By: Felix Felicis (Five Beers)-
I went all in on this one. I cashed in all my chips and doubled-up on a bet that DC could pull out of this franchise fuckwittery with a third-time’s-the-charm cellblock Cinderella. What I got was a reminder to never trust anyone wearing a headband non-ironically (I’m looking at you, not-so-Enchantress) and the nail in the coffin of the DC Murderverse. Zach Snyder and Co. have officially sucked their way onto the gold medal podium of all-time Olympic fuckups (and after the depressing CGI blender that was Superman and inconceivable-ish hot mess that was Batman vs. Superman: The Rise of The Martha Moms there was nowhere to go but up), so it was a special kind of bad that had the Squad locked into a tedious tailspin of a-meh-zing antics.
Okay, let’s break this down. Suicide Squad follows almost-certain-sociopath Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) as a black ops director of a shadowy arm of the government tasked with both utilizing (and defending the world against) meta humans/assorted aliens and demi-gods. Poster girl for the Squad and eventual homegrown villian du jour, June Moon aka The Enchantress (Cara Delevigne) almost immediately goes rogue and tries to destroy the world like five seconds after the Suicide Squad gets greenlit by assorted men in the military. Cue choppy intro segments for some of the Squad and a rushed team meeting/pick-your-armor-homage montage under the supervision of Squad leader and boyfriend of the non-evil half of The Enchantress, Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman). Jared Leto’s “Joker” pops up here and there as a diversionary afterthought to remind you that Heath Ledger was the penultimate performance of that character to date before the Squad gets rolling to commit some misdemeanors and maybe save the world (if not your last functioning brain cell).
I’ll say this, DC has a consistent vision (whether or not that ruffles your skirt in a good way or not is up to you) and they’ve maintained cohesive creative control of their properties under the supervision of Zach Snyder- but that’s like letting a Kardashian direct each of your sex tapes (and you can’t tell me they don’t have a vault of those ready to fly the second their app empire needs a boost). I didn’t hate myself after purchasing a ticket, but I can’t decide if that’s because Suicide Squad represents an uptick in quality for DC or the fact that the previous two films in the franchise canon were so spectacularly bad. Anyway, Squad shines as a result. I’m filled to the brim with vodka (and an alarming amount of cheese-related puns) so I’m leaning toward the (p)latter.
There were moments, singular, fleeting moments of potential buried within the shitnado swirling around the cast (call me Sharknado franchise, I have IDEAS) where the chemistry felt natural within the Squad and the characters organic (shallow as fuck and one-dimensional as -what’s another word for shit, I’m running out of synonyms- um, hell… but organic nonetheless). Will Smith’s “Deadshot” and Margot Robbie’s “Harley Quinn” get it right most of the time. Well, they get it the least wrong.
Suicide Squad hooked the interest of audiences worldwide with an arguably kickass trailer, myself included.
I’ve seen the movie and THIS TRAILER STILL TRICKS ME INTO THINKING ABOUT GOING TO SEE IT AGAIN. That’s some hoodoo shit right there. But large chunks of Suicide Squad were hacked to bits in the editing bay and sacrificed to the studio gods in charge of reshoots (never even making it into the flick- disappointing one super fan so hard he’s actually suing the studio, true story) after a disappointing turn of events resulting from the Xanax-inducing Batman vs. Superman that almost depressed audiences to death (and it shows in the disjointed blender of scenes haphazardly slung together in the attempt to make Squad a more upbeat ensemble flick).
Suicide Squad is a radioactive typhoon of suck, washing away character depth and wiping out coherent plot points left, right, and center. At the core of the narrative, events and actions transpire simply because it’s necessary with absolutely the bare minimum foundation laid as was possible to get away with. For example, the G.I. Joe cardboard cutout, Rick Flagg, only leads the Squad because he had two scenes of setup to convey an undying love of, and devotion to, June Moon. Literally two scenes. One of which she was in a dirty bathtub asking for help after being possessed (girl, I feel you, we’ve all been there) and the other where they were lounging on a couch and she basically asks him if he’s gonna sack up and kiss her. That’s. Fucking. It. I’ve had longer, more meaningful conversations with the spider who lives in my back yard.
Taken as individual vignettes, this sliced-and-diced PG 13 neutered pup of semi-evil is watchable. Considered as a whole, Suicide Squad is a series of rejected organs hooked up to life support with the sole purpose of setting up the next Justice League franchise flick with all the subtlety of a back-alley bathtub liver transplant (Ben Affleck’s “Batman” and Jared Leto’s “Joker” are grafted onto this sideshow carnival with about as much finesse as stoned Koala bears operating heavy machinery). Please see Marvel’s Ant-Man for how to pull off an origin story and franchise flick installment flawlessly.
This movie was a laborious grind centralized on a one-dimensional villain that, hands-down, is what happened nine months after CGI and Ursula from The Little Mermaid got weird one weekend.
A villain is the core of any good movie and Cara Delevigne’s wooden delivery of over-the-top dialogue, combined with Queen Of The Damned Aaliyah-levels of CGI, mixed with the predictably-just-long-enough-evil-weapon-charge-up made for a cheesy-in-the-worst-way fulcrum for this failed flick. And in a movie geared specifically toward cheesy, tongue-in-cheek fun, that’s almost impossible to fuck up (unlike my order at the Taco Bell drive thru 95% of the time).
Lower the bar. Lower. Lower. Keep going. Dig to China. Open a wormhole. Fall into another dimension. Start a new life. Forget you saw/wanted to see Suicide Squad. Just go watch Star Trek Beyond instead, trust me. Mega fans of the franchise may enjoy it, but 4/5 physicians predict abject disappointment.
Suicide Squad (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every bad guy bio and intro segment.
Take a Sip: when anyone is a raging dick (pay close attention to prison guard “Griggs” played by Ike Barinholtz).
Do a Shot: for every Bruce Wayne/Batman cameo.
Shotgun Your Beer: when Rick Flagg takes “heartbreaker” next level.