DC and WB are trying hard to appease the fans. So hard that they maybe alienating the fans that truly did appreciate the darker take on the Superhero genre they started. Succumbing to the criticism that both previous DCEU movies (Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) were too dark for audiences, the studio execs commissioned reshoots to Suicide Squad in an effort to lighten the tone and make it a tad more action packed. It seems that their gamble may not have paid off as expected. Critics review of the latest DCEU flick are anything but positive and with future projects from rival studios already making the movie yesterday’s news, Suicide Squad is not really delivering what the bigwigs possibly hoped.
But then again this post isn’t what the critics felt or what the head honchos expected. This post is about what yours truly felt after watching the flick. And given that I got to watch the movie free of cost (including the popcorn and drinks), perhaps I am less inclined to rant about lost money. Just Kidding! Here’s my honest take on the movie that is Suicide Squad.
The promos and trailers certainly did promise a crazy ride. And with both Harley Quinn and the Joker involved in the plot, there was bound to be some level of hilarity and insaneness involved. And to that end, it does deliver on those front on quite a few occasions during the movie. However the basic premise is paper thin. The entire movie seems to be a thin string holding onto bite sized chunks of humour, action and back stories.
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller isn’t all that awesome. But I reckon since she was the flavour of the month (her casting was around the time she won accolades for her movie roles and the new crime drama series) it probably was a business decision. The character though helps bring in the darkness that DCEU movies are becoming synonymous for.
And then there is the newest version of an age old character who is as iconic as his arch enemy. Jared Leto’s rendition of the Joker looked very intriguing and promising in the trailers. In fact he was the reason a whole lot of people were keen on watching the flick. And while the look and physicality of the character are appealing, I feel there is something lacking. Maybe this movie wasn’t meant to be the canvas for The Joker of this universe and hence we don’t get a sense of his character entirely. But even the scenes that are here, don’t portray a very convincing arch-nemesis to the man in the bat cowl.
To be fair, Leto had a very tough task in filling in Heath Ledger’s footsteps. His rendition of the Clown Prince of Crime is undeniably the best till date (yes even better than Jack Nicholson’s!) in my opinion. But based on the rumours and fan theories that were circulating, I was also hoping that this Joker was in fact someone the Batman knew intimately which would truly change the way we interpret his character in the DCEU.
The movie’s pacing is questionable. At times it seems rushed especially the first act felt like it was forced in just so we could segue into the second act as soon as possible. But then there are times when flash-backs and back stories get cued and the momentum takes a sudden stop to fill in on some possibly unimportant detail.
One of the main complaints I have with the movie is the character development and pacing or lack thereof. Not one of the Squad members has appeared in any previous movie or has a long enough backstory for you to feel any connection to them. Failing which I honestly was not invested enough emotionally to care enough if they lived or died during the course of the movie. The back stories understandably are longer for the stars, i.e. Margot Robbie, Will Smith et al. But that would have also been fine had they been less jumpy and more coherent.
Editing is another major issue with the movie. The director it seems was under tremendous pressure to have a theatre release cut ready after all the re-shoots the studio execs wanted and it shows. Scenes seem incomplete and half-baked at times and there is no true build up to critical shots and sequences. There is an elevator battle sequence (if you can call it that!) which seemed totally unnecessary and awfully choreographed. WHY? I’d be intrigued to see a Director’s cut of the movie since it has been rumoured to be more violent and obviously lengthier. I mean with a cannibalistic croc faced team member you’d think there’d be visible blood and gore for at least a few minutes!
WB and DC have a serious problem. They keep churning out movies that are sure shot hits, but every single time they manage to mess it up. At least to the extent that critics pan their offerings rendering their sure hits as sure misses. Personally I will still catch every DCEU movie that gets made, simply because these are cinematic renditions of characters I have grown up watching and loving.
Is Suicide Squad a bad movie? Not entirely. There are moments that resonate with comic book fans and buffs. Performances by the key characters are truly praise worthy, especially Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the psychotic siren and Will Smith’s infamous hitman. And for the first time I actually liked Jai Courtney in a movie. I’d love to see him in the stand-alone Flash movie if only as a secondary nemesis.
Given that the movie is an ensemble piece, one where the characters didn’t get enough time to breathe and fully develop and register with the audiences, I’d say the flaw is with the length and timing of the movie. Had this been the final chapter of a well executed trilogy, the other chapters of which would have given more depth and character to the people, then the flick would have been stellar! On its own, Suicide Squad feels rushed, and half baked.
DC and WB are struggling to compete with Marvel’s success and in their desperation are running blind and fast. The urgency to build up the universe for the upcoming Justice League movie is resulting in them taking very studio-esque business decisions in favour of creative ones that would potentially elevate the movies to new heights.
Here’s hoping that the future projects learn from the mistakes of the past and deliver unanimously praiseworthy results.