Suicide Squad: A Guilty Pleasure Trainwreck That’s Oh So Good-ish
What the f*** is the Suicide Squad? Yeah, 2 years ago when DC’s newest entry in their cinematic universe was announced you could hear the entire world collectively mutter that into their youtubes and twitters. Now, its 2016 and countless hype-train junkies are lining up for what looks to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. But really, what the f*** is the Suicide Squad?
It’s a haphazardly thrown together team of murders and criminals assembled to fight the growing “meta-human” problem in the DCCU. Comic character/strong-black-woman-in-charge Amanda Waller puts together a team featuring the relatively unknown DC enemies Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, Katana, El Diablo, Slipknot, and the incredibly popular Harley Quinn. As bad of an idea as it sounds, the team ends up being a fun mish-mash of otherwise useless characters.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to be the movie that righted the ship, the film of the year, the catalyst for the next 4 years of DC movies. Well, BvS was not good, and fans realized that VERY quickly. Attention immediately turned to Suicide Squad and both fan excitement and marketing dollars went into overdrive trying to make sure this year wasn’t a complete DC wash. I don’t think I have ever seen such an overwhelming amount of manufactured hype around a sleeper of a film.
DC and Warner are smart, with the uneasy reception of BvS the marketing for Suicide Squad had to lean on something solid. Despite the film’s biggest star being Will Smith as Deadshot, most of the marketing has been tied to the uncomfortably popular relationship of The Joker and Harley Quinn. Unfortunately, this isn’t the venue for my opinions on that infamous pair. In the film, it’s a fun and dynamic aspect, but it is not the main story and really is only tangentially related to the outcome of the main plot. But hey, Warner needs money and that pair will get butts in the seats, without a doubt.
I’m going to put this out there, Suicide Squad is not a great movie. Its script is weak, is has acting problems and like BvS, it has horrendous amounts of scale issues. I mean, your main antagonist can rip a subway train in half just by touching it, what exactly is a clown-girl with a baseball bat supposed to do about that? My point though, is that unlike BvS, Suicide Squad’s faults are perfectly fine. A movie starring B and C tier bad guys doesn’t have to be good as long as the right boxes are checked. And that’s something Suicide Squad can be proud of, its box checking skillz.
Will Smith killing it with yet another Will Smith-esq role, CHECK. The near perfect casting and performance of the film’s most important characters The Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), CHECK. A big dumb senseless action sequence in act 3 that doesn’t make much sense, CHECK. A pair of bad guys that also don’t make much sense, CHECK. Comedy, something both Man of Steel and BvS were severely lacking, CHECK. Bad guys that are just bad enough to be in jail, but sympathetic enough to still root for, CHECK. Just enough cameos from “Real” DC heroes to whet the audience’s appetite for the first Justice League Movie, CHECK.
Suicide Squad is a stop gap movie. It’s not supposed to be a tent-pole for the franchise and as a stop-gap movie it’s quite amazing. I would sadly say it’s easily more entertaining than BvS and unlike BvS I’m looking forward to seeing it again. I feel like I have to say this again, but Suicide Squad is not a great movie, I could argue that it’s not a even a good movie, but I liked it for whatever that’s worth. Its appropriate that Hot Topics across the country have giant dedicated Suicide Squad sections in their stores right now because Suicide Squad is the film equivalent of Hot Topic. There’s not much good stuff in it and most of it is tacky and cheap, but everytime I’m in the mall I have to see what they’ve got.
I think the most similar film in the Marvel stable would be Guardians of the Galaxy, and even that’s a stretch because with it, there was no name recognition AT ALL. If Guardians is Chipotle, Suicide Squad is Taco Bell, if Guardians is Target, Suicide Squad is Dollar General. If Guardians is Papa John’s, Suicide Squad is a frozen bag of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Sometimes the molten lava in those pizza-roll gut-grenades is exactly what you want, and despite its flaws, lame one-liners and its unintentionally funny slow-mo climax sequence, Suicide Squad is the kind of movie with which I want to end my summer movie season.
Verdict: Go ahead, you know you have nothing better to do this weekend.