Suicide Squad should kill themselves. Not necessarily because the title of their ragtag troupe would justify it, but instead due to that fact that the movie itself, in a desperate, frantic and somewhat embarrassing attempt to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wingardium leviosa’d some big bronze knuts right into its own mouth.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have been utterly inundated by a non-stop wave superhero movies. Or, in other words, slapped right in the face by the flaccid cock of corporate movie men cashing in on the latest cinematic cycle until we beg “Please, Superman, may I have some more?” Let’s not lie to ourselves, nobody wants more Superman.
Cycles in cinema usually come to an inevitable crash, with greedy executives marking the final demise with some last-minute scraping of the barrel. Or, picture if you will, a suited fat man with a monocle sucking the jam from a doughnut through a straw and licking the sugar off the surface, leaving a soggy lump of bread. It will happen sooner or later, but the DCCU and Warner Bros have done themselves no favours.
Perhaps this rather humiliating cocaine fuelled dash to snap at Marvel’s heels could be due to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which was still ongoing at the time that Ironman launched the MCU back in 2008. However, that would place the blame largely on Nolan, and I heard Nolanites meet under the cover of darkness and eat the hearts of orphaned children.
One could also argue that The Green Lantern (2011) could be held accountable for the shit show we have recently endured in regards to both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. By the time of the Lantern’s critical and commercial failure, Marvel had popped out an Ironman sequel a year prior as well as releasing both Thor and Captain America to box office success and acclaim while the DC film was being slammed, and hard. With Man of Steel finally etching out the dawn of the DC movie franchise two years following, it is safe to say that The Green Lantern‘s green fuck-up slowed the building process down considerably enough that DC have but three releases (as of now) and Marvel have thirteen.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; sometimes less is more. The bad thing is that DC and Warner Bro’s seem to be scrambling to release ahead of time, releasing what feel like rushed and half-finished films in an effort to at least appear slightly relevant. There exists an invisible deadline that both Marvel and DC are aware of, a deadline that, simply put, states that there is only a matter of time before people get bored of your shit. Now the filmmakers at DCCU are on a train and the brakes are broken; there’s no stopping them now, and in the end it’s probably going to be sad. I suppose that, given the circumstances, you can’t really expect much more of what we’ve already had, which doesn’t make Suicide Squad any less of a massive shame of wasted potential.
If I have taken anything useful from Suicide Squad, it’s not to trust exciting trailers cut to the beat of classic songs. Several of the trailers for this film featured that very technique, including the songs ‘The Ballroom Blitz’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. For this exact reason, the trailers for Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) have not left me overly excited, even if they are popcorn movies. Suicide Squad has given me trailer trust issues. Please send help.
On the subject of music, who is forgetting that random first act, in which the music supervisor apparently wanted his own personal mix tape of famous-yet-dated songs to play almost immediately after one another, with no evident reason or motive other than holding no creative constraint whatsoever. No, Mr. Music Man, neither Eminem nor Queen can save your movie. Nice try, though.
There is not much more to be said on the film that hasn’t already been quite validly said; “the script sucked ass”, “the music choices were seemingly chosen and placed at random”, “Will Smith was pretty decent I guess”, “did David Ayer, writer of Training Day, really direct this hot garbage?” and so on. My major gripe is that it didn’t have to be this way. DC holds a vast number of interesting characters and stories that already exist in comic book form, waiting to be adapted. It’s literally right there in front of you, and though nobody is expecting a pure adaptation, I posit the following question– how do you fuck it up THIS badly?
Any rekindled interest I was having in the way of superheroes is being depleted, but fortunately television adaptations of the more adult graphic novels are killing it. Preacher, though starting a little differently to the beginning of Jessie Custer’s story in Garth Ennis’ graphic novels, is excellent. Though it’s a shame that other Vertigo series have not picked off, as with Constantine, television has Daredevil and soon, The Punisher, as well. That’s not to mention a whole host of comic book and graphic novel-based tv shows, and a number of others that deserve the same treatment. There’s even The Flash and Arrow, if crying teenagers and topless dudes working out is your thing.
I’d feel badly for the DCCU, if it wasn’t a faceless corporation with a primary objective to make money and exploit the masses who keep them alive through seeking escapism from their shitty lives. If the DCCU was a family dog, I’d say that putting it down would be the moral thing to do. It’s clearly suffering.
As for the cycle that will follow, I’m calling a cycle of space exploration films based on the success of Interstellar, The Martian, the reawakening of Star Wars and the recently released Passengers.
The Film Fanatic