Let me tell you, yet another review, this one more of a meta-review on the direction of a movie studio. The End of the Decline for DC? That’s right, I’m calling it. Or at least, Suicide Squad shows they finally realised they’re heading in the wrong direction.
I did a short review on Aussie Indie Comics, check it out here.
One of the big problems with Suicide Squad is the inordinate amount of time spent on backstories. They gave several minutes of screen time at the beginning of the movie to all the anti-villains getting captured – bearing in mind there are six of them – and filled in more detailed backstory for a couple of them, as well as setting up the plot overall.
Each particular backstory was well thought out, but that many at the beginning of the movie really began to drag. They simply weren’t necessary, and they detracted from the overall story.
All that was needed was for Amanda Wallace to indicate she was putting together a team of bad guys, some of whom have powers. That’s it, that’s all the set-up that’s required. That way, all the fight scenes from the bad guys getting captured can be moved into the body of the movie, where they can be used to further the plot rather than backstory, and be used to give a good surprise. The powers would be an impressive surprise rather than something that was foreshadowed to the point of tediousness.
I am reminded of Fast and Furious 7. Warner, watch it, study it, learn from it, and run free…
Suicide Squad has been the hope of fans that DC might start making movies that aren’t depressing soliloquies on the interchangeability of good and evil. Which is odd, considering Suicide Squad is specifically about “bad guys” acting as heroes, but it’s the tone people seem to want changed, rather than the message.
I went into the movie with high hopes, and didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. The tone of Suicide Squad fails to live up to the wacky-punk of its promotional material and trailers. This makes sense – from what I understand, the movie was filmed in the tone of BvS, and then desperately recut at the last second to try to make it more like the trailers, which were clearly more popular.
It did succeed in a few places where BvS failed. Most importantly, it was internally coherent. I’ve heard people say that BvS is really good if you’ve read the comics, but that just means that it failed as a movie. Movies aren’t supposed to rely on people already knowing the story to tell a coherent tale. Suicide Squad tells a good story of the “good guys” using the “bad guys” to save the world, with fairly standard depictions of the government-run as heartless and evil. Refreshingly, the bad guys were all depicted as actual bad guys, even if a few of them are eminently relatable.
I’m not a fan of this Joker, even as I recognise the different style it’s promoting. Put simply, this Joker isn’t beguiling. Previous incarnations (Batman & The Dark Night) were gifted orators, and even if you didn’t agree with them you could see how they might convince others – think about The Joker talking to Harvey Dent in the hospital. This incarnation had none of that seductive banter, which is a shame because in this movie, where they show a psychiatrist falling in love with the Joker. That wasn’t believable, at least as it was shown in the movie.
A major part of superhero movies are the fight scenes, and they were good in this movie, but there weren’t enough of them. There was a lot of bluster and macho posturing, but that tends to fall flat in the action stakes. A lot of the action sequences from the introduction, where they provided the background of the characters, should have been put in the story. They could have been more exciting, and served the plot instead of the backstory.
All in all, I give the movie 7/10. It had some good parts, but there should have been a lot more. They could have gotten away with a bit more wacky oddness, and a bit less exposition. I mean, the most surreal part of the experience was watching Stephen Hawking hawking cars before the feature. If you like the previous few Batman movies, and you’re a fan of the comics, you’ll like this movie.