So I got to see this movie recently, and I was very excited for it too. So let’s talk about it, please note there will be small spoilers, nothing big, I promise.
The movie is was released on August of 2016 by Warner Bros. It was directed by David Ayer and stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto. The movie is based on characters from DC Comics and their series of the same name, Suicide Squad. Since my Mom was visiting and she likes Will Smith, I thought it was the perfect time to watch this film.
Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot, played by Will Smith, is something of a protagonist in the movie. If you don’t know who Deadshot is, he is DC Universe’s greatest shooter. Master of all firearms, extremely well trained, and never misses a shot. He has a daughter that he loves and will make sure you do not forget that.
Harleen Quinzel aka Harley Quinn is the other big character. If you really don’t know who she is, I really think you should watch Batman the animated series from the 90’s. As you know, she is Joker’s lesser crazy girlfriend. She is crazy, but not Joker crazy.
Amanda Waller is the head of many MANY secret government projects and teams, including the Suicide Squad. She is probably the most dangerous woman in the DC Universe since she has access to pretty much everything, has everyone’s political balls, and trusts nobody. In the other animated series, she has been part of or is responsible for something like Project Cadmus and the Batman Beyond project. She trusts no one and nothing, and everything she does is for the greater good and justice.
And the Joker. You know who he is if you lived on this planet for over 4 years. He is a very interesting version of the Joker: more comical than the Joker from the Dark Knight, more loving towards Harley than the Joker from the animated series, and less “gangsta” than the Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman. I am not saying I disliked the Joker, I thought that he was alright.
Other these main characters, there are also many more characters. Colonel Rick Flag, he is in charge of the Squad and can kill them if he sees fit. Killer Croc from Batman stories are here as cannibal muscle. Captain Boomerang and his pink unicorn is also brought in to add some comedy along with Katana who does not care for his bullshit. The Enchatress is here to be weird and make everyone feel uncomfortable. And lastly is El Diablo, the most developed character apart from Harley and Deadshot.
The story seems to be partially based on New 52’s Suicide Squad as Deadshot and Harley as lead, with some healthy dose of Paul Dinni’s Mad Love (either the animated version or the written, they are both fantastic).
The story takes place after the events of Batman V Super: the Dawn of Justice. Due to the aftermath of the movie the government (and DC) realizes they have to get their shit together. So Amanda Waller proposes the Suicide Squad, a task force made exclusively of disposable scumbags, to take any Metahumans or alien gods. This groups is suppose to be the fail safe system of rogue Superman, aka what Batman tried to do in Batman V Superman.
Suicide Squad is a government covert group made of DC villains. The members of the Squad are injected with micro bomb in the neck that will blow up in Amanda Waller or her main man Flag feels like it. This group is made of Metahumans and humans pushed to their limit, and Harley … because she’s popular?
For their first mission, one of the members of the Suicide Squad conveniently escapes Waller’s grasp and essentially starts a doomsday device, not Doomsday, but something that looks kind of similar to what General Zod brought in the Man of Steel.
I liked the movie, but it is far from perfect. so here we go.
I was worried when Will Smith was cast as Deadshot. I like Deashot in the animated series and in the comics, and I like Will Smith, but I can’t really picture Will Smith being a cold-hearted killer for hire, and I was a tad right. Deadshot is very likable in the movie, and that is good. But did they have to shoving that fact that he is doing these things for his daughter in our face? I wish he more of a selfish killer with heart of gold rather than sassy Will Smith.
Let’s talk about the Joker. I liked him. Sure he was not Heath Ledger’s terrifying chaos incarnate, but he worked in the movie. But I think he was too loving for Harley. In the animated series and the comics, Joker does’t really care about Harley, he uses her. At the heart of relationship between Joker and Harley is not mutual love, it’s abuse and inability to leave abuse. I understand that this is a different Joker from the comics and any of the previous incarnation, but this makes things less tragic for Harley. In the animated series and the comics, Joker abuses and abandons Harley many MANY times, she is a tragic character. This is most clearly evident in Mad Love. But this Joker seems to genuinely like Harley and plots his schemes to get her back. I liked this Joker, just wish he was tad more cruel.
