There were big problems with this movie long before it reached our cinema screens a couple of weeks ago. Most of that was thanks to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Oh, how the public got their teeth right into that one. Was it really such a dour and terrible movie?
Anyway, here we get the next DC movie, in an almost strange move from the studio putting this out before the major DC films already set up for the next few years. While Marvel continue to dominate comic-book movies globally, DC have been inching forward nervously with very mixed reactions since the Green Lantern movie.
This film was possibly a wise and shrewd move for DC films- a chance to test the waters briefly where even Marvel had not fully dared to venture. Here we have a group of villains or anti-heroes. Where we’ve had around a decade of solid mighty, brave and honest justice defending heroes we might want something a little different at this point right?
But then along came Guardians of the Galaxy and even Deadpool. A double-shot of irregular naughty and playful misfit action, very different from the Avengers. Also very fresh and funny. Oh finally we get funny. All of this while Suicide Squad was still in production…and so then came the reshoots, rewriting, more editing. This almost looked a sure sign that DC were seriously confused, desperate even.
So while earlier in the year most audiences were left cold and unimpressed with the epic length Bats V Superman film, we were at least interested in the idea of Suicide Squad. But whether it was going to turn out a wild triumph or an ugly mess was to be seen.
So what do we get with the super-multi-coloured crew of deviant criminals and neon villains? We get quick-fire jokes, fast-moving story and a big scale action flick which reminds us of Escape from New York and other 80’s street-talking 80’s dystopian movies. It has swagger and muscle, it is smart ass and teasing.
This is the most instantly fun and enjoyable DC adapted film, but it does have problems. With all of the extra work in edits and shooting of extra scenes and more it still has not been pulled together tight enough. There are certainly a good number of great scenes and moments, usually with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Dead Shot.
I will be honest- it just about seemed like DC/Warner just could not give us funny or wise-cracking comic-book movies and characters-or simply were afraid to do so. They seemed to need to define themselves apart from Marvel distinctly but that choice was not working very well so far. With Suicide Squad coming from a largely unknown comic it seems they were feeling more comfortable to play around with their own methods of comic-book cinema style.
If they movie had come to us before Deadpool it may well have been super-huge at box office, so far it seems to have done only fairly well. It is not as slick and well put together as Guardians of the Galaxy (which it seems to really want to be). While it does look great, has some good moments with Jared Leto’s new Joker and Harley, and chatter between the various squad crew like the Ghostbuster reboot from this summer, the story is probably too simplistic and the end showdown just not nearly great enough.
I would like to see another Suicide Squad movie, I just hope that next time around they really give us the most insane and truly wild movie they are capable of putting on screen.
James E. Parsons is author the science fiction novels Minerva Century and Orbital Kin, both available from all good bookshops now in paperback, ebook and hardback.