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“Our bird’s been jacked. Light it up!“
August is a strange month of year. As autumn approaches the leaves begin to turn color, even though it’s hotter than El Diablo’s hands outside. Those fresh summer threads are going out of style but it’s still too early to plunder the fall wardrobe so you wear them anyway. It’s almost time for back to school but the kids are still in the swimming pool. August is a month of awkward transitions it seems. So I figured, why not feature a film that’s also full of awkward transitions?
One in The Chamber: Amidst Summer’s last gasp everyone wants one more cannonball splash. Warner Bros / DC’s Suicide Squad delivered it this weekend as Harley Quinn’s baseball bat shattered the box office (SPLASH!). The previous record for an August movie opening weekend was set by “Guardians of the Galaxy” when it raked in $94.3 million in 2014. How much is Squad headed for? Somewhere around $147 million according to Variety.com, no biggie.
“I wanna build a team of some very bad people who I think can do some good.”
Suicide Squad is set shortly after Batman v Superman in the DC universe. Powerful metahumans (DC’s version of X-Men) and vigilantes now inhabit the Earth and the government needs a plan to deal with them.
Round Up The Usual Suspects: I wanna build a team of some very bad people who I think can do some good.” Says Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a no-nonsense government intelligence officer and master of manipulation. Thus, she creates Task Force X: a collection of Midway City and Gotham’s most notorious convicts and super villains, many of who were put behind bars by the likes of Batman and The Flash. Now they are to be sent directly into harms way with no recourse. “If they get caught we throw ’em under the bus.” Waller strong-arms them into cooperating and puts explosive chips in each of their necks that are rigged to her personal remote control to give them all a little extra incentive
The Flawed Squad: The members of the suicide squad are not traditional super heroes but rather antiheroes. An antihero is a protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage or morality. Will Smith’s character, Dead Shot, for example, is a wrist gun wielding assassin for hire who’s daughter is ashamed of her father’s line of work. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) burned his family alive in a fit of rage and swore to never use his powers again. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) was a psychiatrist at Gotham’s Arkham Asylum until she fell for the wrong kind of joker, her patient who seduced and literally drove her insane.
Like Harley, the plot of the film is steered by the wit and charm of The Joker (Jared Leto) who, by his determination to rescue his main squeeze at all costs, proves to be quite a hindrance to the squad’s mission. When he shows up with the Squad’s would-be escape helicopter their commando leader, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) delivers one of the film’s most memorable lines, “Our Bird’s been jacked. Light it up!”
What is the squad’s mission exactly? To stop a Ghost Busters-esque black magic woman/witch who goes by the name of Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) from destroying the world or something to that degree, I forget. It’s not important.
What A Ride! Seeing this film in 3D IS what’s important, so you can fully take in the breathtaking image of Katana slicing through a rock zombie in slow motion or an attack helicopter firing off decoy flares as it drops low to the deck.
Objectively speaking this isn’t the best comic book movie I’ve seen, let alone of this summer probably. It’s also the weakest EFC film I’ve discussed so far, in my opinion. I feel I owe it to you to mention that. It had home run potential. The Dirty Dozen-esque premise was really intriguing. But poor execution and lack of imagination let the ball fall short of the fence.
So how did it make it into the Experience Films Collection? The short answer is because I still really liked it, despite all its flaws. Maybe I’ve just been a sucker for this movie since I saw the first preview featuring Harley Quinn’s ass kicking aerial acrobatics to the tune of “Ballroom Blitz.” Now that’s pretty cool, no? But I believe there’s a little more to it than that.
The characters could have been better developed, yet I still latched on to them and sympathized with them. There is beauty in their situation and realizing how much hardship they’ve been through. And now they must endure more and then more and it never ends seemingly. And as the Joker said in The Dark Knight (RIP Heath Ledger) “Whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you… stranger.” And you gotta love that about them – how messed up they are. You gotta love that about people I think.
If there’s one scene in the film that pulls at my emotions the most, it is when Harley fantasizes about a “normal” life in which she does the laundry and kisses a makeup free Jared Leto as he leaves for work. Then she snaps back to her reality. It took this contrasting image for me to appreciate just how dark and insane her reality actually is. And the pessimist in me thinks it’s always going to be that way for her, and for the other characters as well. But what choice do they have but to carry on?
Is this film truly EFC caliber? Who am I to answer? Will I regret admitting it into my little club? The day I do is probably the day I should shut it down. We need to give ourselves permission to make mistakes. Movies aren’t perfect. People aren’t perfect, and neither am I.
Experience The Trailer:
EFC 06 Soundtrack: “Sucker For Pain”
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Director: David Ayer (Training Day, Fury)
Writers: David Ayer, John Ostrander (Comic Book)
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, and Jared Leto
Do Expect: spectacular visuals, plenty of action, fun and excitement.
Don’t expect: To be swept off to any new conceptual or emotional territory you haven’t already visited elsewhere.
The Inside Out: Anger (20%), Disgust (13%), Joy (10%), Sadness (4%), Fear (4%).
Good review. I thought the move was just okay. Good concept, with some great acting, but the story was too thin. I don’t know…maybe I set my expectations too high.
Thanks! Yes an “iffy choice” is what I would rate it as well. My expectations were sky high but I managed to lower them shortly before actually watching it and that allowed me to still enjoy it. Reading your own review and some others was very helpful for this reason actually.
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