Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Suicide Squad

Ever since Christopher Nolan stepped away from the batcave the theatrical world of DC has been struggling a bit. Marvel's insane success with its extended universe has only seemed to exaggerate the matter. Man of Steel isn't a bad film exactly, but it is definitely molded after Nolan's reboot of the bat. Yet it is a decent enough movie on its own and I recall really liking it when I saw it in theaters.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (as far as the Ultimate Edition, with thirty extra minutes is concerned, since that is the only version I've seen) isn't completely terrible, but it is a far cry from the asskicking epicness of Captain America: Civil War or The Avengers and is certainly a step down in quality. And the "Martha" thing was pretty stupid and I figured out what was going to happen with that from the get-go.

After the success of Deadpool someone at DC thought it would be a neat idea to make their own version of it and they didn't quite succeed. What is worse is that they took everything that was great and biting about Deadpool and watered it down into a Will Smith vehicle more akin to Independence Day than anything else.

And I like Will Smith normally. I liked him in this movie, too. He's great at doing his usual Will Smith thing. But.... I don't know. He didn't seem remotely villainous. I expected more from him in this movie. Granted, I expected more from everything about this movie except for Jared Leto's Joker. 

Jared Leto is easily the most forgettable Joker committed to celluloid to date. I wouldn't call him bad exactly, but he is about as memorable as Troy Baker's voiceover version of the Joker. What? Don't recall that? Probably because you automatically think of Mark Hamill when you think of the voice of the animated Joker. I love Troy Baker's contributions to voice acting and his Joker is even valid, but... you just can't make the wheel twice and expect us to appreciate it the same the second time around. I think that is called the law of diminishing returns

For better or worse Heath Ledger's portrayal as the Joker will be the bar against which all other Joker portrayals will be measured for quite sometime. And Jared Leto's Joker just doesn't measure up. He doesn't compare to Jack Nicholson's Joker, either. 

He's just... there. A thug with green hair. There's no overwhelming sense of menace. There's no epic "let's put a smile on that face." There's not even a "Never rub another man's rhubarb." Just nothing. 

I've heard all the stories about editing ruining this Joker and so on and I don't care. Sure, editing can kill a movie or even a character, but Batman's cameo in this movie was effective regardless of his screentime. I am not sure I appreciated his confrontation with Deadshot quite as much, but he was basically the same Batman we saw in Batman v Superman and we didn't need thirty minutes of him to figure that out. He was there, did his Batman thing for a few minutes, and then BAM he was gone. I am still not sure about Ben Affleck's Batman as far as my personal preference goes, but his version is a valid enough Batman. 

The Joker had more screentime in this movie but did little with it. 

Of course, this isn't even a Joker movie and it would have been just fine without him. It would have been fine without Batman, too. 

Honestly, this is not even the sequel to Batman v Superman that it tries so hard to be. Yes, this movie is filled with references to DC's previous cinematic failure and even features Batman, but it just doesn't make sense for this movie to follow in those footsteps when it feels like it not only should want to stand on its own, but it also should be able to poke fun at that same film and at itself. Much like Deadpool did to the X-Men films and to Deadpool's previous appearance in X-Men Origins

But nope, the attitude this film tries to have is quickly tamed by the need to follow a set formula. A formula that actually isn't even that good for DC yet. 

This film doesn't have the balls it wants you to think it has. So on that front this film is a failure. 

Believe it or not, none of this really describes the film's plot, though. I have said nothing on it. In fact, I can barely remember the plot. Something about the Enchantress and so on. I don't know. It didn't really seem important. The world was going to end from some terrible gravitational device (yet another one) and a ragtag group had to put an end to it because Batman and the Justice League were probably out building their Justice League base or washing their tights or something. Their absence from the climax of this film is a bit of a mystery. 

But whatever. 

From the start of this movie we are barraged with twenty different rock and pop songs we've all heard fifty millions times in at least fifty million better movies. I love Creedence, but Fortunate Son doesn't need to be featured in another movie ever again. Ever. 

And all the time they spent introducing these characters to overplayed rock songs really meant fuck all at the end of the day because no one other than Harley or Deadshot really had any kind of significance on the movie. . I mean, what exactly did Captain Boomerang or Croc do in this movie? Jack Squat, that is what. A superpowered The Dirty Dozen this film is not. 

I still enjoyed this film in the way that I enjoy Monster Energy drinks and poptarts from time to time. Basically, this is the kind of movie that is bad for you but you probably know that but watch it anyway because slumming it every now and then seems okay somehow. Still doesn't compare to a decently cooked 22 oz porterhouse and some Maker's Mark, though. 

Seriously, watch The Dark Knight and then watch this movie. 

Or better yet don't watch this movie and watch The Dark Knight. Unless you just like poptarts. 

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