Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

This is some cynical shit.

I told myself that I don’t always need to see every movie that’s had bad reviews in order to make up my own mind. Then I started watching Suicide Squad anyway. I didn’t even make it 20mins. I agree with everything bad I’ve heard anyone say about this movie.

Update: ok, eventually i came back and got through the movie. Here’s what I’ll add:

  • the made-by-executive-committee thing is palpable.
  • it’s one thing when the dialogue is unimaginative or obvious; it’s another tautological or over-expositional. It implies that either the film-makers are, or the film-makers assume the audience is, dumb or less screen literate than is functionally plausible in this day and age.
  • ditto the editing. And the music cues. Holy shit.
  • the film-makers (executives? Difficult to say, at this point) clearly do not understand these characters, or character motivation or portrayal in general. What makes bad guys bad or good, how alliances work… this movie just moves people around into desired positions with no more logic than kids with action figures. How is El Diablo calling these guys his “family” by the end? Why does Boomerang return, or Croc… do anything, really? Who are these guys? Perhaps the worst example: Harley Quinn’s “crazy” is portrayed as an intentional (literal) dive into “madness” (as represented by a vat of chemicals?), and her ultimate fantasy is a normal nuclear family life with a normal-looking Joker.
  • yet another villain whose goal, methods and actions make no sense, elicit no emotion, and make the whole thing about as dumb as any non-comic-movie-fan would (have every right to) expect. (And why why WHY do the stakes have to be “the whole damn world”? How have these film-makers not learned that the bigger and more overblown the spectacle, the more you lose, rather than impress, the audience? Haven’t any lessons been learned from Captain America: Civil War?)
  • the spectacle is hollow – either because the film-makers think so little of the source material or its target audience, or because the film-makers themselves know no better. (I’m leaning toward the latter – Deadshot’s “emotional” bit in the climax makes zero sense thematically, the scenario is actually the opposite of… ugh, why am i wasting my time on this, or putting more thought into this than the studio clearly has? I’m not saying this needs to be deep, but there are plenty of things Suicide Squad (and many other comic book movies from, say, the early 2000s) could have been other than insulting. Cynical big business.
  • The previous point is what makes Suicide Squad worse even than Batman v Superman: for all my (many) criticisms of that movie, it may be bone-headed, but at least it’s not cynical.