I have just come home from the London Premiere of Suicide Squad – thank you so much Warner, very grateful for these kind of opportunities.
So here are some of my thoughts on the film: I think reviews have been overly harsh on Suicide Squad because it’s a DC property and Batman V Superman was an awful film. There I said it. I actually had fun watching the film. The soundtrack is incredible, the performances given by Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Jay Hernandez truly make this film as good as it is.
That said, the film has issues. I am going to address the good and the bad as quickly as I can.
- Deadshot: Will Smith is excellent. He is a good actor. I think he sold Deadshot as a character to me. He likes killing, he is good at killing and he wants to keep doing that. He enjoys being a bad guy and making money. He also loves his daughter. The only issue is we are told this twice – not the fault of Smith, but the script. Same problem happens with Diablo, who is also a fun character.
- Harley Quinn: What can I say, Margot Robbie nails it. And I am sure you have already heard this so I won’t say much more. I will address the criticism of “Harley Quinn is over sexualised” in a moment, but the short answer for this is: No and yes.
- Amanda Waller: Viola Davis gave an excellent performance and is a great villain. She had a hard job as she is basically ‘exposition’ the character, but she really makes that work. I wish she was a bigger bad guy though.
- Boomerang, Killer Croc, Katana, Slipknot: Lacked severe character development. Would have especially liked to have seen more of the 1st three, Slipknot didn’t need to be in the film AT. ALL. I actually forgot he was in it till my friend reminded me.
- Villains: Remaining nameless in an effort to stay spoiler free, but they suck, guys. They suck so bad. They are what let the film down in my eyes. It’s not the Joker by the way. I really wish it was. THAT would have been a great movie, especially as you feel the connection, although briefly, between Quinn and Joker. The villains story is just never evolved past “I am mad at humans”, you don’t feel attached to them at all. They are wrecking stuff. Amanda Waller as a villain, while trying to stop Joker: That could have been great movie. I would have watched the crap out of that.
- Too much exposition. This, for me, is one of the biggest problems I think people might have with the film. They tell you A LOT. They could have cut all the back stories they did it in the 1st scene, because we get them all again anyway through the movie. Those later scenes would have had an amazing impact if they were not at the very beginning. Also some characters backstories that had bad one line explanations really could have been told in flashbacks near the end with some of the others. You don’t care about them if you learn their story in a throwaway line. One character was given nothing. Like came and went. Should have not bothered.
(Photo:Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad. )
- The over-sexualisation of Harley Quinn?: I have a lot to say here. First there is a MASSIVE difference to a women owning a sexual identity and being over sexualised. For the most part Quinn owes her sexuality. She knows she looks great, she wants to dress a certain way for fun, and she LIKES being sexual. There is even a line in the film that essentially say “I sleep where I want, when I want, with who I want”. My problem with some parts is there are a lot of random shots that start with Margot’s butt, and she could have had converse over heels for practical fighting reasons. Yes, her butt looks great in short-shorts, but we don’t need it at all. Quinn is a bad ass, unapologetic bad guy, who likes smashing the hell out of things – and she is good at it. She does what she wants, when she wants. So saying ‘Quinn is over sexualised’ because she wears skimpy clothes and clearly likes sex is wrong. Margot said it best in an interview with the New York Times this week that her character wore ‘hot pants because they’re sparkly and fun’ not because ‘she wanted guys to look at her ass’. Sometimes women like clothes that are considered skimpy. Samantha Jones in Sex and the City did the same thing, and we celebrated and embraced her – rightfully so. Men and women of the world, not all young women who like sex and wear skimpy clothes in film are over sexualised, sometimes they are celebrating who and what they are by being unapologetically themselves. There is a scenes where she changes clothes with the others and army men are really leering at her, she looks up and says “What?”. The problem isn’t what she is wearing, it’s that they are being leery and creepy. Quinn was just expressing herself through her clothes. So no, Quinn isn’t over sexualised, in fact I loved her portrayal as un-apologetically crazy, bad and kooky. If you think she is ‘jerk off material” as one review said, it says more about your perceptions of women then the characters presentation as a women. However, Margot Robbie is. I am truly sorry they started so many shots panning up from your butt. It was a weird choice.
- Want to mention the soundtrack. It’s incredible. I need to get the Suicide Squad soundtrack in my Spotify playlists ASAP!
- Lastly, some editing issues. I would have cut so much exposition out and sometimes it was clunky, but I am pretty sure I am nit-picking here as a fellow editor. I do want to get a hold of a copy and re-edit bits though for fun. I liked the graphics and didn’t think they were ‘cheap’ CGI effects… I thought they were very in tune with the comic book vibe the film seemed to be going for.
So those are my thoughts. It’s hardly going to be critically acclaimed like The Social Network or anything like that, but it is a fun comic book film made for fans of the comics and summer blockbuster (they don’t make it all about Joker and Quinn as that’s not what SS is about). I am interested to see in what direction they go in and a future film with Quinn and Joker.
So it’s a 6/7 out of 10. Has issues, but not terrible like BvS. Thank God.