Suicide Squad: What was the saddest moment of all? SPOILERS

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You all raced out to see this, I’m sure, so spoilers ahoy. I’ll confine my remarks to bullet points but I saw this at a Sunday MORNING matinee and the theater was packed.

• This was basically an hour-long music video followed by a fight scene. The villain was a woman who had been possessed by her own eyebrows. It wasn’t as bad as some have said, but it wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination. I am willing to agree that there was an element of “fun” to seeing this film. The many cooks stirring the stew pot were all too evident. Also a bunch of unconfirmed (but plausible) deleted and/or recut scenes give an idea of what the film was like in the first cut. Comicbook.com has the best write-up with more information from the novelization. Perhaps the most interesting (again unconfirmed) element is that in the first version Harley rejects the Joker to stick with her new friends, which would have been an actual, and satisfying character arc for her. However, I find it hard to believe that any version would have broken up the power couple of Joker/Harley…although it does match the current comics incarnation.

• But when she took off her “Puddin'” choker, that was the only really sad moment in the movie, as far as I’m concerned. IN the version shown it’s because she thought the Joker was dead, but imagine if it had been because she realized this abusive relationship was sick and dangerous to her. That’s what I imagined in my mind, anyway.

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• The plot was pretty simple to follow, really, if you know the characters from beforehand. What was confusing (to me) was the action scenes which were basically incomprehensible. I haven’t seen director David Ayer’s other movie so no idea if he normally has a better handle on it. CGI in the dark and rain is typical, though.

• Of all the supposed deleted scenes the one I’m happiest was removed is the one where Killer Croc eats some meat he puked up. Earlier versions also made Slipknot a rapist and Capt. Boomerang a racist/sexist asshat. Really glad all that was cut out.

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• On the other hand, Viola Davis portraying Amanda Waller’s steak eating was totally on point.

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• Poor Slipknot. I had to check to make sure he wasn’t wearing a red shirt.

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• I had to wonder if Jai Courtney was cast AFTER Tom Hardy bugged out of playing Rick Flagg (Supposedly because he didn’t like the script) because then you would have had TWO guys from Australia who look a lot alike, and that would have been confusing.

• I did not buy that scene where Batman tries to capture Deadshot in front of Deadshot’s kid. In an alley. That is the ONE THING Batman would never, ever do.

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• Margot Robbie was the perfect Harley (although her accent was a bit all over the place) but ugh, what a badly written, male gaze-inflected character. Jared Leto’s Joker was really annoying, but in real life the Joker would be really annoying, so maybe it was more realistic than we thought.

• Although the drop off from Friday to Saturday was steep (41%) the movie is s big hit and hopefully Suicide Squad 2 will be the funny, wise-cracking movie that people expected. I’m not sure Ayer is the person to deliver that movie, so that should be interesting.

• It is very interesting to compare SS to Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. Really, it all comes down to the script. Deadpool and GotG had a lot more time to write good scripts, and that’s why they are better movies. Plus, you had studios that believed in the source materials. I know I’ve said this a billion times, but WB’s previous regimes didn’t like superheroes, and thought the only thing that makes them palatable was being dark and cerebral like Nolan’s Batman movies. That why everything has been so dark and gloomy until now. The new Berg/Johns/Affleck team should be able to get the ship back on course, though. Lessened input from producer Charles Roven will also help. The one thing I’m MOST curious about is just who wrote the script to Wonder Woman and when. The script is now credited to Johns and Allen Heinberg from a story by Zack Snyder and Heinberg. Seems straightforward, except that the credits of the script were kept secret until just before Comic-Con. Which is really weird. The story had been kicked around by every screenwriter in town, it seems, and I suspect there’s a little more archaeology to it. The Wonder Woman trailer, which they showed again before Suicide Squad, is just a delight though, with exactly the right tone. Hope all the good bits weren’t in the trailer. But as Variety’s Brett Lang bluntly put it, ‘Suicide Squad’ Is a Hit, But DC Needs to Start Making Better Movies.

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• Enchantress was the worst thing ever. Ayer sure has a thing for women with hair over their face.

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Comments

  1. John Smith says

    “Although the drop off from Friday to Saturday was steep (41%) the movie is s big hit ”

    Big hits rarely have 41% dropoffs from Friday to Saturday.

  2. says

    And what was Katana’s purpose in this movie? She just kinda walks on at the last minute, gets a 15 second explanation and then — uhm, swats at things with her swords occasionally while everyone else fires bullet storms and punches things. There’s nothing she does that’ s unique that another character couldn’t have done. (One of the first rules of early draft screenwriting: See which character(s) you can drop to strengthen your script. Too bad they didn’t have time to edit anything with this movie.)

