Let’s Talk About Some of the Petty ‘Suicide Squad’ Complaints [OPINION]
Last Friday, I watched a surprisingly well-acted and fun treat of a comic book movie named 'Suicide Squad.' Apparently, there is also a baffling, woman-hating, racist mess of a movie critics and haters are watching that has the same title. Weird.
I'm a big fan DC characters now, but growing up -- it was all Marvel. So it comes as no surprise that I am a fan of all these comic books coming to life on the big screen. That being said, I am not always a fan of the finished product, as is apparently the case for many with the latest comic-to-film adaptation in theaters -- 'Suicide Squad.' Let's take a look at this a little closer.
As an adult male in his mid 30s who wears a wedding ring with a Batman logo on it, obviously I am familiar with Suicide Squad. A lot of the characters, in both the comics and the film, are better known for tangling with the Dark Knight. However, they are not generally listed among Bats' big bads, let alone those of the DC universe. I mean no disrespect to fans of the Squad by saying this, but it's a team of mostly C and D-list villains, with one beloved B-lister -- Harley Quinn. You could argue this point until you're blue in the face, but no member of Task Force X is a big enough character to carry a Batman, Superman, or Flash movie as the main villain. Therefore -- they are not A-list villains (in my book).
Being that they're a rag-tag band of fringe villains -- I didn't expect much from this movie. While everybody was crapping their pants with excitement over the first trailer, I wondered what the big deal was. I just didn't see what everyone else did. I was very interested in meeting the new, questionably Juggalo-ish Joker, along with Harley, Deadshot, and Killer Croc, but I kind of expected it to be a low-stakes suck fest. I was pleasantly surprised when I found the movie to be a lot of fun.
It was fast-paced, plowed through the multiple, necessary character intros in a fun, punk rock kind of way, didn't over-explain the pretty easy-to-understand, albeit familiar, plot, and featured some standout performances from both Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Also, I kind of like Jared Leto's creepy Joker. I just wish they would've left some more of him actually joking around in the theatrical version. Leto claims they cut an entire movie's-worth of material from the film, which does make it kind of hard to get a read on this version of the Clown Prince of Crime. I did leave theaters wanting to see more of Mr. J though, which was probably their goal.
After going into the film skeptical, and coming out entertained, I was very baffled by the vitriolic response critics had to the film. I liked Batman v. Superman, but I at least understood the criticism. I've been looking at some of these 'Suicide Squad' reviews like "WTF are they talking about?" Allow me to address a few of the recurring complaints here:
Harley Quinn was over-sexualized, and how offensive it was that "the script refuses to give her any motivation outside wanting to reunite with the Joker." ~ A.V. Club, basically a hundred other websites
Maybe check the source material. They pretty much nailed it. She's a lovesick sociopath, not Rosa Parks.
"Someone want to sit me down and explain why our 1st major Latino superhero is a gangbanger with domestic violence issues?" ~ Monica Castillo, Film Critic
El Diablo is not a superhero. Suicide Squad is a team of villains forced to act in the interest of the U.S. Government against their own will. In a fit of rage, he accidentally killed his family, because fire demon reasons, and seemed genuinely remorseful about it. David Ayer films usually have a "Yo, holmes. You ever have your s--- pushed in?" guy in them," but this iteration of the character isn't really much of a departure from the source material.
Deadshot, an antihero assassin who kills for money and loves it, describes the mother of his child as a whore and advises a teammate to control his girlfriend by smacking her on the ass. In another scene, [Slipknot] is introduced as he hops out of an SUV and sends his fist flying into the face of a female guard. ~ The Daily Beast
Despite their refusal of the following as an excuse a few sentences later in that same article -- they're villains. They're crappy people who do crappy things. You're not supposed to be able to co-sign everything they do. However, you do get to cheer when Slipknot is on the receiving end of some swift comeuppance for his less than admirable transgressions. I would've been more offended by the squad being presented as misunderstood criminals with good hearts. If you want that movie -- watch 'Guardians of the Galaxy' or 'Ant-Man.'
