GOOD/BAD FILM CLUB: SUICIDE SQUAD
by B Thornton- Harwood
Here’s the TL;DR – this film lies deep at the bottom of the “BAD FILMS” pile. That’s saved you the next 1000 odd words and a trip to Odeon. It’s a film flawed in so many ways I’m struggling with where to start. As tribute to the makers of Suicide Squad, I’m going to just write down the first things that pop into my head and hope that some sort of structure comes out. Maybe the pacing will work. Maybe there will be an overarching story. Maybe it will make sense. Maybe you’ll laugh. Maybe you’ll want to leave halfway through? Maybe.
I usually start by explaining the plot but I’m struggling a bit with this on account of how little it had going on. Instead, here’s what I think the Warner Bros producers meeting went like:
Our scene opens with two men in an office overlooking a Los Angeles skyline. They’re wearing linen suits in pastel colours, aviators, white loafers, no socks.
Exec 1: How cool would it be if we took a load of Batman villains and had them make a team? It would be pretty dope having all these psychopaths together just tearing Gotham a new arsehole right?
Exec 2: I can dig it. Firstly we need an assassin with a dark past that hasn’t seen his daughter in years. Who could play that role?
Exec 1: Erm, Will Smith, obviously. Plus, he costs like $40 an hour now because he hasn’t made a decent film since 2006.
Exec 2: Good call. You know who’s smokin’ hot? Margot Robbie.
Exec 1: YES! She can be the Joker’s girlfriend!
Exec 2: Dude, you totally read my mind. Let’s get someone who’s won an Oscar recently to play the Joker. No one will see that coming. What about Di Caprio? Or McConaughey?
Exec 1: [opening his hands like a name coming up on a big screen]…JARED LETO…
Exec 2: Hoe-lee-shit. Sold. Now lets get an alligator, an Australian, a Japanese chick with a sword annnnnnnnnnnd, let’s make Cara Delevingne a witch or some shit.
Exec 1: Perfect. Where shall we go for lunch?
I’m pretty sure that’s how it all went down. The writers clearly gave not one single, lonely, shit about the coherence of the story. That’s perhaps what’s so infuriating about this whole 2-hour mess of a movie.
There are so many cool things you could do on screen with a group of baddies.
- Have them hunt down the Joker, whilst Harley Quinn battles her own twisted love for him.
- Have them play a game of cat and mouse with Lex Luthor who’s somehow escaped, at one point they cross paths with the Batman, who knowing they’ve got a job to do lets them get on with it.
- Have them retrieve some new fangled piece of tech from Wayne Enterprises, each hour that they don’t return with it another member’s neck collar explodes.
Those are literally the first 3 things that came into my head when I got into the car home, and hate to toot my own trumpet, but all of them would have made better movies. So anyone at Warner Bros just HMU, yeah?
There are some attempts at comedy, a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy. Then there are loads of attempts at using a cool soundtrack, kinda like Guardians of the Galaxy. Then there’s a little heartwarming bit that shows the villains are human too, sort of like Guardians of the Galaxy. Do you see where I’m going with this?
It’s hardly cynical to suggest that the producers have tried to recreate some of the qualities that made Guardians so great. But it falls flat about 90% of the time. Then, at the same time, they’ve felt the need to keep the Nolan-esque dark and grittyness of the DC universe. The result leaves it lying in a no man’s land, confused at what it wants to be, struggling for breathe as the life slowly drains out of it.
Then we have Jared Leto’s Joker. Now, if this was a year 5 play and you saw overacting like this, you’d forgive it. I mean your kid is 11 years old, they don’t know any better. The only reason you’re there is because they’re your own flesh and blood. As a parent it is literally your job to be there, supporting your child, watching this horseshit. The thing is, I just shelled out £9 to see an actor who was paid $7million for his role, rock up and give a performance that is unworthy of a panto at the Wycombe Swan.
I should give some positives.
- Captain Boomerang was cool, I’d watch more of him, plus I’m kinda digging that choice in facial hair, could do with more boomerangs though.
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was interesting, annoying at times, but I guess that’s sort of the point. Also she has an exceptional bum, truly world class.
- Will Smith was alright back in a tried-and-tested Will Smith action movie role.
- Some action set pieces were alright, I guess, although saying that I can’t remember any specifics.
- Yep, that’s all I got.
I’m struggling to think of another movie I’ve seen in the cinema that I disliked this much. It’s laughably bad. Yet ironically, the only time I audibly laughed was when one of them refers to the rest of the gang as their “family”. Eurghhhh.
I did a lot of sighing, and making guttural, yucky sounds with my throat. My eyes are physically tired today from all the rolling they had to do over those 2 hours. Eye rolls, because social convention states I can’t just shout “oh, fuck off” whilst sat in the cinema at 5 minute intervals.
I believe this may go down in infamy with the likes of Batman and Robin or Battlefield Earth, as one of those truly awful movies. In 20 years time I can imagine looking back and laughing and how ludicrous it was that Cara Delevingne was given black body paint and made to writhe around in an electric vortex. That Jared Leto gave a performance as hammier than Tommy Lee Jones did as Twoface. That someone got paid to write this script. And above all that it was all done with a completely straight face.