Suicide Squad; Sad plight of the superhero genre

I really wanted to like Suicide Squad.Really. But with some directorial fumbles and plot contrivance, I find myself asking the same question that I’ve asked myself plenty times when watching superhero movies – What’s the point? Superhero films badly need a change. But suicide squad wasn’t it. It still has the trademark crowd-pleasing aspects that make it look like it came out of the same cookie-cutter that made other superhero movies. The hopes of an unconventional (that was certainly how they marketed it!),artistic and original film fell flat. Even the movie’s best, Margot Robbie and Will Smith who portrayed Harley Quinn and Deadshot respectively, couldn’t make the experience a lasting one.

Suicide Squad suffers from devoting so much time to action sequences that it neglects the good moments it merely brushes on the surface. There’s alot to be explored in Dr.Harleen Quinzel and Joker’s doctor-to-patient relationship that becomes an intriguing toxic romance. Instead of utilizing Jared Leto and Margot Robbie’s talents to create what could have been tense dialogue exchange and conversational back-and-forths, their psychology and relationship is trivialized to short scenes of steamy kisses and sweet-nothings. Less than 5 seconds into their introduction, both were already smooching away. At this moment, I just threw out whatever hopes I had of a Hannibal Lecter/ Clarice Starling depiction. Overall, it was really disappointing to say the least because the film persistently left character development for dead.

With so many characters already vying for screen-time, the inclusion of an ineffectual Joker and haphazard cameos from Batsy seem bizarre. I didn’t enjoy Jared Leto’s Joker because it was uneccesarily over-the-top. It goes from character design to dialogue to Leto’s portrayal which evoked neither fear, disgust, humour nor sympathy. But let’s be honest, the scenes constrained him. Lying in the middle of an assortment of knives…was he doing a ritual? Well at least show it and don’t just leave it where he lies down and laughs for three seconds?! The part where he unexpectedly shoots a gangster who refuses to enjoy the company of Harley out of respect is so overshadowed by loud music and distracting camera movements. One perfect scene to show how we’re dealing with a serious screwloose here and the film literally manages to screw it up. Cue the neon and purple screen transition to a crazy car chase. And the previous scene seems non-existent.

To give some credit, I enjoyed myself the most when Harley Quinn and Deadshot appeared on screen. Viola Davis was pretty decent. But the rest were kind of forgettable.There’s this issue with how the movie’s going to fit in with the rest of DC’s plans because I have an ominous feeling it’s just an attempt to rebrand themselves as the cooler cousin to Marvel. Are we going to see more of Harley Quinn and Deadshot? Shouldn’t this have been the film we ACTUALLY got to see more of them? The backstory? Why even make a movie about villains doing something good if you don’t focus on the moral dilemmas and belief systems that make villains so compelling?

In the final part of the movie, we get to see some attempts to humanize the suicide squad but it isn’t nearly enough. Suicide Squad has too many scenes devoted to action and banter that aren’t supplemented by scenes devoted to character depth. I will say though that casting Will Smith here is a fantastic choice because he’s able to wring out blood from stone. There was a sense of warmth that shone through and humanized Smith’s Deadshot. Most impressive of all was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Just everything about her depiction was everything I imagined in a Harley Quinn and more- The unsettlingly wide smile, the frivolous behaviour and comic relief were exceptional. Margot Robbie seriously nails the pixie-like character with her own sexiness and charm 😍 In a movie where I have nothing much to cheer about, it’s such a relief knowing I can truly say I LOVE everything about Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

I think the fact that superhero films have to please it’s audience is something we have to accept. Big-budget films like Suicide Squad will embrace the action-driven crowd-pleasing tropes to the less marketable character studies. As proven, Suicide Squad is a mega box office hit already and DC’s hopes to contest Marvel is well under way. It’s just a pity that with the way things are going, there’s absolutely no way we see a 6 minute conversation between Dr.Harleen and Joker that deals with Dr.Harleen’s conflict of interest; Her professional duty and her desire are blurred by the intimacy of their medical arrangement. And truth be told, she lets go of Dr.Harleen Quinzel and becomes Harley Quinn, her newly formed full-on psychotic persona.

Or does she? By the looks of how superhero movies are turning out, we will never find out.

 

Rating: 4/10 The batman cameos just plain sucked. Margot Robbie and Will Smith were on top of their game though.

 

 

 

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25 Comments Add yours

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks Tom!! How did you find the film?

      Like

  1. Akaluv says:

    Great review! I wanted to like the movie too, but sadly, it fell short in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Haha glad you liked it 🙂 You’re right,this one was all over the place. Just wished it was different from the others 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. emmakwall says:

    Great review Jia, I keep hearing the same (bad) things about this movie, such a shame!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      🙂 Always so kind Emma. It was a shame especially since I hoped it would have been that quirky slightly different superhero movie. Turned out the marketing was better than the movie LOL.
      But I absolutely loved Margot Robbie’s Harley ooh 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. emmakwall says:

        I’ve heard from others too she is the best part of the story! It is a real shame, sometimes you wonder with movies, especially ones with such a big build up and anticipation just HOW they can get it so wrong?!

        I don’t think Jared Leto is happy either!

