Well well well. 4 movies I've watched this year and this is the latest.
Now I did look up some arcs of the Ostrander Suicide Squad (I have yet to finish my collection but soon my greed shall be quenched, my curiosity satisfied and a new drawing will be finished...) and it is clear from the trailer that the tones was going to be radically different while using the same concept : Hiring a bunch of scumbags and using them to execute the less than savory governmental jobs. In case of any problem, off the fucker...
Now when the movie was announced, there was an uproar about X and Y and blablabla... I admit that I was not really looking forward this movie UNTIL the last two trailers, but even then I had no expectations whatsoever.
So I went and saw it for myself ? After all, I don't give two fucks about the critics (they lied to me several times in the past) and my motto is "my insight makes right". Plus, I thought it'd be cool to see Deadshot, Capt Boomerang and Killer Croc on-screen.
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So how was this baby ? I'll admit it... it was a pure fucking BLAST ! Yes, as I said, this is not the tone of the Ostrander run (the ones I've read) or the "Task Force X" episode in Justice League (that'd have been a COMPLETELY different movie !), in fact it is far more reminiscent of L.E.G.I.O.N. in terms of atmosphere and interactions (By the way DC, give THAT team a movie with the same rythm and dynamism please, NOW you're starting to GET it ! You're better with the dark and cult classic stuff ? Go for it for fuck sake ! And then make "Omega Men" !).
It is genuinely better and more entertaining than the "Assault on Arkham" OVA, though in equal terms with "Assault on Arkham Abridged".(Go watch it too !)
For something I had little to no expectation for, it repaid me in SPADES !
+ THE CHARACTERS. I write this in major caps because NO ONE ANGERED ME. ALL the characters were memorable and that's fucking hard to pull off (even "Deadpool", an otherwise good movie, had the blight of shitty characters like goddamn Colossus, and whatshername in it... " Suicide Squad" does not make a single mistake in that department ! It had at worst characters that I was perfectly OK with.)
* Will Smith plays Deadshot as Deadshot. He is pretty much the character I read in Secret Six, he is a scumbag out for the moolah, he KNOWS it, he has 0 problems with it and only cares for his daughter. Even his desire to gun Batman's skull down is perfectly acknowledged ! So don't give me "it's another Will Smith performance", he clearly studied Floyd Lawton's personna and toned NOTHING down. It's just a shame he did not wear a top hat while he was walking with his kid.
* Margot Robbie as Dr. Harleen Quinzel... I really was not looking forward her. Shocking eh ? Harley is a character I can sum up this way ; Excellent in DCAU and Arkham Games, very hit or (majority of the times) miss in the " mainstream" comics, (mostly)hit or miss in Injustice and unendurable in Nu-52. Even in "Assault on Arkham" I was groaning ; the others made sense as squad members, she really does not.
But in this movie she was a pleasant surprise to me ! It's been a fucking while since I enjoyed a Harley appearance and Goddamn it feels GOOOOOOD ! She WORKED as a Squad member and was every bit as murderous and guilty of several fellonies as her boyfriend (more on him later...). It's also a miracle she manages to fulfill her mission despite the high-heels and the power-wedgie those shorts must be giving her !
* Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. What ? You need more ?!
* Captain Boomerang AND Killer Croc were absolutely WORTH the price ! Digger is the perfect shitbag and nails all the funny one-liners (Bravo to Mr Courtney !) while Waylon is depicted as grotesque and somewhat macrocephalic (no the big head was not a problem. In fact, if you go check an illustrated medical encyclopedia, you'll get such a shiver down your spine looking up deformities that will make Croc seem , as he put it, an Apollo to you...). Also Killer Croc saves the day ! Hip hip hip, HURRAY !
* Rick Flag works perfectly as the more moral center of the movie and it's good to see that he only put up with Waller's project out of a noble reason despite being utterly against it. Though he does develop and by the end accepts them more as people... rotten people but people nonetheless !
* Excellent job on El Diablo ! I did not know the guy at all but they did a good job to make me sympathize with his plight as he is the only one in the Squad who regrets his past actions...
