DC has a lot riding on their film universe. The comics publisher has watched as Marvel Studios with the backing of Disney have become the number one producer of film franchises in the world. They have gone through their A-list, B-list and are now making movie stars of their C-list characters with little trouble.
Guardians of the Galaxy was the canary in the coal mine for DC and Warner Brothers. If Marvel could make a massive global hit with characters virtually no one knows anything about then they can do anything and when it comes down to it, DC has the heaviest hitters in the comic book universe. They have Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. These are the icons that everyone knows and has some emotional connection to whether they can name an artist or a story arc or any of their villains. These are the name brand top shelf VIPs of of funny books and with the exception of The Dark Knight Trilogy it has been quite some time since anyone has felt good about a live action adaptation. (Wonder Woman will finally get a shot next year.)
The issue came to a head earlier this year when Batman vs. Superman came out and was beleaguered by both critics and fans. I tried to defend what was obviously a hatchet job. The film suffered rating required edits that led to a film that wasn’t what anyone would have expected.
There was hope on the horizon. There were a lot of trailers and commercials showing the next film in the series, Suicide Squad, was going to be fun, candy colored and outside of the traditional superhero box. It was slated in my mind to be DC’s effort at a Guardians of the Galaxy of their own, but with the benefit of some really well known characters. They went partially with the new 52 conception of these characters; which was not what most fans wanted but the idea of watching Harley Quinn and The Joker together in live action was too good to pass up. Though, there would still need to be a workable film surrounding these characters in order for the effort to garner any kind of fan or critical support.
The film that they put together did not achieve this goal. Is it a train wreck? No, but its a dated old fashioned tired piece using the concept of being about supervillains to seem new. So instead of a team of anti-heroes we get bad guys who have killed in the past, steal purses in the present and curse at every opportunity you can in a PG-13 flick.
The movie works as a superhero team up. If this film was made in 2004, before we had 3+ superhero films a year. In 2016 we’ve seen everyone team up. We’re past just making a team comic book film. That’s not enough anymore and the opportunity to utilize any of the possible themes that would make this film stand out are lost.
These are awful people, forced by an awful person to take on an awful task. There is an inherent story about forcing people into servitude, government overreaching, and true motivations of evil men and women. So why does this film seem focused on making everyone so damn lovable and heroic all the time? Why am I charmed by people I know have killed mercilessly for money, revenge or their own pleasure? This isn’t in an over the top super fun cartoon way either. Its in a Deadshot and Harley are just as heroic as Rick Flagg type of way. That Amanda Waller is the devil but “gangsta” and The Joker has an understandable motive. That’s right… I get why The Joker did everything he did in this film. Somehow that feels wrong. Were they allowed to try and make a fun film? Yes. Were they allowed to make a serious film? Yes. But they did not commit to either idea and ended up making a run of the mill unimpressive piece that is ultimately a disappointment.
I have been hoping for an amazing piece to come from DC and WB. I kept saying these things look good so they’ll work out. I’m now officially on board the train that says stop what you’re doing DC. Give up this track and start over.
The DC TV Universe is amazing focus your energies there. Allow those producers and writers and talent the ability to use the Trinity and stop making movies for a few years. Come back when you have a better plan. This one is not working. I don’t even think Suicide Squad is a bad flick. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are amazing. I could watch them do anything together they’re so good and I’m sorry they’re in this mess.
Honestly, you might see the film and not care. You might see it and be disappointed. You might see it and think it was great but even so… Its not the movie they should have made. Its just not.
I could go into the technical reasons why not to see the film but I’d be wasting good time I could spend doing something better.
DC… get better at making movies or stop and just make tv shows.
– Mr. Khon