Comic book superheroes are America’s mythology. Years and years of books, movies, shows, toys, games and the like have defined and redefined iconic beings as reflections of our society, our history, and our culture. Whether we have all read a comic book or not, most in America know of Superman, Batman, and maybe even Spiderman. As a result, reimagining or rebooting stories using these characters are quite difficult to do. Now that Hollywood has a love affair with comics and their stories due to the recent success of Iron Man and The Avengers, movie goers should hold onto their imaginations as this ride gets stranger and stranger. Comic book fans, on the other hand, need to take a two ton chill pill!
For the record, I am a comic book fan. I liked Man of Steel. I did NOT like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I wasn’t too thrilled with Avengers: Age of Ultron either. Captain America: Civil War was great though. Deadpool was good too.
In steps the Suicide Squad…
With the sour taste of Batfleck in my mouth (yes, I strongly dislike Ben Affleck…), I walked into this movie fully expecting it to be good. The casting seemed good and the trailers didn’t completely destroy my desire to see the movie. There were some bright spots, some really bad jokes, but in the end I found myself wondering where the mild disappointment in this movie was. Four characters REALLY stood out from the rest had a unique presence in this movie for different reasons. When it was all said and done, I was equally disappointed in each of them.
Harley Quinn – played by Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie nailed the essence of Harley Quinn. The movie explained who she was and wove the narrative around her as an insane lover of a sociopath. I kept wondering of the movie made me believe that Harley Quinn was insane because of the things she said and did, or because everyone around her kept saying she was crazy? Somewhere in the whole movie, I wanted to laugh at the things she said but either I forgot to or maybe I had just heard the joke somewhere before. Margot needs to have words with the writers for not making her memorable enough outside of her booty shorts and smile. There was just something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.
Joker – played by Jared Leto
Honestly, this was an impossible task to live up to for me. The Joker is one of those legendary characters for me. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was crafty and quotable. Heath Ledger’s Joker was dark and sinister. Leto’s Joker just never seemed to materialize beyond the purring and growling that he did throughout. While his presence is felt throughout, it is not because of anything he said or did in the movie. Instead, the visuals evoke the Joker’s legend moreso than his deeds. Again, Leto needs to have words with the writers…or the editors.
Amanda Waller – played by Viola Davis
Viola Davis is basically the evil version of Sam Jackson’s Avengers’ character Nick Fury. For a majority of this movie you get a great dose of her character and Viola plays it perfectly. Still, the expected ‘genius’ of her character didn’t quite carry through on the ‘leverage’ that she held over the entire group. I may be nit-picking here because Waller was great in this film.
Enchantress – played by Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne on the other hand plays the visually imposing villain Enchantress. One look at her as this character in the film and all you see is power and evil. Cara manages to transform herself from June Moone to Enchantress in wonderfully. In a way, they almost could have made this whole movie about her character. She was uber powerful and somehow the use of her character in this movie felt as if something was ‘lacking’ as well despite the memorable portrayal.
All else in the film was probably standard action/comic movie fodder and performances. Will Smith (as the villain/dad Deadshot) carried the emotional torch of the film alongside The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman. Everyone else was simply filler.
In a way, Suicide Squad was DC’s answer to Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately, their ‘swing’ (you’ll get it when you see the movie) didn’t quite hit it’s mark. While the movie isn’t a disaster, it is a bit better than the mess that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was. I’m really starting to get scared for Justice League.