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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Suicide Squad

Greetings one and all. There is a legitimate reason for writing on this humid evening, believe it or not. There will be many tangents and digressions, as per usual, but just know that there is a single focus to this post. Tonight, I exited my local theater completely enthralled by a film my friend asked me to go see with her, and that film, my dearies, is Suicide Squad. Already, I feel there is controversy around that film, not due to senseless PC bullshit but due to the vastly mixed reviews it has gotten thus far. The movie had garnered massive buzz since the release of its trailer and even before that, so the stakes were high. They rose even higher or even further? when the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice received shit reviews after years of unbridled, fanatic enthusiasm. Yes, I concur with the shit reviews because the Batman/Superman film was utterly exhausting and unentertaining. Not that I expected much, given that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman and Jesse fucking Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor. Really, DC Comics? That squirrelly Woody Allen wannabe is the choice for a calculating villain previously portrayed by the likes of Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman? I get it, this is supposed to be young Lex Luthor, but Jesse fucking Eisenberg? I am unconvinced by his capabilities and ultimately disgusted by the performance that was given. As for the Batman, I am pleased to say that Ben Affleck was not that bad. He's no Christian Bale, but I'll give Affleck a pat on the back for his effort. In such a convoluted mess of a film, he was somewhat of a consolation to its horridness. The movie's horridness, that is. One more thing: Wonder Woman was totally unnecessary other than to introduce the Justice League franchise that is to come. Actually, this entire clusterfuck of a movie is just a prelude to the Justice League franchise. Dawn of Justice? Fuck off.
Alright, now for the main event that is Suicide Squad. Be warned that there will be spoilers as the movie is pretty fresh in my mind, though I will mostly be concentrating on the film's quality overall and not specifics. As I continue to write, the ability to form coherent sentences dissolves into psychobabble. What am I saying right now? Must be the voices. To start us off, I'd like to express how much I genuinely enjoyed this movie. As far as superhero movies go, this was very unconventional and flat-out entertaining. I, myself, am not a superhero or comic book connoisseur, so I can't really comment on whether the film did justice to the comics or not. Even if I was that kind of nerd, I don't think I'd care that much, at least I hope I wouldn't. Movies have one primary objective and that is to entertain, and as far as I can see Suicide Squad accomplished that. It was chaotic, vivid, and absolutely thrilling. This sounds like a conclusion, but I assure you it is not. Consider this an inverted post. I'll even end it with a hello. I'm losing my mind. There is one mixed review that I can actually reason with as it is not a "this movie is awful and that's all I can say about it" kind of review. Screen International praises the film as possessing a dark, nihilistic streak as well as kinky pleasures and amusing nastiness; however, they claim that the film congratulates itself for how edgy it thinks it is based on the general badassery it has marketed prior to release. True, the film does deem itself as a vibrant ode to misfits, accentuating on the giddy villainy of its characters, which is kind of the point of the film isn't it? I understand that the critic is saying that Suicide Squad was not as edgy as it thinks it is, which is debatable I suppose depending on one's definition of edgy. Personally, I thought the film was plenty edgy, particularly the batshit insanity of Harley Quinn and the Joker. I'm exaggerating, perhaps, but that does not diminish their awe-inspiring portrayals of insane. I exaggerated again, didn't I? Let's move on to the nitty gritty of the thing.
The introduction of the members of the Suicide Squad was phenomenal. I always love these scenes in movies when there is a group...and there are members with credentials being introduced.... That was a silly and simple sentence, but I assure you I am a whopping twenty years old. Movies like Ocean's 11 are especially entertaining because of the gang that comes to the table. That's my go-to ensemble movie where that sort of intro scene takes place and it's honestly one of my favorite scenes in that whole trilogy. It's as if we're meeting a family of very good friends for the first time. Or am I just getting far too sentimental for what's actually happening? One by one, key characters are introduced in vivid fashion (we're back to Suicide Squad now, apologies for my insanity) and the audience becomes enraptured by this assembly of misfits. There are multiple scenes where the audience has the pleasure of watching these antiheroes interact as an ensemble, like when they equip and get into their Squad gear or when they have a drink at some deserted bar. Those scenes are just delightful, among the reasons why I smile when I think about the movie. Also, the film opens with "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals, and it was then that I knew I was in for a treat. I want to emphasize this now rather than continue bringing it up: the music in this movie was outstanding, each song seemed ideal for the situation and I loved the variety of musical fare that was offered. Moving on. I actually put on the soundtrack for inspiration and just plain enjoyment. I'll try to stay focused I promise.