The story is….. all over the place. Since Suicide Squad operates on need-to-know basis, most of the time the characters have no idea what they are doing. Who are they trying to rescue? That is confidential. Why are we doing this in this manner? That is confidential. If the characters were more transparent, the plot will be extremely generic: There is bad guy there, we save person X and then kill bad guy. And like most DC films, the world is about to be destroyed and all of humanity are at stake. It seemed like DC was not taking itself as seriously this time, so I was hoping the scale was not apocalyptic, I was wrong.
And the pacing seem to be all over the place as well. Since the Squad are alkl criminal, they kind of all want to runaway. This means going to point X, “Oh Harley is going off by herself, comeback. Okay, …. where did Boomerang go?” And this happens frequently, and I feel like Guardians of the Galaxy did it better. And where did the scene at the bar where everyone ordered drinks go? The scene that was in the trailer? Did they not plan this through to be in the final film?
I was hoping that this movie would break the whole nameless alien/robot/demon army thing that Marvel movies started to do with the Avengers. Sadly, this was not the case. There is this army of …. bubblefaced monster, not quite like the nurses from Silent Hill, but more like the people with Xenomorph eggs for heads. I don’t think they were that essential. They were just there to be killed to show that Suicide Squad is indeed capable.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that this team is capable to pulling off killing Superman-class catastrophe. Suicide Squad is usually made of second-rate villains rather than top shelf one. You will not likely see Lex Luthor, Ra’s Al Ghul, or Sinestro be a member of Suicide Squad. And these guys are suppose of take on someone like General Zod theoratically? I like Harley, but I don’t think her bat is going to work. I like Deadshot, but I don’t think guns have been historically been effective against demigods. The only character in this film I could maybe see pulling something close to that is maybe Enchantress, since she’s magic. Just some thoughts.
In the very beginning of the film, they go through the roster of the Suicide Squad and I love it. It shows their origin stories in like 2 minutes, and that was all we really needed to get started, I hope more movies do this. And they put more humor into this than previous Zack Snyder films, like it says that Captain Boomerang has fetish for pink unicorns. Not sure if that is from the comics, a joke, or if he actually is turned on by that is anyone’s guess and I liked it. The whole movie has this style that oozes with consistent visual style and icons. That was great.
Judging from the trailers, I was worried that Harley was going to be a girl-power psycho girl, and boy, I am glad I was wrong there. She, like the comics, is a naive girl caught in the schemes of the Joker. I always liked the difference the crazy level between Harley and the Joker. The Joker is completely un-redeemable genocidal evil, while Harley can still come back. She can turn her back to all this madness and try to return to normal life, and part of her still does want that. And this side of Harley is well captured in the film.
As mentioned before, there are a good dose of nods to Mad Love and there even a quick tribute to Alex Ross’s famous drawing of the two. Alex Ross is one of my favorite comic book artist and quick nod to him was pretty great. Batman and even the Flash make a quick cameo in the movie. Luckily they do not overstay their welcome nor steal the light from the main cast.
I always thought Amanda Waller would be a great character in a DC movie. She is smart, experience, powerful, and does not take shit from anybody. In the comics, she used Batman, Lex Luthor, Superman, and pretty much the Justice League for her agenda of greater good. She is the necessary evil, she will do anything to preserve peace, and if that means making a deals with some of the worst criminals in history.
Wasn’t sure whether or not to put this under the Bad or the Good, its the side characters. Captain Boomerang is one of the more funnier characters in the movie, he is really mischievous. He is constantly asking out Katana, trying to protect his stuffed pink unicorn, and tries to essentially piss off everyone for shits and giggles. I wish there was more of him and his silly antics. El Diablo brought the drama to the movie. He has done bad things with his powers are does not want to use them anymore, but now he has to if he wants to serve the Squad.
- Will I watch it again? Probably yes. It was not perfect, but it did not piss me off like Batman v Superman did.
- Do I recommend it? If you like DC comics and is interested, I recommend it. I genuinely laughed here and there, and I am considering buying it when it comes out.
- Overall thoughts? I liked it, and I genuinely enjoyed the film. Harley’s relatioship with the Joker seemed a little too stable and nice, but it wasn’t bad.
Now that the characters are more or less set, I think a sequel with lighter heart and crazier shit happening would be perfect. Maybe scale down the bad guy so it is not always world ending event.
I am glad I saw it, and if you have seen it, what did you think? Did you like it? Am I crazy like Harley? Put your thoughts in the comments!