Movie Review: Suicide Squad

I am not hating on this movie. I’m really, really not. That said, I didn’t love it. Heck, I wish I could say I liked it, but I, um, didn’t. Did it suck? No. Would I ever watch it again? No. So somewhere in between is how I was feeling after I walked out of the theater opening night – and still feel a good bit later after letting it brain marinate.

FULL DISCLOSURE 

This is my first movie review ever, and I am by no means an expert in the genre let alone in film in general. I’m just a fan of sharing and connecting with other fans and friends. This is by no means a thorough and deep review that examines every aspect of the movie; it’s more of a look at what popped into my head and stayed there about it – and whether I would recommend it to others. Also, since this is a huge flick and an even bigger universe, just in case I happen to let any sensitive info slip, here’s your SPOILER ALERT!

THE GOOD

  • Good Tunes… I enjoyed every music track that was used, and pretty much how it was used, in the movie. It is a pretty nice soundtrack. I’d buy it.
  • Tainted Love… I also loved seeing the Harley and Joker backstory unfold. Their scenes together were magic. Jared Leto disappeared. Margot Robbie was delightful. They had fantastic chemistry and hit all the right levels and nuances. I could’ve watched a movie solely based on that. (My husband, however, did not feel the same way AT ALL. So maybe it’s a chick-flick-lover thing.)
  • My Boy Barry… I got super excited about the 30 or so second cameo of The Flash. I’m coming to realize that Barry Allen is one of my favorite DC characters. I love The CW TV show and find Grant Gustin’s Barry on it absolutely fantastic. Though I understood why they’d want a different actor for the film franchise, I was bummed and knew anyone else would be a tough sell for me after spending so much time with the TV Flash. From what little footage I’ve seen of “the new guy,” I’m sold and can’t wait to see more. So the flash of The Flash in Suicide Squad was a nice little treat.

THE BAD

  • Score… While the soundtrack was tight, the score was not. It was the kind of music that took you out of the moment instead of heightened it. I like my comic book movies either super realistic or cheeky (not cheesy). This music was just one more thing that made me turn away from watching and toward eating and drinking for the night’s entertainment.
  • Snore… It was boring. Like, utterly boring. In between entertaining clips and quips, I was downright bored. So much was predictable. Now, yes, I have a frame of reference for these stories between various television adaptations, but I’ve never actually read the comics. (Yes, I’m not actually a nerd in this arena, just an entry level fangirl.) But I didn’t see anything at all new or surprising here. Thank goodness I got tickets at the dinner theater, so my Loaded Mac & Cheese and my White Sangria could keep me from playing Pokemon GO on my phone during the low points (the many, many low points).
  • Wanted More… Character development was a little tricky in this movie. In some ways it felt like there was so much exposition that they all had to be pretty well fleshed out, right? Well, not exactly, at least not for me. I think this might be where watching a bunch of these characters or many like them unfold on the small screen makes me kind of spoiled on this front. There’s no shortage of comic book TV available these days, and that means hours and hours and hours of character development. Plus, the television guys have it down to a science. They know how to maximize the first hour or less episode when they introduce (or later do an introspective on) a character. Floyd Lawton (who admittedly does have an entirely different backstory in Arrow than the one in the film universe) is a lethal individual AND someone you’d want to grab a beer with AND someone you feel serious empathy for in just a couple of scenes spanning only a few minutes. In Suicide Squad, I never really came to care much about him or any of the other characters besides Harley and Diablo (who I’m hoping survived because I would totally watch more of that character).

THE UGLY

  • Effects Gone Wild… What the heck was up with the CGI? Someone somewhere had what I’m guessing was a pretty boss idea about how the Empress should look once she started to get powered up. Let’s set aside the fact that I actually liked the “Is that the girl from The Ring all grown up?” look she had going on in the beginning. Whatever was going on with those later graphics was bad. It was super distracting to me visually, and it reminded me of Sigourney Weaver in the original Ghostbusters so much that I leaned over to my viewing companion to say so. Other than that the makeup and effects were pretty seamless to me, so it really stood out as a WTF aspect of the film.
  • Pop Culture Reference Gone Bad… Also, WTF? The BET joke. Really? I love my Being Mary Jane, so I’m not knocking the channel – I just didn’t get how that quip added anything to anything. I’ll be the first to admit that since having a kid I am definitely not on top of all things entertainment like I used to be, so I realize I could be missing something here to make it a totally hysterical pop culture reference. If that’s the case, help a girl out, and fill me in, in the comments section.
  • Waller Gone Blah… Lastly, I love me some Viola Davis. Like, adore. But I feel like she was kind of wasted here. I strangely liked the actor who played Amanda Waller in The CW’s Arrowverse better in this role.

SKIP IT, STREAM IT, OR SEE IT NOW?

If you are a die hard DC fan, of course see it now. I’m not crazy. I feel you! Heck if you’re a regular movie goer, don’t have many other choices, and want to spend the money, you should probably get to it, too. However, if you’re only partially invested in these kinds of flicks or (like my household) you’re heavily Marvel-Over-DC, you may want to wait. Unlike the first reboot of Batman that had the “never seen the likes of Heath Ledger as The Joker before” aspect, this is barely doing anything new (Harley is great, but there are other, debatably more interesting ways to get your intro to her out there). If you’re in that middle of the road group, I suggest you either wait for a ticket deal (our local theater has $5 movies a little bit after they’ve been out for a while) or hold on until it ultimately gets a streaming deal somewhere or is out for rent or purchase once it’s done in the theaters. I don’t think there’s anyone I’d tell to skip it entirely. Like I said, I didn’t hate it. It had some cool bits. At no point did I want to walk out of the theater and ask for my money back. That said I do have a bit of buyer’s remorse, wasting a high ticket price and getting a babysitter for something that I definitely could’ve waited on myself. So if a friend asks (and we’re friends now, right?) about Suicide Squad, I’m saying STREAM IT!

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