I saw various warnings about this movie. There was quite a bit of anticipation for it as the DC universe with Hollywood seemed to want to redeem itself after the heavily panned Superman vs Batman flick. And even with the criticisms towards this movie, I did read that a few performances were well handled. So how did Suicide Squad fare in the Keith rating system?
I suppose you could say that I’ve been meaning to watch this movie ever since it premiered on HBO. I avoided it on iTunes and in the theater. At least with HBO, I can say that I didn’t conscientiously pay for it. I mean hey it does have Margot Robbie among others right?
Well, in truth that really didn’t help much. In fact, maybe it even hurt. But Suicide Squad is what I call the typical Hollywood epidemic that has plagued us for years now. On paper, you have a great cast in terms of big names with some major cameos. But all you really have created in the process is too much competition for screen time.
The movie is just a complete and utter mess. It tries to get stylistic in building up this unlikely band of heroes (or perhaps anti-heroes) in an unconvincing manner. But that doesn’t cover up the fact that there’s little room to develop any sense of character as the typical hero plot line is skewed forcibly into what are villains.
Heck, these characters don’t even try to hide the fact that they are villains. Almost at every turn you’re hit over the head with the obvious statement of what they are, like Harlequinn’s mallet crashing down on your skull. Such banal dialog leaves little room for interpretation and pretty much tells you how to think.
We’re even supposed to feel a small amount of sympathy for these characters in that they have this semi-humanized side to them where they show their vulnerable side. But it’s really silly as their motivation beyond the initial establishment of doing this job out of self-interest makes no sense.
There really isn’t much of a plot either. It’s just a mission to get rid of a disastrous consequence of another person’s poor decision making. Beyond that we’re forced to believe that these people suddenly consider each other friends. That aspect made no sense whatsoever to me since these people are psychopaths for the most part.
I don’t know what anyone was thinking when they created this disaster of a movie outside of big names + big franchise == $$$$ again. Also, how can anyone give any praise to the performances in this movie? Will Smith acted as Will Smith while Margot Robbie was overly sexualized (which seems like her exclusive talent). Wearing extensive make up, hot pants and saying stupid things don’t convince me that a performance is great. In fact, I found her to be cringeworthy.
The only character in the movie who had any compelling notion to me was the Enchantress. She was mysterious and had some bizarro powers that made me wish they spent more time on her. Instead, we have a lame climax where the weak ass hero somehow still manages to get the woman the Enchantress possessed. That scene made me feel absolutely dull as there was no pathos outside of the protagonist always wins.
Here’s the core problem: Hollywood refuses to do a proper bad guy movie. They’ve tried for years to make the audience believe in some anti-hero whether it’s Dark Man, Vin Diesel as Riddick, etc. But the basic story ends up making us sympathetic and the protagonist not such a bad guy in the end. Apathy (which is the easy way out for Hollywood doing a bad guy) isn’t being bad; that just makes them cool in an unconventional manner.
Things end up not working out for these types of movies because it doesn’t make sense in the end. There is no true moral ambiguity in these types of movies as there is a limit where the protagonist(s) end up hitting that resonates with our basic human sensibilities.
I think Suicide Squad just falls completely flat because people have become utterly desensitized and cynical since the 90s. We’ve moved far past moral shockers because the internet has helped unmine the real dark side of humanity. In turn, Hollywood’s base line rules cannot compete with the lack of structure and surprise that the internet can provide us.
The only thing Suicide Squad accomplishes is racking up Hollywood more debt and cynicism towards its decision making process. Sure, they will make money from this movie but I feel there’s going to come a time when the pressure from the critics and fans will humiliate the spineless creatives working in Hollywood from producing these trash films. There’s only so much trust you can break before your consumers gradually move on to other things.
Honestly, if the DC universe wants to succeed in Hollywood, they really need to do more work in establishing the characters of these stories rather than shoving them together in the hopes that stars and the character names sell the movies. Yes, we have the comics to be able to rely upon but you still need some ground work in establishing lesser known characters to a broader audience as well as a vision for changing the angle of what those characters might mean.