Suicide Squad: David Ayer’s film a labor of love — but still a mess

Deadshot

There are two things to know before walking into the theater to see David Ayer’s Suicide Squad:

  1. The movie has more love and care put into its first 30 minutes than Ghostbusters had in its entirety, yet critics rewarded Paul Feig with 73 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes compared to 27 percent for Ayer.
  2. Suicide Squad is a frustrating mess — particularly its last 30 minutes.

For those who have been living under a rock for the past year, the story goes as follows:

  • Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is tasked by the U.S. government to put together a team of really nasty people — some who are “meta-humans” — who are willing to confront comparably twisted threats.
  • Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Slipknot (Adam Beach) are “recruited” (i.e., captured) for the job. Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Col. Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) take part in their big mission to keep them honest.
  • Waller’s key asset, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), goes off the reservation, and before long a Ghostbusters-esque scene clears out an entire city.
  • The Joker (Jared Leto) is on a mission to rescue Quinn from Waller’s clutches.

This sounds like a solid movie, right? It is — at times — and the soundtrack is amazing. The problem for Suicide Squad, however, is that at some point it becomes obvious that the train is going to derail.

Harley Quinn

Perhaps the best example of how much Suicide Squad unravels over two hours comes with the supposed death of a key character. This person, for all intents and purposes, is seen during the climatic battle in very, very, very bad shape. After the crew saves the world, however, this person magically appears without a scratch — not one hair out of place — while wearing a spotless set of clothes.

“How are you not dead?” Deadshot asks.

The audience receives no answer.

Note to David Ayer: Just because you acknowledge a giant plot hole, it doesn’t make the hole go away.

Joker

Oddly enough, the one thing that probably could have made Suicide Squad a better movie would have been to leave the Joker out of it and save him for a showdown with Ben Affleck’s Batman. Jared Leto did not have the screen time needed to shine and his mission to save Harley had no impact on the plot.

Mr. Ayer should have used the Joker’s creative real estate to tighten up his script because the finished product is another mixed bag for Warner Bros. at a time when it needs an undeniable classic.

I suggest seeing Suicide Squad, but you do not want to pay full price. If you see it on an early Saturday or Sunday morning, then you won’t feel as though you wasted money.

Editor’s Note: No one working for Warner Bros. should be yelling “F**k Marvel,” and they really shouldn’t be copping an attitude until their superhero track record improves. It becomes difficult to show any sympathy for Mr. Ayer when this is the way he behaves on the big stage.

David Ayer F Marvel

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Suicide Squad trailer released: Bohemian Rhapsody sets perfect tone

Will Smith Deadshot

The new Suicide Squad trailer is out, and the movie looks like a wild rollercoaster of violence and mayhem. Someone at DC and Warner Bros. was smart enough to make Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody the soundtrack, and the result — at least as far as trailers are concerned — is pure awesomeness.

Harley Quinn Suicide Squad

As someone who has an admitted aversion to anti-heroes, it pains me to say that David Ayer is probably going to get my money opening weekend. Will Smith looks like he’s going to kick butt. Margot Robbie is downright mesmerizing. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s “Killer Croc” appears to be winner, and we now have a trailer with Freddie Mercury’s voice accompanying people “going someplace very bad” who are “doing something that will get you killed.”

Sold.

The only question mark at this point is Jared Leto’s Joker, which is a total win for Warner Bros. — at least for opening weekend. I personally hope he pulls it off after the disastrous news cycle the studio had with his “Damaged” tattoo.

I’ll see you in theaters Aug. 5. If I don’t, then make sure to stop by the blog and let me know what you thought of the movie. A review will be up in short order.

Joke Suicide Squad

‘Suicide Squad’ trailer released: DC makes bad guys look darn good

Suicide Squad groupDC and Warner Bros. didn’t have a memorable roll-out when the first images of Jared Leto’s Joker were released. The “Damaged” tattoo on his forehead, for all intents and purposes, flopped. With that said, if “Suicide Squad” is as good as its first trailer when it hits theaters Aug 5, 2016, then all will be forgiven.

Suicide Squad Will SmithAs someone who doesn’t particularly have a vested interest in DC projects — my allegiance was to Marvel growing up — certain questionable aspects of film (e.g., Joker’s unique dental work) do not serve as deal-breakers. The essential question is “Does it look cool?”. The answer appears to be “Yes.”

Margot Robbie Suicide SquadDoes Will Smith look like he will do an admirable job as Deadshot? Yes.

Does it ever get old hearing Mr. Smith say things like “Let’s save the world”? No.

Does Margot Robbie sound demented while looking absolutely gorgeous? Yes.

Does Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc look cool? Yes.

Does Karen Fukuhara pull off Katana? Yes.

The only real question mark will be Leto’s Joker, and even that can be turned into a plus for opening weekend. Countless fans will want to see how he performs out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Suicide Squad JokerWarner Bros. has done an admirable job — with its trailer. I know this because I am not fond of movies that turn twisted men and women into heroes. From a cultural point of view, I would prefer movies like “Suicide Squad” were never made. I don’t think it’s healthy to portray evil as “cool.” Regardless, from a cinematic point of view, I would be lying if I said “Suicide Squad” looked like a bad movie.

If you have a strong opinion one way or the other on the trailer for David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad,” then let me know in the comments section below. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

Jared Leto’s ‘Damaged’ Joker tattoo: Warner Bros. gives infantile culture the clarification it needs

Jared Leto Joker“Suicide Squad” director David Ayer has released an official version of Jared Leto’s Joker. Love it or hate it, one thing is clear: Warner Bros. thinks its target audience for the film is really stupid. In order to let everyone know that that The Joker isn’t a character worth emulating, a “Damaged” tattoo has been slapped across his forehead.

Most fans can get on board with a cheshire cat tattoo. They can accept a skull or playing cards. Writing “Damaged” across a villain’s forehead, however, just comes across as incredibly sad commentary on American culture. Warner Bros. could hardly do worse if “I am a bad guy” was scribbled across The Joker’s face.

When trying to decipher what studio heads were thinking when they decided to go the “We think our audience isn’t very bright” route, one must look for evidence that might lead them to such a conclusion. While there are many examples of moral relativism’s and political correctness’ adverse effects on our culture, perhaps the the most recent Joker-related evidence came in March; a bunch of feminists went into a white-hot rage over the character’s treatment of women.

Batgirl variantFor those who are unfamiliar with the story, a variant cover of Batgirl 41 was pulled when feminists deemed it “sickening.” Artist Rafael Albuquerque even turned on his own work, stating “My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled.”

It should be no surprise that an intellectually infantile culture caters to its big babies, but that doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. Perhaps “Suicide Squad” will be a good movie. Jared Leto may turn out an amazing performance. People complained when it was announced that Michael Keaton would play Batman and they complained years later when it was announced that Heath Ledger would play The Joker. In both instances the critics were wrong. Regardless, American culture was in a vastly different place in 1989, and no one will ever charge Christopher Nolan with treating his audience like a bunch of children.

Twenty years from now, will Warner Bros. reinvent Batman in a way where Bruce Wayne tattoos “Hero” on his forehead? It sounds ludicrous, but there are days when it doesn’t seem too far fetched. With luck, maybe Ryan Reynolds will release a Deadpool promotional image with a strategically-placed “Anti-hero” tattoo, just to show the world how weird it has become. If he did that, then I’d be there opening night.