Onto the characters. We have Will Smith as Deadshot, the brooding hitman with the trademark Will Smith sense of humor; Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the beautifully psychotic psychopath all psychopaths are psychotic and the Joker's other half; Jared Leto as the Joker himself; Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, the boisterous Aussie who doesn't seem do give many fucks then again none of them do; Jay Hernandez as Diabolo, the tattooed flame conjurer; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, the deep-down sensitive reptilian; Karen Fukuhara as Katana, the Kill Bill-esque blade-wielder; and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, the sincerely eerie villainess of the movie. Col. Rick Flag and Amanda Waller are technically also part of the Squad, from what I am told, but they aren't criminals so I'm going to gloss over them. Viola Davis played Amanda Waller and she portrayed a decent sociopath, that's all I have to say. The characters whose company I enjoyed most were all of them except Enchantress. Her appearance was appropriately creepy, though I am not a fan of the actress. It's probably because I've never seen her in a movie, and I just have a predisposition to dislike actors I'm unfamiliar with. Her acting was truly uneven though, which is why I took an immediate dislike to her. Or maybe I'm just saying that to justify my irrational hatred.
The one actor I really want to praise here is Margot Robbie because she absolutely shined in this film. Beyond her indisputable beauty and comic-book radiance, her performance truly embodied the looniness of Harley Quinn. The outfitting and make-up was simply perfection, such an innovative rendition of the comic book character. Deeper still, her manifestation of Harley Quinn was a spectacular mix of quirky, affectionate, and psychotic. The love she possesses for the Joker is mesmerizing to observe in moments such as when she's dancing with the Joker in her harlequin jumpsuit and when she's practically floating towards him in a hail of gunfire. As disturbing as their love is, the devotion present in their eyes is infatuating. In case you were wondering, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is the main attraction of this wild ride of a movie. I honestly thought the Joker would steal the show but he was hardly on screen anyway. Cue the knowing laughter of those who have seen the movie and complained about that. I'll admit, I wish there would have been more of him, especially scenes between him and Harley Quinn. Or Harley Quinn and he? Grammar can be a bitch.
I have been anticipating greatness from Jared Leto's portrayal and--I'll be completely honest here--I was a tad underwhelmed when he first came on the screen. It wasn't until I saw the irrefutable chemistry between Harley Quinn and the Joker that I began to grow on him. I think it was the metal teeth and his mobster get-up that threw me off, but then again that was the unique rendition this movie had for the character. Not every Joker is a carbon copy of the previous one, nor should it be. Jack Nicholson, who will forever be my favorite Joker until further notice, was an exceptional comic book representation of the Joker, while Heath Ledger was a grittier, more realistic villain in terms of his terrorist tendencies. Jared Leto was simply a different kind of criminal, more like the head of a criminal syndicate in modern times, and he definitely had an individualistic take on the infamous villain. Of course, the level of disinhibited insanity was shocking, so kudos to Leto for staying true to the Joker in his own way. Once again, I loved the exchanges between Harley Quinn and the Joker so naturally I just love them both.
Here is the part of post where I wrap things up. I need to because otherwise this post will be exiled to the drafts I forget to post. There's only one I haven't posted actually, so it's not as foreboding as it sounds. I write as if there are people out there who read this, it's funny. Overall, I really enjoyed Suicide Squad. The style of the film, that way it was shot so haphazardly but in a visually pleasing manner, reminded me of the way Matthew Vaughn directs his movies. The scene in Kingsman, for example, where Colin Firth commits a bloody massacre in a church, was very reminiscent in the way Suicide Squad was shot. That's just my opinion of course, as is everything I've said thus far. Except for the fact that Batman v. Superman was absolute horseshit, that's a fact. Until next time. Hello.

P.S. Don't waste your time.