Another complaint about the movie was that it didn't make sense, which I find ridiculous. It was fairly straight-forward from where I was sitting. But that didn't stop movie websites from getting bent out of shape because the movie didn't over-explain every last detail of the plot. It's too bad they couldn't get Amy Adams to reprise her role as Lois "explain what's going on with the plot" Lane for this movie.
I'm aware that this is turning into a long article about a movie I would probably only give a grade of B-, but I had too much coffee today. So next I'll be addressing every gripe about the plot from the article '12 Ways Suicide Squad Makes No Sense' from our good friends at Screencrush:
1. How are a psychotic with a baseball bat and a dude who throws boomerangs expected to stop the next Superman?
That’s two members of a team that also featured a deadly assassin, an all-powerful witch, an alligator dude, and a fire demon.
2. Why don’t they at least try to recruit heroes?
Heroes aren’t expendable, and are more difficult to frame.
3. They had no contingency plan for the Enchantress teleporting away and causing problems?
They had her heart, with which they could kill her instantly (or so they thought), and her boyfriend was on their team. They had a contingency plan -- it just failed.
4. Speaking of the Enchantress, why would an archaeologist like June Moone break the head off a priceless artifact?
There was great power contained within said artifact. Maybe she knew that, maybe it compelled her to do so. Is this really a deal-breaker?
5. Is Rick Flag a moralist or a realist? He spends the entire movie insulting Deadshot, but when Waller slaughters an entire room of innocent government agents he seems totally fine with it.
Deadshot isn’t his boss, hasn’t orchestrated his personal life, and doesn’t have the resources to ruin him like Waller does.
6. They spent 30 minutes introducing all these characters and don’t even mention this Slipknot guy who just shows up out of the blue to get killed?
He was an unfortunate plot device used to let the audience know that they aren’t afraid to kill a member squad. Perhaps he was planted to prove that very point. Would you rather they spent a lot of time introducing the least interesting character?
7. Why is Waller hiding out in a skyscraper in Midway City? And why does Enchantress choose Midway City as the place to run amok? Is this a giant series of coincidences?
Because that’s where they were? Should Enchantress have went to New York instead? Is Midway City not centrally located enough to stage an apocalypse?
8. Why does Captain Boomerang come back at the end of the movie?
He got bored. Much like myself after shooting down these nitpicking, misguided points that “don’t make sense.”
9. During the big action climax, El Diablo turns into a fire demon guy to fight Incubus. How does he keep the bomb in his neck from exploding when he’s made entirely of fire?
Detonating his neck bomb likely would’ve only activated his fire demon form, which he did not want to happen. If anything, trying to control a sleeping fire demon with a neck bomb is a poor plan.
10. In the big final confrontation with Enchantress, why did they have Killer Croc throw the bag of explosives instead of Captain Boomerang? Isn’t he the expert on throwing stuff?
Because he was closest and the world was being destroyed? It wasn't a game of hot potato.
11. Why is the Joker’s part so minimal?
Because the movie is both named after, and centered on the ‘Suicide Squad.’ Joker isn’t a member of the Suicide Squad.
12. What the hell is wrong with Jared Leto? He sent people dead pigs to get into character for a glorified cameo?
There are no small roles. Just small actors.
Well, that's all I've got. If you didn't like the movie, cool. No skin off of my ass. It wasn't a game-changer or an innovator, but it was entertaining. Much more so than some Marvel sequels I've sat though (Thor 2, anyone?) that didn't receive even a third of the harsh criticism this movie has. This is only the third DCEU movie. You know what the third MCU movie was? Iron Man 2, which came right after the 'The Incredible Hulk.'Those were both pretty forgettable. Let's stop busting DC's balls so early in the game and let them get some momentum.
By the way, I know that none of you are wondering (and most of you stopped reading 700 words ago), but I did make it into the final cut of this movie as well (click here to see how).