        And you’re very welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bloggeray says:

    Like you, I was also pretty worked up for this film. The scathing reviews tempered the expectations a great deal though. Theatres in my city aren’t screening it so maybe I’ll have to wait for the home media release. I’m still hopeful for the DCEU in general and Suicide Squad 2 in particular. I expect Geoff Johns and the rest to learn from their mistakes.
    Great review. You laid the good and the bad out in a very detailed manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Haha aw man, but I guess there isn’t much to be missed. I really hope so but I’m doubtful. As long as big studios are in charge, more creative,artistic and meaningful takes on the superhero theme is a long shot. Glad you liked the review!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Keith says:

    Loved the review. I’m definitely not as down on superhero films as some, but I do think that a lot of the films could use a little more creative effort behind them. Geoff Johns taking over for DC should have a positive effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      :)) I think the more I see, the more I feel as though superhero movies are just like that. We’ll just have to leave creative direction to other films. But it’s no excuse for the movie to be this cluttered. Hopefully! I loved the DC animations but none of its movies (except Nolan’s Batman) have really impressed me. Actually Nolan’s Batman doesn’t really count right?

      Like

  5. smilingldsgirl says:

    I’m with you on this one. I particularly liked how you said
    “Why even make a movie about villains doing something good if you don’t focus on the moral dilemmas and belief systems that make villains so compelling?”
    Not that you can’t just have a “fun” movie but it would have been more fun if I cared about the characters s little bit

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Hey Rach! How are you? Yes exactly, if the movies actually made us care about its characters, that would be my definition of real fun. I’m glad there’s still people like you who actually want something substantial 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. smilingldsgirl says:

        Thanks! I’m doing great. How are you? I agree we deserve better from our blockbusters!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. jwforeva says:

        Pretty good 🙂 We do!

        Like

  6. ruth says:

    Hi Jia, I want to like this too. I read a professional critic’s review who said that contrary to popular belief, critics do want to love the movies they see. I had a neutral expectations going into this as I hadn’t been anticipating it as much as others. Same with Deadpool which I ended up enjoying.

    Yeah, the action was way too much, esp towards the end, and the villain is so lame and irritating. They totally dropped the ball in exploring the Quinzel and Joker’s doctor-to-patient relationship by cutting sooo many of Joker’s scenes. It’s crazy how studios butcher their own films. I too agree that Leto’s performance is unnecessarily over-the-top, nowhere near as compelling as Ledger’s for various reasons. As for Robbie, I think a Harley Quinn standalone movie would be a massive hit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      I totally agree. The villain was pulled out of nowhere and basically served no purpose…ironic given how you’d think the movie that ‘subverts’ the notion of villains would have some interesting ideas regarding its characters. But clearly they didn’t nail anything.
      I loved Deadpool as well haha!!
      I would totally watch a Harley standalone film exploring her identity and relationship with joker. And Get someone like David Fincher or David Lynch to direct it. (Or basically anyone who knows how to create dark material Idontevencare LOL).

      Like

  7. Jay says:

    I was surprised and disappointed by how much time they spent on the CGI stuff. With such a large cast, you’d think they’d want to use them. I reallydon’t need to see yet another CGI battle. And I really wasn’t impressed with the enchantress character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Yeah that’s a good point I didn’t realize until you mentioned. They have good actors on hand, why not create good scenes from pure acting and plot? Oh YES, what was with her dancing about in the climax? Felt like they had to have a villain for the sake of it…
      I think studios interfering with the creative direction is hurting movies like these. Everything is deemed too dark, non-appealing and risky.

      Like

  8. Dan O. says:

    It’s messy for sure. But for some reason, I had fun with it. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks Dan! 🙂 I just wished it was more than just another superhero movie.
      I loved Harley though!

      Like

  9. This movie lacked so much passion. It was so clumsily thrown together and made zero sense. Great review! I’m still so disappointed :\

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks Courtney!! I’ll get to your review now cos I didn’t want to spoil myself before. Yeah kinda, I don’t know, maybe they did have passion but it certainly wasn’t used in thr right way. It felt more like DC wanting to get something different out and quick to rival marvel.
      ZERO sense. Left no impact at all. I could tell you were pretty hyped for it so it must have been worse for you 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved, loved, LOVED Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. She was everything I envisioned her to be and more. I wish we could have seen more of her on screen – learn more about her and her backstory – but maybe that leaves the door open for some more?

    For me, the editing was a bit choppy – which made the story hard to follow and the villian (if we are honest) was weak. It was missing that emotional investment in some of the characters (I am pretty invested in Deadshot and Harley now) that made me want them to succeed and care.

    My review (only if you want to read!) https://remotetragic.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/movie-review-suicide-squad/

    Like

  11. Farid Solana says:

    I don’t see Suicide Squad as superhero movie, actually. It deals most with drama and something dramatic. We can see this on Deadshot and Harley, and what El Diablo did. Frankly speaking, they are nice people. It is Waller and Flag that don’t have heart, and manipulate them to do something risky.
    Like it or not, normal people tend to be intimidated by skilled and highly intelligent persons, and we can see this in Suicide Squad.

    You can check my review if you like, bro. Just click https://faridsolana.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/will-smiths-suicide-squad/

    Like

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