Suicide Squad – Delivered Some Coolness, But...
Let me start out by saying that I enjoyed a lot of parts of Suicide Squad. Seriously. They had some sequences that were awesome and I liked the take they had on the origin story in that, you got a little origin, but not so much that you were stuck in backstory.
Oh…sidebar. This will contain spoilers. Not a play by play of the movie, but spoilers.
You probably don’t know this but I despise origin stories. I didn’t used to, but Marvel and DC have either rebooted or introduced me to characters and teams so often that I am completely over it. I’m so over it that I disliked Big Hero Six, a feel good animated movie that was, you guessed it! An origin story.
Suicide Squad introduced us to a bunch of characters who I was inclined to like…except for Captain Boomerang. He was utterly useless in my opinion and I have no idea how he survived.
So, let’s start with the good...
Deadshot’s Action Scenes
I’m not going to lie, those scenes made me feel a funny way that I would be okay with revisiting. In fact, I would buy the DVD just for the scene of his first encounter with the baddies. I guess I’m a victim of gun glorification because it was hot. Truth be told, I love characters who are a little understated but demonstrate immense power. That really does something for me and this movie had plenty of that.
I like how she was a complete badass. I’ve been told that they fudged her morality, but I understood that they were going for a badass who didn’t let anyone get in her way. She wasn’t a hero, and she wasn’t meant to be. She was pragmatic and lives were expendable. All that said, this is a movie. In real life, I’d hate her.
I would have liked a little more backstory on Katana and how she ended up working for the government. She struck me as an independent character, not the lackey of some love struck military man who fucked up.
I loved Diablo. He was someone with power who made a choice. I didn’t like how initially he was manipulated into doing something against his moral code. That said, I appreciated the redemption he sought, although not the price.
I enjoyed the music a LOT. In fact, I'm going to download some songs now. That said, some of the music was out of place, but still enjoyable.
Now onto the bad...
Suicide Squad never found its footing. It has these great stand-alone scenes that they cut together haphazardly. The rhythm and pacing was disruptive to the movie. Highly disruptive. The humor scenes felt cut and pasted in out of some misguided obligation to make jokes. They were like that awkward friend at the party who talks too loud and tries to make everyone laugh with artificial pratfalls and awkward timing. I found them jarring to the movie. This was something that happened with the music, too. The elevator scene with Harley was just layer after layer of shitty timing, including the music. If they had gotten it right, it would have been amazing!
I will be the first to admit that I am not a DC fan. I don’t like the comics, don’t care for many of the characters and out of the 20+ cosplays I’ve done, only 3 were DC characters. Three. So when I say I’m coming into this kind of blind about these characters, I am. Despite that, Harley was bad. Not her acting, so much as how she was treated like some kind of sexual treat for those who are into that kind of thing. She was the psychotic idolization of white womanhood. Pale, blond, blue-eyed, thin, curvy, dressed in revealing clothing, including heels despite going on a combat mission. The movie constantly reminded you that she is supposed to be sexy, with male characters ogling her multiple times and male characters commenting on her attractiveness. It was a lot and it was overkill. The weirdest part was the fantasy of domestic bliss they had running through her head as her ideal life with the Joker. That shit made no sense in any way and made it look like she was just waiting to mold the Joker into a father and provider. Not knocking that type of relationship if that’s what a woman wants, but we met her as a psychiatrist and saw her dancing in clubs, sucking whoever she wanted. That domestic scene made it seem like she molded herself into the Joker’s ideal woman for him instead of her choosing to live that life with him because she wanted it. *shrug*
Also, she kept calling people “pussies” like that shit was an insult. My pussy is phenomenal. These fuckers wish they could do what mine does.
This cast was diverse but the ones who die? POCs. That is problematic. And they managed to save the white woman because, I dunno. They get saving. That resonated in a negative way for me. They could have and should have killed her but, you know, she was innocent – possessed. Whatever.
I hated the Joker. He was not interesting. What was interesting was that he was more of a minor side story – almost a sidekick, although they made it clear he “owned” Harley. That shit was rough on every level.
The Final Boss Fight
There was a lot wrong here. First was putting these mortals up against overpowered bad guys. Most of them were fighting with melee weapons – swords, a bat, and a boomerang. All I’m going to say about that is it should have been a wipe. But let’s ignore two characters who wiped out a bridge and every militarized foe they met who, despite being impervious to bullets and having magic, can’t beat a marksman, an angry soldier, a woman with a death wish and a bat, a crocodile man (Manodile? Crocman?), an alcoholic thief with a boomerang, and a woman with a pretty phenomenal and badass sword. Granted, Diablo brought the rain, so much so they viewed him as an equal. But the others? That’s a lot to ignore, but I will. It was the timing of the damn thing. They went into this slow-motion sequence that went on for entirely too long. Remember Inception where we were waiting for that truck to hit the water? It was a lot like that. I actually got bored waiting for the next thing to happen. They really could have sped that shit up.
For the most part, I did not care about the squad's personal stories, and that was fine. In fact, their trying to put them in kind of pulled me out of the movie a little. I was totally okay with a group of people being forced to do something they didn't want to do, in order to survive. Because that's what it was. It wasn't about them becoming friends, or growing a heart. It was about a shitty situation that left them with little recourse. That would have worked for me, but, you know, humanity. The only exception being Diablo, who I think was my favorite character in the entire movie. Huh. Didn't see that coming.
So, overall, I enjoyed it. The hiccups were big enough to actually pull me out of the film, but the good stuff was good enough to pull me back in. Was it problematic? Yup. I still don’t understand how denigrating women is seen as being badass, but you know, sexism is a real thing and it constantly shows up.
I don’t do rating scales or any of that shit, so you can stop reading.