Good day everyone, today my friend Max and I will be discussing Suicide Squad, the latest film in the DC Extended Universe. The format is simple, each of us answers short questions about the film. Max came to me with this idea, and thought it would be fun to have two opinions on board. There might be some vague spoilers ahead, so be advised.
First, a summary: Suicide Squad is about a team of incarcerated supervillains assembled by Amanda Waller to help defend the world from the dangers that metahumans pose. The team consists of individuals like Deadshot and Harley Quinn, the worst of the worst supervillains of the DC universe, and individuals like Rick Flag and Katana who are there to make sure the supervillains stay in line. When a mysterious entity lays waste to Midway City, the team is assembled and sent on their first mission. Meanwhile, Joker heads to Midway City too, with plans of his own.
Suicide Squad – Good or Bad?
Jamie > It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t worse than Fantastic Fours, which a lot of critics seem to be claiming. It’s not the second coming of Guardians of the Galaxy. The plot was shallow, the main villain an almost non-existent, CGI fest (though arguably Amanda Waller is the main villain) but the characters were good enough to carry it through, particularly Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Boomerang and Diablo had their moments too. But even then the characters were often stereotypes and had little to no character development. At times I’m reminded of a two hour chunk of Mass Effect game where I’m wandering around between fights listening to character banter with some sparse story thrown in the mix.
I enjoyed it, even if it’s not necessary something I would think about or rewatch on Bluray. It’s ultimate a mindless summer blockbuster, which isn’t a bad thing. I also loved the use of “80s greatest hits” in the film, though I understand that it can be jarring for some.
Max > It’s bad. This movie is a total mess. To be honest, I was really looking forward for this movie and I thought this is the movie that DCEU could take a break from all of its seriousness, and just have some fun, and to be fair, you can see that this movie is really trying hard to be a fun summer blockbuster, but it isn’t.
Suicide Squad is a fast paced movie and it is trying it’s best to be fun, compared to BvS, which is a slow paced and a serious movie. However, the first five minutes of this film alone told three different stories and have two different background music, I never really get to settle down and try to know more about the characters, and this seems to be the main problem for DCEU.
J> It feels like WB is trying to catch up and squeezing in a lot of characters in two movies to get the ball rolling. But at least Suicide Squad hadn’t spent most of the film to create the background to the conflict. I thought the film might have been better served by starting with the Amanda Waller briefing and get the ball rolling straightaway. Maybe even just have the Midway incident already underway and Waller is proposing it as a desperate option to the council. Council approves. Task Force X assembles.
J> To be honest, I can’t really think of any standout moments. The few moments that I can think of, off the top of my head, is a scene involving Deadshot fighting off enemies on top of a car and the bar scene with a sudden slow down in the midst of chaos. But both weren’t really wholly good either. The bar scene for example turned really cheesy and a few characters really went out of character.
M > My favourite moment is when the team tries to weaken main villain at the end of the film. But it got nothing to do with story, but more with the cinematography, which I thought was beautifully shot. DCEU seems to always get it right in this department.
J > Good point, DCEU does seem to get their action sequences right.
What are your thoughts on the film’s marketing?
J> The marketing was way, way better than the movie was. I absolutely loved the wacky art style, the over the top absurdness and the trailers they had. None of that were found in the movie itself. It was just a plot from Generic Action Film C.
M > The marketing team did a great job for this film. The trailers are fun and a total mess (which truly reflects the tone of the film), and clearly the marketing style for this film is unlike what we used to see before. They also did a pretty good job in hiding who the main villains really were.
What do you think of Leto’s Joker?
J> I think the movie has a lot of extra characters that could have been cut. Joker was almost one of them, but his interactions with Harley was worth his scenes. I know a lot people want to see more, but I think this was a lackluster introduction to the DCEU for him. As for the performances, I can’t say I’m a huge fan, he seemed more like a normal crime lord with a flair rather than the a psychotic killer clown (remove the makeup and laugh and it just isn’t the Joker anymore) but I do want to see more of him in a film where he plays a larger role.
M > I don’t know what to think of Leto’s version of the Joker. For now, I don’t really like it. To me, he seems like a crime lord who just acts crazy to get into people’s head and he is overly attached to his pudding. Another minor gripe for me is that Joker has a right hand man in this film, who seems comfortable with Joker’s madness. To me, Joker is unpredictable and a total whack, who might kill anyone anytime and he needs to be feared by everyone, even by his closest associate. That being said, I would still like to see a little bit more of Leto’s portrayal of the Joker, because of how good of an actor Leto is, but hopefully, we would not see too much of the Joker in the next Batman film. Batman faced a lot of great villains throughout his history, maybe DCEU should give the spotlight to another villain other than the Joker.
This is the first non Zack Snyder DCEU film, how do you feel about the future of DCEU going forward?
J> A little more hopeful, but not by a lot. I get the feeling that the creative team is getting hampered by higher ups. I.e executive producer Zack Snyder or the people at Warner Bros. We’ll have to see how Patty Jenkins do, but I’m not very confident. Her resume isn’t all that impressive, but everyone has to start somewhere. The fact that Michelle MacLaren left over “creative differences” doesn’t help either.
M > The future of DCEU doesn’t look bright. I really hope they slow down and try not to rush into things. Suicide Squad have common criticism as BvS, which is the lack of character development and rushing to try to build a larger universe, I really hope Wonder Woman will focus to try to fix these issues, but sadly Justice League movie is coming out before the Flash and Aquaman. Seems like Justice League will have to ignore the Flash and Aquaman’s character development again.
J > I hope that by having a single focal character, DCEU might be able to do away with the sardine cans of their latest two film and allow the character and the story to really shine. I don’t think that Justice League will have quite the same impact as Avengers. I’d hope they would delay it and focus on introducing the Flash and Aquaman first instead of repeating the same mistakes in BvS. We’ll have to see how they tackle it this time around.
What is the next DCEU film that you’re looking forward to?
J> Honestly, none. I probably won’t be seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen and I don’t really have any confidence in Justice League. Maybe the Flash? And that’s only because I like the little I’ve seen of Ezra Miller as the Flash.
M > Ben Affleck’s untitled Batman film. Other than that, none. I will try not to be overhyped by the next trailer and just walk into the next DCEU film with zero expectations.
J > That’s a good one, I hope we will be able to get there. Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns might just be the people to turn the ship around.