From Longbow to Big Screen: Suicide Squad

Ok, I’ll admit it, I am more excited for the Suicide squad movie than I am for any other new DC related movie.

So about as excited as finding a discarded mars bar wrapper.

Let me explain- Suicide squad was rebooted by John Ostrander as a way to bring supervillains together and have them as government agents, in the same vein of the dirty dozen. Directed by one of the most badass women in DC comics, Amanda Waller, the groups were sent into impossible missions, and those who came back alive were sent onto another one until they “Served their time”, And whilst this was a very grim idea, there was a dark humour to it, including an entire sub-plot that featured characters randomly being pied in the face. This inspired several stories later, including the Awesomeness that is Gail Simone’s Secret Six, fantastic stuff on this fun, all be it dark, premise of villains being forced to do the right thing, with an almost Bon vivant feeling of “Living for today, for tomorrow, we’ll all be dead.”

And now we have a movie, and honestly, from the first news it I was excited about it. Great, nice contrast to the Superman and Batman’s dour epicness, and a fun way to introduce the public to the less well known villains and heroes. You could have a fantastic Heist movie with the villains being involved in trying to plan a break-in for the justice league headquarters, or Biyalia and fighting queen Bee, or infiltrating Lex-corp, and discovering Superboy, or something.

The character line up seemed interesting. As much as I think Harley Quinn is over-exposed, she’s had a history with the Squad, and set against Captain Boomerang and Deadshot, Squad mainstays, it seemed interesting. However, when characters like enchantress (who works on her own better), Killer Croc (again, solo), Katana (a hero), el Diablo (again, a hero) made me very concerned. Having Joker as the villain… Well, I’ll get onto him later.

Then costumes and casting details came in. Will smith held up my hopes for this being more of a Heist movie, but everyone else seemed either just ok, lacking charisma, or miscast. As for the costumes, the only one that really worked was, once again, Deadshot, but everyone else had this vague feeling of “Almost, but not quite”. It’s probably best shown by Jared Leto’s joker. Jared Leto was almost pitch perfect casting for the joker (we’ll get to why it doesn’t quite work later), but his costume looks awful, from the grill to the tattooes. It’s like DC went with two ideas of the joker, one Joker classic of a flamboyant showman psychopath, and a clearly deranged monster ala Ledger flavour, and mashed them together without any clear thought about the character.

I have watched the trailer now, and this is the main reason why I am writing this. Whilst I am more optimistic about this movie than any other DC movie yet, if the trailer is meant to set the tone, then the tone is shot to pieces. All Booming dour music, All misplaced lines of dialogue, shots of characters being all stony faced (where one of the greatest abilities of Will Smith is the humanise characters with a smile) makes me less think of “Suicide squad” and more of “Firing squad.” This makes me think that DC really hasn’t learnt anything from Marvel’s success in the movie business, as it seems like they are trying to pull out any fun from these characters because fun means they can’t be taken seriously. All in all, this movie seems to be passable, but that trailer better be mis-representing the tone, or I’m bringing a pillow when I see it.

PS: Also, Jared Leto’s Joker… Yep, still not right. Don’t know why everyone’s freaking out about it.

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