Saturday, August 13, 2016

Suicide (Squad) Is Painless But...

DC's shared universe has gotten off to a rough start. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman  presented movies that were mixed bags for even comic nerds such as myself. True, I haven't serious fed my comic addiction in about a dozen years but I still watch the movies, TV shows and animated offerings but that really should be beside the point. Studios do not shell out money for movies only a select group will watch any more than TV networks do... With each successive film, they've improved but they have a long way to go.

Their third movie, Suicide Squad, continues the upward trend but still isn't a film that'll win over discerning viewers.  You'll hear stories on how studio interference meddled in the scriptwriting and how writer/director David Ayer had only six weeks to throw together a script. I'm sure it's true to at least some level.  Sony notoriously interfered with Spider-Man 3 and Amazing Spider-man 2. The need to rush the "world-building" process, can certainly be pinned on Warner Brothers as with Sony and Spider-Man but DC Comics for the most part have always been at least a bit darker in tone than Marvel so I really can't say I'm surprised they brought that to their movies.  Batman and Robin  and  Green Lantern  were super light in tone and it blew up in their face. As with many things in life, it's all about balance. Their search for it continues.

The biggest issue I have with Suicide Squad was their marketing strategy which can definitely be blamed on Warner Brothers.  In articles and promotional footage, misconceptions were fostered about the movie. As the most well-known villain, the Joker's inclusion was played up leading some people, including portrayer Jared Leto himself, to think he had a much bigger role than he actually did. Personally, given Joker and Lex Luthor are the most well-known, and well-used, DC villains, I felt he was in it too much. Using him to develop Harley Quinn's backstory was good and I have to say him busting her out of prison in the final scene was awesome but the whole side plot of him plotting to rescue her just took away from developing the main cast. Slipknot died like 10 minutes after being introduced.

Another marketing issue: it was announced well in advance that Scott Eastwood, Common, and Ike Barinholtz would be in the movie leading people such as myself to speculate for months who they could be playing. Turns out they were nobodies.

The villain: I'm not sure if the villain was team member Enchantress or her, I'm pretty sure, never named brother but this was was also kept under wraps in the marketing and was underwhelming upon reveal.  Now, given the supernatural nature of the threat, the movie could have made an explicit link to the oft-rumored upcoming  Justice League Dark movie, instead of the lame mid-credit scene they did have for instance, but didn't. It was suggested on Twitter the villains should have just been a terrorist organization. I think that would have solved the villain problem anyway... They could have even used one from the comics like HIVE or Kobra...                    

To my wider audience, I guess I can't really recommend this movie but if you like comicbook movies and/or Will Smith, Margot Robbie, or Viola Davis, then yes, I believe you would like it well enough...
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