* Katana was fine despite few scenes in ! This is a testament to what this flick manages (and that Singer utterly fucking failed to do...) to do well; EVERYONE gets a chance to shine ! Yes, some get more focus than others and that's fine and expected , BUT everyone CONTRIBUTES to something.
+ The Joker is, and I thank GOD the script-writers were intelligent enough to go with it, NOT THE MAIN VILLAIN. It's a good thing because Mr J is a) a big threat in his weight class and the Squad deals with much bigger concerns than him most of the time ,
b) Just A DUDE ! So unless he's hired a whole gang of meta-humans to counter them (I thought it'd be that initially...), he won't do jack shit to them. This moderate supporting antagonist position he's in is extremely beneficial to his character. He helps set up the Harley situation and he's there to tell the public "Hi kids! WELCOME to Gotham and the DCU !". The movie knew how to dose his presence.
As for his portrayal, I remember making a promise back then ; if Leto's Joker is as funny as the parodies of his tattoos are, I will tip my hat to him.
Well I fucking tip my hat to him ! Jared Leto was a fuckload of fun ! Very reminescent of Romero (seriously the way he chewed the scenery is just glorious ! He hams it up and has a ball with it !) and Nicholson ( a clever and very fashion-snappy criminal maestro who elaborates theatrical schemes ! The room scene with the exquisite decoration and the helicopter one were top notch !). I thank all that's holy and demonic they did not go with the shitty Morrison or Nu-52 "I am Da Chaos ahead of evewyone Blaaargh" garbage, but took a cue from the Optimal 70's-90's O'Neil editorial era Joker (the Best Joker). His cruel, charismatic, ruthless but has a taste for style and panache ! The motivation of the Clown Prince is that he just wants to have his second most favorite toy back (the first being the balloons ! That Batman stole ! The fiend !). And since he can piss off a lot of people to have Harleen back, why not go for it ?! The time and money he spends to achieve this goal is of no concern as long as it's fun...
And the relationship is not that romanticised contrary to what people say. It is "romantic" (Note the brackets)...didn't he use Harley as bait to get Batman of his back in the car scene? Absolutely. Their relationship is not the classic kind of "abusive boyfriend and battered girl". Why ? Because Harley is NOT some hapless victim, she is the piss poor psychiatrist who out of delusions freed and followed out of her OWN FREE WILL one of the most dangerous and narcissistic psychopaths in Gotham! THIS movie thankfully acknowledges that BOTH are bastards and I would not have it otherwise.
The tattoos and grill I can do without but his splendid wardrobe more than made up for it...
+ The main antagonist was fucking unexpected for me (I had NO idea they'd go with that plotline !) and was (from what I could gather) a member of the Squad in the comics. People seriously underrate the Enchantress as she was one serious mean motherfucking threat ! And a resourceful BADASS villainess to boot ! THAT's the kind of job the team has to handle and I commend them on picking an obscure yet overwhelming antagonist. I do love the more ethereal design she gets when she starts the whole trance to tear the world a new asshole (and they were scared of Superman, eh? I am so glad she managed to bite them in the ass ! Also unlike Supes, the destruction she cause is PURELY VOLUNTARY ! Chew on that, government !). The best part however is how this whole threat started out; Rick Flag and Amanda Waller were mainly responsible for this when you think about it. One was too afraid of hurting Dr Moon that he did not try to exorcise her, while the latter was playing with fire trying to control an extra-dimensional being ... yeah okay, it's all Waller's fault...
Also did anyone else think that Cara Delevingne looks like Hermione Granger ? Only me ? Okay...
- .... I don't have any... No seriously, everyone did their job in an ensemble flick, EVERYONE made an impression on me. So...
There you go. It was the right balance of action, music, Dark humor and just having a ball. Thumbs up and give David Ayer a cigar , he seems to be the right guy for a L.E.G.I.O.N. adaptation ! Why? Because if a team of earth-based rotten jerks and psychos led by a cold-hearted bitch is this fun, we then need a band of variable morals going from noble do-gooders to genocidal space bikers led by a cold-hearted son of bitch...in spaaaaace !