Suicide Squad – How to make a terrible modern blockbuster!

Introduction: Welcome to DC movie number 3 and things are only getting better from here. (Are you having a sarcasm overload yet?)

Suicide Squad is the first DC movie to not focus on the Justice League. (To some extent.) This movie is supposed to be a first look at some sort of expanded universe where they show a new set of characters and expand on the universe in an interesting way. Once again for this review I picked up the extended version of this movie so I can get the full Suicide Squad experience. But before we start the review, allow me to get a little personal.

A Little Bit Personal – with The BC: Back in 2015, when Comic Con showed the trailers for Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad, I remember not really liking BvS’s trailer that much and as time went on I was more convinced the movie would suck. With Suicide Squad on the other hand I was over the moon with excitement. The first trailer for Suicide Squad is very similar to Avengers: Age of Ultron as they both look like dark eerie movies before they became stupid comedies for some reason. If you watch the first trailer of Age of Ultron, the main villain of the movie (Ultron) sounded very menacing, before he became just a punchline. Just like The Joker sounded pretty menacing and creepy. (Mind you at the time this was the first time we had heard him speak.)

By 2016 as we saw more footage of SS, in my mind at the time was ‘there is no way this movie could be bad’. But as we got closer to the release the movie now looks more fun, it features tons of popular songs and it’s more edgy than its original Comic Con counterpart. Cut to the release of the movie – it under performs, it’s heavily panned, most audiences loved it and I was only disappointed.  Jump to the release of the extended cut and I impulsively bought it even though I had alot of warnings telling me not to buy it. I watched it again and it’s one of the biggest things I regret buying, alongside Rogue One. That’s basically my history with this movie and jump to now and I’m pleased to inform you that this movie is the purest piece of trash you could find in our modern day movie blockbuster market.

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How many trailers have you seen that are better than the actual movie? off the top of my head I can think of at least 3.

Everything wrong with modern day movies is in Suicide Squad: One sentence to best describe Suicide Squad is simply ‘there are too many cooks in the kitchen’ or ‘don’t let your boss’s boss get involved with the cooking’. The main problem with Suicide Squad (besides Warner Bros of course) is that there were too many hands working in post-production so all you get is the rotting remains of a film. A good comparison to this movie would be the newest Fantastic Four movie where the director, Josh Trank, had a vision for the movie then Fox got involved and wanted it to be more funny.  Same case with Venom which was supposed be more violent but Sony changed it so that the violence is only implied.

But for Suicide Squad, as far as I can tell, Warner Bros wanted it to be more like Guardians of the Galaxy because that was successful and we want to copy their success because who knew writing a movie universe involved so much work. So firstly we need to get rid of our old generic score and just pick random songs that people like. Oh, people like Bohemian Rhapsody let’s play that for a couple of seconds. Oh wait, people also like House of the Rising Son, we’ll play that for 10 seconds. Oh we need some Kanye West in there too and a sprinkle of AC/DC, but just for 1 second. At what point in the movie should we play them, uh… just anywhere will do, it doesn’t matter, no one gives a rat’s ass about tone! Man, making a soundtrack is so incredibly easy! Oh, people like characters who crack jokes so let’s make everyone a comedic relief.  We need a generic villain because Marvel has a ton of those and they work. Phew, thought I had to actually attempt to write a compelling character. Sky beams are a must have and an epic final CGI battle as well because they’re the most hip thing to have at the moment.

Since nobody liked BvS being so dark and boring, now this movie needs to be more funny. Oh, I forgot the movie was already done filming at this point, so we have to reshoot it and insert comedy all over the place even when it’s not appropriate. Also we made the trailers before shooting our movie, so let’s reuse shots from the trailers. No one will notice, except for the critics and movie enthusiasts and that’s like only 5% of our audience, so we’re good. (Funny thing is they forgot Guardians of the Galaxy is very colourful, but this movie is so colourless and dark that I wish Zack Snyder was here.)

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This might be a bit of a bold statement, since Disney owns most of entertainment at this point, why don’t they just cap all it off by buying DC. Maybe now the movies will finally be good.

The Story is somehow worse than BvS: The main problem with BvS is the story only makes sense to the people who wrote it. With Suicide Squad it’s like they only wrote one draft and they just went with it because the plot holes are so big that you’ll be forever falling into them. So, after Superman’s death, Amanda Waller wants to make a task force to combat a Superman like threat. Her solution is to pick up some criminals from the local jail to fight a super powered thing. The movie starts off with her telling us who these people are, so you’ve got:

