FIRST LOOK: Character Sour Salad "Suicide Squad" Needs More Dressing

Updated 2 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
 FIRST LOOK: Character Sour Salad "Suicide Squad" Needs More Dressing

A number of D.C. Universe fans have started a petition alleging that many critics have not been fair in their evaluation of "The Suicide Squad." For that reason, in part, I assembled a random panel of viewers just to be doubly fair.


Fans that stayed through the credits, they liked it

This reviewer, definitely a mixed bag.

She said opinion: Girls rule; otherwise , boring.

Actually the petition has 13,000 signatures: "There are a lot of people who disagree with their reviews."


Writer/Director David ("The Fury," "End of Watch") Ayer has made a crucial misjudgment: He introduces too many new , power laden characters be they villains or supernatural entities. With too many "weaknesses can be leveraged" villains to be back up heroes, focus drifts, as the story muddles. Thank God for the hot Margo ("Wolf of Wall Street," "Focus,") Robbie as blonde/blue haired , bubble gun chewing, tattooed , one-liner queen Harley Quinn. She's consistently off-kilter and unpredictable. You care about her.

Oscar nominee Will Smith portrays a life taking mercenary, Deadshot. Unfortunately, when lined up to snap the ball, they all seem to be adept at shooting big guns and dodging bullets.

"Suicide Squad" begins shortly after Superman's death in "Superman v. Batman." The United States government which scrutinized Superman's ideology has gone askew in the post-Superman used to fly across the sky society,  as potentially tipping the balance of power continues a more somber dip into those that wear latex costumes and have gifts (sounds a little like "X Men")?

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a   very strong willed intelligence officer with a Frankenstein brain,  deems that the Superman void must be countered --- by manipulating imprisoned super villains --- to battle for positive values  in the event of a cataclysm . Remember, despite the demise of the Man of Steel , the D.C. Universe still has aliens, monsters, supernatural rifts and dark sided folks that have taken on heroes.

After a string of featurette origins introducing the villains (and graphic novel inspired, Powerpoint styled summaries) during a situation room steak dinner, the assembled are anything but ready to train or take on a mission. That's how the teasers suggest: A group of out of the box dangerous, criminal misfits sardonically tossing verbal ballasts.

Inevitably, Midway City (somewhere on the map between Gotham, Metropolis,  D.C., and a nearly abandoned Los Alamos  ) suffers a terrorist act by witchy Enchantress who wows "to destroy mankind [by] opening one of those giant purple vortexes where the clouds part and a massive electricity field funnels ominously into the center of a heavily populated area (as seen in “The Avengers,” “Ghostbusters” and  brink-of-doom scenarios)." The quote is from Variety ; I can't say it more succinctly.

By this midpoint, the mish mesh of compressed origins, fleeting glimpses of Batman, and the non-distinct bunch of villains have lost my suspension of disbelief. I'm asking myself logic questions and waiting for a bolt of sense.

The "Squad" has waffled and waffled. It's tried on post-neo noir visuals ("Sin City"). Ventured in rambling episodes of stormy night and stormy phychological ( "I can be vexing") explorations. Mulled a hopeless 'passing of heroes' era ("Birdman") and attempted a parody on itself (Deadshot: "I missed."). 

Joker (Jared Letto) has strong hints of a reboot of Heath Ledger wrapped in a gangstra style that accompanies the rap soundtrack; however, he doesn't integrate with the rest leaving his purpose to woo Harley. Speaking of Harley, she's an antithesis of a once conservative career woman electric shocked to a just this side of pole dancing lunatic.

Where did he come from ? Flashback, Flash forward, dream, all three?

David Ayer tweeted in essence, I made this for the fans. This is my introduction to "Suicide Squad," but as a long time once comic addict who favored D.C. over Marvel, could someone shake and stir with a twist and enlighten me on the missed "awesome," except  special effects ?

Meantime, I'll stall and see if this jells by afternoon.

Time's up.

This film aspires irreverence, lampoon, and reality ( classic scene: Villains drinking in bar debating action as Central City falls). It benefits from strong acting and quintessential imagery, but it all slips  into an appears  thrown together and choppily edited narrative  facing hopeless attempts to meld bla-bla  flow and bubble gum popping attitudes against that increasingly threatening (what?) sky vortex. Ayer has an iconic hero genre masterpiece inside his head, it's still there, only about 50% of that  conception (or is it intentional?) makes the screen.


REWIND: For the record, Cinema Score patrons have an age gap when assessing "Suicide Squad." Younger audiences (under 25) are more likely to award it near an "A," while those older give it a "B."












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