Mild Spoilers Ahead
It’s no secret that DC movies haven’t been doing well lately. So when I saw that Rotten Tomatoes gave “Suicide Squad” at 27% fresh rating, and after witnessing the monstrous trainwreck that was “Batman v Superman,” I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my seat to see it. But I had a DC comic-lover friend that really wanted to go and I was bored that day. I also thoroughly enjoyed the trailer music soundtrack.
Here’s what I have to say to some common criticisms of the movie:
There wasn’t enough Joker.
This is the main critique I’ve been seeing all over the place. Jared Leto’s name is on the poster but he wasn’t in the film. Well, I saw the film from beginning to end and felt there was plenty of Leto’s Joker in it, considering the focus of the film was about, dur, the Suicide Squad.
This is not a Batman movie. It was never marketed as a Batman movie. Yes, Batman makes a cameo, but he doesn’t fight the Joker nor should he. The Joker isn’t a member of the Suicide Squad, so it makes entire sense for him to be relegated to a secondary character.
There was an introductory scene with him and Harley Quinn in Arkham Asylum. There was a weird bar scene that illustrated the Joker’s cruel and mercurial nature. And there were a couple more scenes with him and Harley Quinn that highlighted their twisted, co-dependent relationship. Quinn is the main character and I felt the amount of appearances for the Joker was just the right amount so as to not overshadow her.
The music sucked.
“We haven’t even gotten to the distracting use of on-the-nose musical selections to introduce each character… Each song inspires a groan and takes you right out of the action.” –Rogerebert.com
Oh, shut the fuck up. If having appropriate music is “distracting” to you, you should watch a Tarantino flick and then shoot yourself in the head.
The soundtrack had everything from Skrillex to a Panic! at the Disco cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They are upbeat, catchy songs to compliment sarcastic, quirky characters. I don’t feel like covers of classic songs create a cliché, rather they set the tone for a new rendition of old comic book characters.
The film jumped around too much.
Yes, there were extensive uses of flashbacks in the film. There were, after all, between six and seven members of the Suicide Squad at one time. I don’t see a more efficient way to introduce and characterize them all.
As for the editing, I rather liked it. I don’t think it was sloppy or choppy. I felt like it created a fast-paced, yet still digestible, narrative that made for a solid action film plot. There was a lot going on, but I feel like I was able to distinguish all the characters and keep their personalities in mind without getting too muddled.
The film was two hours, but it was well enough paced that time flew by smoothly.
The villain was stupid or lame.
“She couldn’t arrange better special effects for herself, however; at the height of her powers, the threat she creates looks hilariously cheesy.” -Rogerebert.com
Yes, there’s a supervillian who hates humanity and wants a combination of domination and destruction. But what superhero movie isn’t that?
The Enchantress is an ancient witch with various dark powers. She can summon zombie-like minions, teleport, and manipulate the movement of matter and energy. I, for one, was just happy to see a female supervillian. She does bring her equally supernatural brother along for the evil ride, but it was nice to see a supervillian family working together for once.
I saw nothing out of the ordinary with the special effects. When she transforms from her possessed alter ego June Moone into The Enchantress, black fingers slip out from her own and then take her over, casting a smoky-like shadow around her body.
Sure she wears practically a bikini, but this is a relatively minor feminist sin. She is still a powerful, evil figure and a convincing antagonist in a movie full of anti-heroes.
I came into the theater with really low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. “Suicide Squad” was pretty on par with what the trailers advertised, was well-cast, decently-acted, and delivered entertaining action sequences. There was a certain amount of chaos I’ll admit, but this seemed entirely appropriate for the themes the movie was trying to present. If I was the filmmaker and somebody called “Suicide Squad” “messy,” I would take it as a compliment.