Happy Friday and welcome to even MOAR of my fangirling. Except this time, I’m not really fangirling. I’m fanGRILLing instead.
Okay, so last Friday I went to see the movie Suicide Squad.
Yes, I Tweeted that it “kicked ass.” That’s because visually, some of it is gorgeous. Some of the fights are amazing. Some of the characters really capture me a few times. As nothing but pure unadulterated fluff that requires no thought, it does some kick-ass things as a summer movie.
But if you scratch the surface, that’s where shit gets real. I left the theater thinking about it, and why I was pissed about parts of it: the disjointed subplots; weak writing; plot holes; WTF WITH JARED LETO’S JOKER ARE YOU KIDDING ME; and the damn tropes in which POC are marginalized, stereotyped, and SPOILER killed.
But let’s back up a bit.
For those not in the know, the first version of the Suicide Squad debuted in DC Comics in 1959, then rose from the dead (like comics stories often do) in 1987 as a different version. It’s been a thing since.
The Suicide Squad is basically a work release program for supervillains, in which they’re used by the government for black ops. The modern incarnation is a squad of misfit antiheros and they’re roped into these undercover ops in exchange for commuted prison sentences. Of course, the government will deny any association with them should their mission be revealed or anything goes wrong.
Peeps, I love me some good antihero stories. So I’ve had kind of a soft spot in my heart for the Suicide Squad, because it’s kind of cool to explore a darker side of motivation and motive. The Squad doesn’t necessarily care about the mission for the mission’s sake, but they see the value in getting prison sentences decreased and in being out of prison and you end up rooting for them, which is why it’s interesting to explore antiheroes. Anyway, they form alliances with each other (sometimes behind other Squad members’ backs like in Survivor) to either complete the mission or get a chance at escape.
So let’s review.
Supervillains as antiheros. Black ops. Snarky one-liners. Dark pasts. Epic fight scenes. This should be a damn no-brainer for awesome, right?
The larger question for me here should probably be this: Why the hell do I keep thinking that DC (and this time in combo with Warner Bros.) is going to finally do a comics movie right? ::picks up Suicide Squad comic in frustration and flings it across the room screaming WHY DC WHY::
I will say this in the movie’s favor, however.
There were some parts that I thoroughly enjoyed and that I considered kick-ass. Some of the fights and effects were truly epic, and some of the one-liners were good, too.
I’m also a Katana fan, though I’m uncertain why the hell she was in this movie, because she was so thoroughly marginalized (see link to Lady Geek Girl below). And don’t EVEN get me started on what happened to Slipknot (he’s not pictured above because…well, you’ll find out if you see the movie and/or read the Lady Geek Girl review that I link to below).
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller (the Squad’s behind-the-scenes almost sociopathic coordinator) was…DAMN. I mean, seriously, Viola Davis could just sit on a damn stage and stare at a blank spot on the wall and it would be amazing. And I love me some Will Smith all day every day; he did what he could with this script and I’m now ready for a film about Deadshot with him playing the role. And Margot Robbie, I thought, gave a great performance as Harley Quinn, the sometime-girlfriend of the Joker (she was his GF in this movie). Visually, one of the final fight scenes between El Diablo, the human flame, and the bad(der?) guy Incubus was stunning and left me totally enthralled. I will also say that I really liked El Diablo’s character (played by Jon Hernandez), including his tortured backstory. THAT guy should have his own movie, too.
Anyway, if you don’t think about this movie as you’re watching it, you will probably enjoy parts of it. If, however, you’re a comics geek and also someone engaged in the world around you and you notice shit, this movie will piss you off. I’m not going to list my grievances, because the fine folks over at Lady Geek Girl said everything that I felt in this discussion they held about it aptly titled, “Fuck: A Suicide Squad Review.” SPOILERS in that review, friends, so if you’re planning on watching the movie, avoid the review.
Anyway, aside from all of that, I keep wondering WTF, DC?
Suicide Squad has over 60 years of some great material. You could’ve done some cool shit with this. