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Suicide Squad – Um, backstory please?


Here we go again, another DC Universe film. Granted this only makes three, but still.

So how does this one stack up?

It’s better than Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, but that isn’t saying much. There is still a ton wrong with this movie, there’s so much that doesn’t work. It really makes you question the competency of this company and the people working for them.

Was Zack Snyder the best choice to helm the Superman franchise, hell to back their whole DC Universe on? Fuck no. Was David Goyer the right person to pen most of these? In theory… yes. In execution… probably not.

What about David Ayer? Again, in theory yes. This should have worked. I’m not the biggest fan of his, I mostly think he writes the same damn thing over and over again and people never notice. I also have to take a point away for working with Skip Woods, the worst screenwriter working today. Also, still convinced he’s a robot.

But what about Suicide Squad?! There are some things in this. It’s mixed with a bunch of shit editing and smudged with studio fingerprints, but the good tries its best to shine through. Unfortunately, it just isn’t enough.

What I know about the Suicide Squad is only what they featured on the CW series Arrow. I knew who Deadshot is because he was on Arrow. I knew who Amanda Waller is, mostly because she was also featured on Arrow. Harley Quinn I kind of knew from the animated series way back in the 90’s. Though I don’t really get her popularity. Sure semi-attractive girls love to cosplay as her at dumb conventions, but besides that, what exactly is the appeal? Either way, expect to see a ton of slutty Harley Quinn costumes this Halloween.

Everyone else I had no clue who they were. Who the fuck is Diablo? Slipknot? The guy really great at climbing? Maybe that was the joke. Have the dumbest villain character pop up so he can be the first to die. Actually, he’s the only one to die.

Katana, I knew who she was also because of Arrow, the same goes for Captain Boomerang. Christ, these names!

Basically, I’m saying watch Arrow!

Watch Arrow, because if you don’t know who these characters are, too bad. The film does nothing to really introduce them. Who is Slipknot? No fucking clue. He punches women and is great at climbing. Great.

Killer Croc? Who is this guy? No idea, he looks kind of like a lizard I guess. All the info you need!

These characters are barely introduced to us before they’re quickly tossed together. It felt like BvS, that this was a sequel to something that didn’t exist. Nothing is put in place to get to know anyone.

The main offender being Rick Flag and his relationship with the Enchantress. Even her backstory is quickly rushed. Shit that maybe you’d spent like 10 minutes on, is told in about half a minute. And then toss their romance on top of that… I don’t even know how this is at 2 hours. There’s zero real plot going on. It mostly felt like a majority of the runtime was focused mainly on Margot Robbie’s ass and the elongated action sequences that just get so damn boring after a while. They’re fighting these literally faceless minions that turn into coal when you kill them, and that’s mostly the enemy they’re up against for like 2 hours until they get to the two main villains.

So who are the main villains? I have no idea. I mean, I know one is the Enchantress, but I have never heard of this character before. The same goes for her brother Incubus, who I had to look up the name for, seeing as he’s never named in the movie. I guess like the rest of the characters we had to just automatically know who they were.

The Enchantress is this other dimensional being that was found in a cave. Her spirit got into this lady named June Moone. These fuckin’ names!

Anyway, she is being controlled by Amanda Waller because she has her heart that she sometimes stabs with a pencil to keep her in line. Yet the Enchantress still manages to turn on everyone, releasing her brother. And I guess they share power, that’s how they bypass the whole heart stabbing control measure.

So now the city is under attack and they need the help of a bunch of bad guys that they need to threaten with head explosives to keep in line? What? Forget all these highly trained, highly skilled marines they have at their disposal, forget Batman, wherever the fuck he is during this. Off collecting superheroes for that shitty Justice League movie that is sure to bomb.

It actually took until they had to meet up with Amanda Waller that I understood what their mission was even about. They are assigned to grab Amanda Waller from her safety bunker. Until then I thought their mission was to take out the Enchantress and her brother. Not really the best plan when two of your team members are only armed with a baseball bat and a goddamn boomerang.

The one thing this film has that the other two DC Universe films don’t have is humor. And this film tries so hard at it. Possibly even doing reshoots to add more. And boy is this film funny. By funny I mean unintentionally hilarious. There were numerous times I found myself cracking up at the dumbest things that were in no way meant to be funny. The biggest laugh I got was towards the end when you see the Enchantress shaking her hips like she’s the chiquita bananas lady.

It is laugh out loud bad.

The other silly moment (besides everyone’s name) was Diablo. How sometimes he’d make a dumb crown out of fire or spell words with fire… it was dumb. But nothing really tops Jared Leto as The Joker. I have no idea what the fuck he was doing. The fact he looked just like Marilyn Manson while he was promoting his The Golden Age Of Grotesque album was way too distracting. Though I did kind of enjoy the fact his hand had this laughing mouth tattoo, which he’d sometimes cover his mouth with or others with.

I don’t fully get his relationship with Harley Quinn, besides her name being a play on a female clown, I really don’t get her. And in this film they don’t seem to get her either. Her backstory is just as rushed as everyone else, yet is basically the main focal point of the story, besides Deadshot’s.

This is the problem, her and the Joker should have been introduced in a movie before this. Everything they showed, felt like it should have been a recap from a previous movie. Everything they showed us was cut into 10 second increments. She meets the joker as his therapist, he asks for a machinegun, he breaks out of arkham, and now has her tied to a chair about to shock her crazy. All that cut together in like 20 seconds. Then about 45 minutes into the film she has a flashback to where she is standing over some chemicals as the joker tells her to jump. Well, he doesn’t say exactly that, but the lines are so bad I don’t feel like repeating them. Will you live for me! There I said it. Yuck.

I’m not completely sure what happened either. She jumps and the Joker dives in after her and… what? What did she jump into? What was the purpose? Do I need to rewatch the old 90’s Batman cartoon series to find out? That’s the only place she exists, right? Wasn’t her character created only for that show?

The only character I really liked was Will Smith as Deadshot. He was cool and funny when he needed to be, and bad ass when he needed to be. You also got his character, even though they spend about as much time with him as they did everyone else.

I’ve never been a fan of this Joel Kinnaman guy. I hated him on The Killing and really fucking hated him as RoboCop. I like him about as much as I like Jai Courtney, who is terrible in everything! Even this. I was shocked when people started talking about how great and funny he was in this, then I see the movie and I’m still waiting for him to be funny.

He likes pink unicorns! That’s hilarious! No. Seeing the Enchantress gyrate was hilarious, everything Jai Courtney did felt like he was trying too hard. Or, maybe that was a part of the reshoots. Make him funnier says the studio! We gotta make this more like Guardians of the Galaxy!

Diablo I guess had the best backstory, even with this dumb fire crown, his character was the most sympathetic. He was this fire whisperer, not really sure what he is. Towards the end he becomes this ancient mayan zulu god thing. Not going to explain that? Anyway, he used his powers to become a… I want to say gangsta kingpin but they showed the house he lives in and in no way did that belong to any kind of kingpin. But his wife found all his drug money, and I guess this was news to her or something because she gets pretty pissed about it. I mean, the guy is literally covered from head to toe in gangster tattoos and spits fire, did you not think this guy might not be such a good dude?

Anyway, in a fit of rage he kills his family.

Towards the end though he does have the dumbest line in the film. And with competition from Harley Quinn, that’s a pretty big feat. As they’re about to face off against the main baddies he says he already lost one family, he isn’t about to lose another. You mean the group of people you’ve essentially known for like a couple of hours? That family? What the fuck are you talking about? Remember when we walked down that block like an hour ago? You’re like my brother now.

I don’t even really know what the Enchantress’ main goal was. She hates that humans used to worship her, but they turned on her and sealed her away for thousands of years. Now she wants to get revenge by shooting a blue beam of light into the air. What the beam actually does I have no clue. Now that I think about it, isn’t this the plot to X-Men: Apocalypse? At least Olivia Munn isn’t in this to fuck it up even more.

Really the only way to salvage this is if they added like an extra 60 minutes to the beginning, introducing the characters. Okay, maybe not that long, but at least 30 minutes to fully get a lot of their backstories. Skip over some like Captain fuckin’ Boomerang and maybe tell us a bit more about say… Katana, the chick who has a sword that traps souls. You don’t want to elaborate a bit more on her character? No? Just in passing dialogue mention her dead husband is trapped inside? You don’t maybe want to give us a few more minutes with her? How does she know Flag? What is their relationship? Who killed her husband? Why does the sword trap souls?

This fuckin’ movie is so frustrating. There are elements here that showed this film had potential. With some better editing, less studio interference, maybe a better writer than David Ayer and maybe you’d have a good dumb action movie. That’s what the trailers made this out to be. But nope, they got a company that cuts together trailers to edit this, the studio wanted so badly to have a hit, trying their best to be like Deadpool or more blatantly, like Guardians of the Galaxy. From the quips to the constant retro music score. It all just stinks of desperation.

I really don’t get how people can still get excited when DC releases a new trailer. Yeah, Wonder Woman trailer looked cool. But you know it’s going to be terrible. Just look at this track record. You know it’s going to be bad, they have no idea what they’re doing.

They’re way too worried about what Marvel is doing. They so badly want to rush things and get to that Justice League movie. Which also looks like shit. Speaking of Justice League, the Flash pops up for like a second to stop Captain Boomerang. That’s the Flash! We know him from… the Justice League trailer?

I guess I’ll talk a bit about the terrible ending that seemed like it was tacked on by the studio or the after credits sequence where Bruce Wayne shows up to threaten Amanda Waller so she’ll hand over a binder of metahumans… which I’m pretty sure he already got from Lex Luther in BvS, right?

So the ending of the film, the team has to plant a bomb, underwater of course to give gatorboy something to do in the film… okay, by the way, I like the fact his makeup was practical, but… he looked stupid. Well, he looked ok with his clothes on, but then you see him shirtless and you start to notice how off his proportions are. He has this giant head but really tiny body. I get that he is meant to be like a crocodile, but it just looked odd.

So while gatorboy is off planting the bomb, the rest of the squad is there to save Amanda Waller. Though they kind of abandon that plan once they get there. They do manage to take out Incubus, but they still have the Enchantress to deal with. Again, what exactly is she doing? Wat is the blue beam of light with a bunch of trash floating around it? Did I miss something or is the explanation on the cutting room floor like the rest of this movie?

Harley Quinn, the crazy chick with a baseball bat manages to save the day by ripping out her heart, freeing June from the Enchantress. You don’t think maybe Deadshot might be the better person suited for this? You know, the guy who can hit any target, from anywhere!

Or I don’t know, have this Boomerang guy do ANYTHING in the film! His main contribution to the team was to toss a boomerang out with a camera on it so it could survey the surrounding area the bad guys are in.

After all that they go back to their blacksite prison. Oh I passed over the fact The Joker tried to rescue Harley Quinn but got his plane shot down, leading us to believe he was dead. But then which I’m pretty sure was tacked on by the studio, he breaks into the prison, finally freeing her.

Final verdict, skip this one at the theaters. Like the rest of the DC Universe, just wait until it comes to video. You really aren’t missing very much. And you never know, they might release a 3 hour cut of the film with all the footage they tossed out, put back in.

This could have been a dumb fun action movie, this SHOULD HAVE BEEN a dumb fun action movie. But too much was edited out, too much studio interference, bad writing, kind of shitty casting, really puts this thing in the dumps.

If I had to rate it against one of the Marvel movies, I’d put it up there with Fantastic Four, it suffered a lot of the same problems Suicide Squad had. Studio interference, reshoots… but it had elements in it that you could tell something was there. It wouldn’t have been great, but at least it would have been watchable.

Suicide Squad is at least watchable.

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