  • Deadshot aka Will Smith because he basically plays himself. His superpower is he gets instant headshots. Will Smith has a kid who he kills for and one night Batman arrests Deadshot in front of his daughter because Batman wants to beat up criminals in front of kids.
  • Harley Quinn is the biggest waste of potential. Her powers are she can shoot and hit stuff with a baseball bat. She is also crazy, a comedic relief who just ends up being really cringey and she is smoking hot and that’s her character in a nutshell. Why I say she is wasted is mostly because of her relationship with the Joker. The most fascinating part of the movie is trimmed down to a couple of dot points and the scenes are the definition of a dumpster fire. (The extended cut doesn’t show much either.)
  • Captain Boomerang (that’s his name) robs banks with boomerangs and he is also another unfunny comedic relief.
  • Soldier man is a character with a bit of an arc like Deadshot but isn’t really developed because we have already established the writing is atrocious. Other than that he’s a bit of an idiot like his boss.
  • Fire Man is the only character in this movie with an actual arc. He’s a guy who has done some bad stuff and regrets what he’s done and as the movie progresses he’s the only one to show off that he could become a hero. Hey WB, not everyone has to be comedian!
  • Crocodile Dude is just terrible. He is useless, he’s very annoying and he looks much worse than the CGI monster from BvS.
  • Samurai Chick is also pointless. She shows up out of nowhere and her exposition is shoved in our face.
  • And finally Slipknot the guy who can climb stuff- his superpower is obviously he can climb stuff. He is also the first one to die by ironically trying to climb stuff.

So after that we get another scene of Amanda Waller explaining everything and we’re also introduced to the main villain who is discovered in an ancient statue thing and is summoned when the girl stupidly breaks it. (Aren’t you an archaeologist?) Later on she escapes when the soldier guy stupidly lets her go. So the Witch’s evil plan is to belly dance in front of a sky beam and take over the world or something. Well at least it’s an improvement over a plan that makes no sense but now we just lack an interesting motivation and it’s very generic. (I feel so wrong complimenting Batman vs Superman.) So Waller sends the squad after her, I think. (It isn’t very clear.) So this Witch is somewhat similar to Superman.  I mentioned their powers when I was listing them and since Batman and the other heroes weren’t on the writers mind when in the writing process, their plan is to send psychotic criminals who are only armed with guns, who can climb stuff and they have boomerangs to fight a SUPER POWERED BELLY DANCING WITCH!

Let’s talk about the three helicopter crashes in this movie. There is the one at the beginning where we never find out who shot them down. They’re just shot down because it’s exciting. The second crash being where The Joker supposedly dies and this really upsets Harley although she completely forgets he ever existed by the end of the next scene.  But don’t worry he comes back alive and well at the end of the movie.  I’m guessing there is a deleted scene that explains this along with the other 75% of Jared Leto’s scenes, the last one being where everyone dies except Waller, so she could be captured by the Witch and the Squad find out about the Witch and they just decide to have a drink. That leads us to the next point.

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Hey audience, I know we’re psychotic dangerous criminals and we barely have a team connection, but the power of lazy screenwriting will brings us together.

DC are greedy talentless hacks: That scene at the bar is pretty much identical to the group talk in Guardians of the Galaxy. I keep bringing Guardians up because this movie is obviously trying to be like it. The thing with Guardians is, one it’s actually funny, two the music suits what tone they want and three, the moment when the Guardians do come together is very well earned.  It has been nicely building up to it for the whole movie. In Suicide Squad the team don’t really have that same connection because it feels very rushed and the pacing is terrible. The writers think this was earned but really it’s just here because Guardians did it and so we’re going to do it too. This is the first movie in this universe to show what this company is really like. Unlike Marvel, DC doesn’t have that connection with fans and to improve on their movies, they clearly haven’t mapped out this universe very well and just copying Marvel won’t cut it. These movies aren’t movies but cash grabs that are in the now but not in the what’s to come.

This movie is a good example of how to mess up the first big leap into an expanded universe. As I mentioned earlier, it’s got the worst origin story for Harley Quinn and of course it features the worst on screen version of The Joker. You thought I would leave out The Joker didn’t you. The Joker is entirely pointless and is shoved into this movie for no reason. If you removed The Joker not much would change but Harley Quinn will be more irrelevant. How I would sum up his character is kind of like how I would describe Superman or Batman – he was poorly adapted. I don’t think Jared Leto is a bad choice to play The Joker.  In a better movie he would probably be great and that is the same with all the actors except for Will Smith because he was cast to play himself. If you pay close enough attention you can kind of see a bit of David Ayer’s original movie before it was ruined by Warner Bros interference.

The word that keeps coming to mind is ‘rushed’. Everything feels rushed, it feels like it was on an assembly line and it fell off a bunch of times getting all dirty and the workers used it as a back scratcher and maybe someone used it as toilet paper too. But they kept the momentum going; there is no time to it clean up all the mess because we’re already behind schedule. I think I could spend all day coming up with different analogies for this movie, it’s certainly more fun than watching this movie.

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Has anyone else noticed how inconsistent her Brooklyn accent is?

Conclusion: Every time I write one of these reviews I always feel like these endings kind of suck because I have said so much about the movie that I feel all bummed out at the end. If only the next one could knock it out of the park by proving people like me wrong by being an actual good movie. If so can’t wait to ruin everyone’s fun anyway.

Til Next Time Blog Complainer, Ta Ta.

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