Twitter review: What do you get with too many pop songs and a story that hardly makes sense? This film.
Spoiler-free review: Because of the setup of this film and the pop songs used in the trailers (I still liked the one using Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, though that’s partly because I’m also a Queen fan), there have been thoughts of comparisons to Guardians Of The Galaxy. I can tell you right now that GOTG is a MUCH better film than this.
In a world where Superman exists (though during the events of this film, Superman is presumed dead), Amanda Waller comes up with the idea of assembling a team of meta-humans who can be used as an army against other meta-humans. She has access to a number of them, including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, El Diablo and Enchantress. She uses Enchantress, whose heart she has access to and uses as a threat against Enchantress, to convince military leaders to allow her to assemble this group. When Enchantress manages to slip away and release her brother, all hell breaks loose in a city. The other bad guys are assembled, with the ostensible mission of rescuing someone from inside the city.
The thing that surpsised me most about this film – besides the fact that I didn’t care much for a lot of the action going on in the film – was how two characters were completely wasted. The first, Slipknot, hardly factors in the film. The second, though is more surprising. There have been numerous stories about how Jared Leto threw himself so much into the Joker’s personality on the set (one of the stories, for example, was him sending live bullets to the other cast members), and Joker is shown prominently in the trailers. So it’s so surprising to see him here as almost a shell of a character. Granted, he doesn’t have the amount of screen time Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger had in their respective Batman films, but still, most of the action he has in this film could have been plausibly done by any run of the mill nut. The only reason he’s in this film is to pine after Harley and give her origin story. Most of the time Joker is in the film, you feel almost like you have to keep waiting for him to get off the screen so other stuff can happen.
And then there’s the music. I’ve always said that a great film has the music as an important component. It’s supposed to add depth to the scene at hand. In Guardians Of The Galaxy, the music (other than the score) is representative of Starlord’s Awesome Mix Tape he got from his mom. It’s one of the few things that he has from Earth, and the music is part of his character. It’s also not overused at all in that film. In Suicide Squad, it felt like there were something like 7 different pop songs within the first 20 minutes, including The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ when the various bad guys are assembled for the first time. Yes, we get it. Then when the pop music isn’t being hit over your head every couple of minutes, the score tends to blast louder and louder during the action scenes, a criticism I had with Batman v Superman. Honestly, if you came in to see the movie with perfect hearing, you’ll walk out with tinnitus after you’re done.
I had high hopes for this film. The previews looked really good, and I was genuinely excited to see this film. I wish that the film made more sense, and that so much of it didn’t feel like padding in the film. If they do make a sequel, here’s hoping they ease up on the music and make a story that makes more sense. Certainly, now that we got the origin stories out of the way (it took 45 minutes for the real action to start, for crying out loud!), the next Suicide Squad film should hopefully be a bit leaner.
Spolier-filled review: Ugh. I hate it when my intelligence is insulted. The filmmakers spent nearly 20 minutes delving into Deadshot and Harley’s backstories, then having Amanda Waller repeat her proposal twice (the first time just so she could utter the line “Let’s just say I put them in a hole and threw away the hole”). Slipknot is introduced with zero backstory, so it was zero surprise that when he tried to make a break for it he was killed by a device implanted in all of their necks.
But what really gets me is that the mission of saving this VIP turned out to be Amanda Waller herself, who was in a situation room in the middle of the city that was being ripped apart by Enchantress and her brother. The only reason I can figure that this was necessary was to show how much of a sick badass she is (she shoots all of the people in the situation room working for her, saying “they weren’t cleared for any of this”) and to allow herself to be captured by Enchantress, which allows her to know where the various secret government facilities are (since Amanda had a probe inserted to her by Enchantress). If Amanda had been anywhere else, the Squad could have simply been used to attack this threat, and a bunch of government facilities wouldn’t have been attacked. Then again, Enchantress is shown as having the ability to teleport almost anywhere she likes, and yet she still remained in the same spot she was even when the Squad was attempting to stop her. So maybe the filmmakers have decided that none of the characters in this film really have much of a brain to start with in the first place.