Monday, February 27, 2017

Suicide Squad (2016) - 3 stars out of 10

Suicide Squad (2016) - 3 stars out of 10

Disclaimer: I kind of enjoyed "Suicide Squad" but I don't really have anything positive to say about it.  “Suicide Squad” was exactly what I expected after hearing what everybody else had to say.  It is a generally disappointing attempt at duplicating the success of Marvel’s “The Avengers” that falls short of a great story and well-developed characters.  One of the main issues is that the film tries to do too much.  It spends the first 20 minutes giving a textbook explanation of each character (literally sitting around a meeting room table and telling each character’s backstory).  This feels very out of place in a genre whose standard is to produce an origin story for each character (it’s okay to introduce multiple characters in each film) and then put them together later.  This film attempts to kill two birds with one stone by condensing all of the origin stories into the film’s overture and then putting them together for the rest of the film, but the end result is that we don’t feel an attachment to any of the characters.  At least “The Avengers” films (which I consider to be superhero overkill) have developed the characters enough that we like them individually.  The next issue is the one that we have heard the most: Not enough Joker!  Jared Leto’s interpretation of The Joker is a complete letdown after Heath Ledger’s iconic magnum opus in “The Dark Knight Rises.”  Leto has been on the record that most of his best moments were left on the cutting room floor.  After hearing that Leto maintained his character for every moment on set of this production, expectations were extremely high but based on the footage that was selected for the final cut, it’s hard to imagine that it could have ever compared to Ledger.  The best thing to come out of this film is Margot Robbie’s rendition of Harley Quinn.  She has turned this sidekick into a heroine (well, villainess) full of spunk that wins over the audiences’ hearts.  Harley a character that they can build a franchise off of and every moment that she is onscreen is exhilarating.  I can't wait for her spinoff, though I question how it will fare considering that every one of her lines was a one-liner.  Each is well-delivered, but one-liners nonetheless.  The rest of the characters are unfamiliar to me because I have never been a DC Comics fan, but the performances in the film certainly didn’t win me over.  Will Smith is pretty cool as Deadshot and I appreciate that he is motivated by his family.  The rest of the characters left me wondering why they were even there and the villain is so farfetched that it was hard to believe that the characters were in danger.  The pop music soundtrack is an obvious imitation of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and was overdone.  Some of the songs fit well with the story but others seem random and misplaced, especially since most songs are snippets of 30 seconds or less.  Aside from Robbie, it would seem that the Oscar win for Best Makeup and Hairstyling is the film’s only redeeming quality, but even that couldn’t compare to its competitors in the category.  This film simply failed to live up to its cool concept.  “Suicide Squad” was supposed to be a breath of fresh air, an ensemble antihero film amidst a never ending chain of superhero films, but it is just another Hollywood blockbuster with cool action sequences and two-dimensional characters.

[Pictured: I would love to watch "Suicide Squad" again if I could edit out everything but Margot Robbie's scenes.  Probably why the Harley Quinn spin-off is the only chance at saving this franchise]

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