I turned the HBO back on, to watch a supervillains as antiheroes/heroes movie. That would be James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Rock me, Amadeus!
Also? No spoilers.
I’d heard ‘good things’ about this one. That it had a story, for one. That it was gloriously, unabashedly violent, for adults, funny, and yes, a bit sad at times. What?? It’s not a muddled mess of dark mopey superbeings muttering cliches? WTF, Batman? He was not in this, by the way. It’s the same universe, which is not Marvel. Gold star for me, right? Right?
We have a different-ish group of Suicide Squadders this time around but there are leftovers from the other 2016 movie. Like Boomerang, Harley Quinn, and can’t recall another one. There’s brand new squadders, such as TDK, Weasel, Savant, some guy with a javelin[Javelin!], an orange-faced girl [Mongal], that guy from SNL’s villain [Blackguard]. We also have Peacemaker, the shark man, rat girl, Idris Elba as Bloodsport. Oh and Colonel Flag is back, too, but his girlfriend seems very absent. The one who had the sorceress inside her? M’kay.
And Polka Dot man, who throws outer space polka dots at people, which turn them into rather gross objects of blood, bone and drippy flesh. I do mean gross. Really gross.
So, Viola Davis, evil incarnate supreme and soft-voiced mistress of pain archetype, sends a big slug of supervillains to this island to erase some science experiment that might blah blah blah the rest of the world if it gets out. Standard superhero movie plot, sure. But it’s twisty! Oh yeah. And the monster is both funny and terrifying…so well done on that front. There’s always a monster, come on, kiddos.
Also, visually, we get announcements of what’s going on or about to happen next composed of stuff in the scene. Like seaweed on the beach announcing the time is now or smoke forming the words it’s eight minutes ago or roots spelling out we’re about to deal with Harley. I thought that obvious artifice worked very well, had a smooth transitional momentum to it. It could have been annoying or too cutesy but it just was not.
Overall, this was a good time. It didn’t really let up. Actions led to consequences. Elba’s Bloodsport had a real fear of rats, yet he has to face that fear in a battle. Weasel could not swim and spent most of the movie laying on the beach probably drowned. Probably. Tiny spoiler? Sorry! Harley Quinn was perfection. She was what I want Wonder Woman to be. Kind of a fearless maniac…maybe not. Maybe?? Watching HQ gonzo her way out of the mansion full of dictator-wannabes just made my millennium. And her heartfelt hug of Flag, ah! Maybe Diana can take her aside, compare some notes? Same universe. Oh my gosh, a HQ/WW battle. Let’s do this!
I really don’t have too many criticisms of this. It’s violently fun, you actually care about these misfits, you might even laugh here and there, it doesn’t seem to have that dark dreary undertone that just makes you roll your eyes anymore, and it seems a manageable chunk of a movie, not a bloated vanity project using source material about three people have read.
Did I mention John Cena yet? Cause he was awesome possum sauce. How’s that for critical analysis? You’re welcome. His rivalry with Bloodsport, bwhahahaha…until it wasn’t funny. What? An arc? I know!
I also felt, deep in my heart, that the actors really enjoyed themselves making this one. And that joy translated to some pretty solid turns from the players in this operatic, over the top, colorful, violent romp. It was satisfying. I felt very smiley nearly the whole time watching this. Like, hey, they got one right! Look at this thing! I can stop thinking about my country swirling down a large orange toilet and enjoy HQ kicking the shit out of those who think her just some dumb broad with a pretty face. I don’t have to consider how no one who’s got an R by their name never seems to suffer any consequences for anything, including fucking treason as I observe Idris Elba have a scream fight with his daughter that’s both funny and a bit too real. I’ve had a version of this fight. Dang.
It’s a movie that allows reality to be suspended. To slip into this universe where…oh damn, good is still a slippery concept. And oh my goodness, King Shark playing with those Muppet-like jellyfish thingies! Yes! Oh no, jellyfish thingies…oh dear. This movie has layers? This movie has layers, y’all!
What more could you want from a supervillains used to save the world popcorn flick? Not much, really.