    I laughed when SlipKnot suddenly showed up, because he was obviously the red shirt, instantly.

    Man, the team that makes “Everything Wrong With…” on YouTube is going to have an absolute field day with this movie…

  3. MBunge says

    1. Harley is the Joker’s girlfriend, created when he drove a woman insane and, in the movie, horribly tortured and abused her. Even more effed up than that, though, is how women have seized on the character as some kind of feminist icon. She’s an abuse survivor who, rather than overcoming her abuse, allows her suffering to consume her. Or are we only allowed to psychoanalyze fanBOY fetishes?

    2. Leto’s Tony Montana-ish take on the Clown Prince of Crime was a pretty neat effort at differentiating it from Ledger, making the relationship with Harley believable and establishing a traditional super-villain that could be useable in future movies.

    Mike

  4. Jack Warner says

    Why will Berg/Johns/Affleck “get the shop back on course” when Jeff & Geoff have been there since Jonah Hex? I know that Hex was moving well along before Geoff was there, but his fingerprints were all over GL, they just distanced him from it after it failed. Like they’ve done with every films since. Berg’s been involved with all the DC films since Dan Lin left the executive suite for a first-look gig, too, some before. Chuck Roven isn’t the problem here. It’s DCE and WB. These films would have been a lot better under Rabinov, who at least would have let the filmmakers have more leeway and be a reactionary cowering in a corner ordering changes based on whims of fanboys, small test groups, and the most vocal shareholders.

  5. says

    “Jack Warner,” actually you raise an interesting point I meant to bring up: the current studio leadership at WB has been striking out with big tentpoles: Pan, The Man from UNCLE, In the Heart of the Sea. The upcoming list looks equally alarming — C.H.I.P.S?????

  6. BurnChimp says

    Batman has already beaten crooks in front of their kids in both comics and in the animated series (causing dick to leave and become Nightwing) in fact I say it is more in the Bats character to put the mission above all (especially feelings) than it is to be merciful in this situation. I know I just defended violence in front of a child but Im a stickler for characterization.

  7. Daniel says

    I love DC’s movies (especially Man of Steel and BvS) but this movie really is as bad as everyone says it is. It’s just incompetently made. The first third of the movie is just one long montage. The entire time I’m watching it I’m thinking, “Why are they not making an actual, fully fleshed out movie about the stuff they’re just glossing over in the montage?” I’m like, show me more of the stuff in the montage. I’m not interested in a warmed over Ghostbusters homage.

    A much more interesting movie would have been one that takes the stuff they just glossed over and expands it. Open with an extended 15 or 20 minute flashback sequence of Batman and Robin fighting the Joker, and then Joker killing Robin (thus answering the question posed in BvS), followed by Batman capturing the Joker and putting him in Arkham. We could then flash forward to the present and spend the first half of the movie following the slow, dark, psychological manipulation of Harleen Quinzel into Harely Quinn intercut with a subplot of Amanda Waller laying the foundation for the need for a dirty dozen type task force to be established.

    After the Joker turns Harley, the second half could have been about Harley helping the Joker escape from Arkham and then him planning (with her as his assistant) some sort of terrorist attack on the city that the government knows about but knowledge of which is being kept from the pubic. That would have been a legitimate reason for Waller pulling the trigger and launching a much smaller, much more tactical version of Task Force X to take down the Joker without alarming the public. At the end Harley could have turned against the Joker and helped Waller and the Suicide Squad.

    As it was, though, the idea of sending a guy with a machine gun, a woman with a handgun, and a guy with a boomerang up against a god (I think it was a god–I actually have no idea who the villain was, what he wanted, or what he was doing) more powerful than Superman was ludicrous.

  8. George says

    “the current studio leadership at WB has been striking out with big tentpoles”

    The studio’s current Tarzan movie is a hit, so maybe that will spawn a franchise. Interesting that they had to go back 100-plus years to find a lucrative property!

  9. George says

    I’m surprised WB hasn’t rebooted Dirty Harry, a character featured in five popular movies in the ’70s and ’80s. But Clint Eastwood is still headquartered on the Warner lot, so maybe they have to wait until he dies or retires to revive the character with another actor. (Maybe with his son Scott?)

  10. says

    With Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller joins Batman in the new DC film series’ line of badass incompetent dangerous dopes.

  11. George says

    Heidi, if you haven’t seen Ayer’s other movies, I recommend END OF WATCH.

    I don’t recommend his Schwarzenegger flick, SABOTAGE, which is awful.

  12. says

    “what a badly written, male gaze-inflected character”

    Hey, if lesbians like looking at Margot Robbie, are they guilty of the Male Gaze?

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