THINGS THAT WERE GREAT IN SUICIDE SQUAD
AKA: Rotten Tomatoes is full of hacks and empty on fun. Not to say it's a perfect movie, but as a rabid DC fan here are some things that make me excited. SPOILERS AHOY
- •The visual styleThe movie took some huge risks with its fast paced, neon approach to the visual style. Unlike the DC films of recent memory, Suicide Squad is colorful, vibrant, and living while maintaining a darkness that actually feels like it belongs there.
- •Diverse castingThe squad is racially and gender diverse! The squad itself, excluding the military guards, are made up of 2 black people, a japanese woman, a Native American, a latino, and only 2 white people where only one of whom is American. On top of that, you see women in the military and police forces without anybody making a huge deal about it as well as a handful of "not white guys" being given sizeable extra rolls throughout the movie. And all characters are played by actors of the same race. A++
- •The portrayal of Harley and The Joker's relationshipHard to find a gif for it, but an oft forgotten fact is that their relationship isn't exclusively one thing. It's not just romantic and it's not just abusive. The movie shows both without resorting to the age old "woman gets hit by man, becomes independent" plot line that movie makers seem to think women need to be strong. Joker is certainly manipulative in SS and unstable, and Harley may or not be aware of that. But there's also a romance there that justifies Harley's feelings. It's well done.
- •The movie isn't about the JokerA frequent criticism: "there's not enough Joker!" Well shut up, he's not in the Squad! The Joker plotline is quick, to the point, establishes the character, and is a motivation for our leading lady. He's as present as he needs to be and will most certainly be a more present force in future Justice League set up films. Chill out.
- •Viola Freakin' DavisAmanda Waller is one of my all time favorite comic book characters. It's great that she wasn't white washed, aged down, or inaccurately represented. Davis NAILS Waller. Her hovering around gray morality, her ability to intimidate any character with just her eyes, her confidence in all scenarios, her emotional range, and her "I can literally do anything" attitude make her the most engaging part of the film.
- •The gender role swapping of Rick FlagRick might be the meathead babysitter for the squad, but his role in the movie is something you usually something you see reserved for women. Seduce the dangerous criminal, driven by love emotions, the damsel in distress, the "has to act tough but really a big softy", and plays second fiddle to the much more aggressive real boss. It's refreshing to see a male in this role without attention being called to it. Waller's in charge, Flag isn't. And that's great
- •Each and every actor in the squadWill Smith and Margot Robbie had nothing to prove, but they went all out anyway. Smith dials it down and brings Deadshot to Earth but always has his motives on his face. Robbie's Harley isn't just a weirdo, she's incredibly genuine with every line. Katana and Diablo speak in 2 different languages throughout the film and play their very different rolls in captivating and memorable ways. Slipknot has tremendous presence for the 5 mins he's on screen. And Killer Croc steals the movie easily.
- •A Little More on the Squad Outside of Deadshot and HarleyEvery character is treated as valuable. Diablo especially is my favorite from the film. Everyone is powerful, nobody is treated as a weak link, and noone on their own is the comic relief. Katana is amazing, Captain Boomerang stays true to himself, Diablo comes to terms with himself, Killer Croc looks and acts amazing, the supporting rolls are all incredible.
- •The EnchantressOriginal member turned villain of the film, The Enchantress is naturally spooky when she's in her tribal outfit. Her unpredictability gives you a genuine sense of dread and the visual work done around her is incredible. Admittedly, when she makes herself resemble June more than her original scariness that feeling does go away, but the acting behind her is always stellar and in command. It's also nice to have a powerful woman villain without any character thinking it's weird.
- •Every Single Action SceneThe fight scenes are legit. You don't miss anything and nothing is hidden. Everyone gets moments in the spotlight and each action sequence is neither too long or too short. They're beautifully stylized and again, nobody is the weak link within the Squad. Suicide Squad seemed to remember that these movies are supposed to be FUN and made the action a joy to watch.
- •The Suicide Squad Don't Learn A Valuable Lesson About HeroismNobody decides to become a good guy. Everyone clings to their selfish motives. If anything, they learn that there aren't any real heroes. Their bosses, "the good guys" lie, cheat, and manipulate the entire movie. Most of the team ends up back in prison. Plus, the entire team learns a strange lesson in accepting who you are. And who they are are sociopathic bad guys just looking to get ahead. Killer Croc has an amazing response to being called ugly. It's a twisted moral, but an important moral.
- •The Direction DC Seems To Be HeadingAgain, this film isn't perfect. The exposition is very "tell don't show", Leto's Joker wasn't a total success, and the transitions can be jarring at times. It has plenty of room for improvement. But it's big on heart and tried new things and took huge risks that seem to be paying off with fans, if not critics. DC is getting progressive, fun, and inventive. With Suicide Squad doing well at the box office, it gives hope for DC's future line up. Here's hoping they keep the experimenting up