it turned out that I didn't like Suicide Squad at all. It's not the worst, but it barely had anything in it that could redeem it in my eyes, and it absolutely failed at being engaging or entertaining.

Not everything is bad about it, though. While I don't think Margot Robbie would be the best fit for Harley Quinn (my personal choice would have been Amanda Seyfried), and while they did change a lot about the relationship between Harley and Joker, I thought the character was somewhat entertaining and rather well-acted. The Australian accent might have been a bit of a distraction, as I have grown used to either Arleen Sorkin or Tara Strong voicing Harley Quinn, but she did well. Will Smith wasn't bad either, but it felt to me as if he wasn't allowed to be as suave as I remember Deadshot being (or at least in the Justice League animated series). Viola Davis should also be mentioned as a good performer here, as she conveyed the ruthless nature of the character effortlessly. I could not see any other actress playing Amanda Waller from now on, in the same way that J.K. Simmons owned J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man. Kudos to these three performers.

There are lot of bad things to talk about. This is supposed to be a band of villains forming an unlikely team, and at no point could I feel the chemistry between each character, and at no point did the film let us know who these characters were. When backstories were expanded upon, they were mostly told rather than shown, which made me care even less about what happened in the film, as it often felt like they didn't want us to know the characters. Added to that, Jai Courtney, the man who I used to think was the most unengaging actor alive, is extremely annoying for a superfluous character (along with Killer Croc, Katana, and Slipknot) even if he gives a performance with more feeling than he has ever given before as Captain Boomerang. It didn't help either that the editing felt really off to me most of the time, with Harley Quinn's flashback to her transformation coming at the halfway point, when it should have been shown in the beginning, and Diablo's tragedy being shown before the climax instead of early on, which would have made it easier to care about his presence!

The cinematography was also just plain awful. Nothing really stood out to me, except for the EXTREME!!! darkness during the action scenes. Why does David Ayer not want us to see what's going on? Is it because he's trying to mask the fact that he wasn't allowed to do any exciting set-pieces? How could anyone attached to this film not see that the darkness doesn't enhance immersion, but rather impede it, as it so toned up that they think it complements or contrasts the characters and story, when it actually does nothing but shroud whatever is going on in the film! Did DC/Warner just not care? Well, it would explain why Harley's dream sequence with a happy marriage with the Joker had them being normal rather than them being themselves, a big fuck you to the fans of Harley Quinn, where you could have put a great homage to Mad Love. You know, the comic book that marked Harley's transition from Batman: The Animated Series to the comic book world? It might not have made the film better, but it would make the film feel less sour.

In conclusion, I did not enjoy Suicide Squad. If DC/Warner wanted a superhero/villain team-up film where humor was the main focus, they should have adapted the more obscure team The New Guardians. Yes, they sucked in the comics, but I think they could be made awesome on film, even if their main goal is to fuck, which they oddly enough never do in their own comics. At least that adaptation would have opened up for a cinematic introduction to the greatest villain ever, Snowflame, the villain powered by cocaine. The obvious choice to play him would be Gary Busey (the actor, not the Letterboxd user formerly known by that name).

P.S. Joel Kinnaman is now the most unengaging actor alive. Yes, he managed to outshine Jai Courtney in being wooden. That's the tl;dr version of this review.

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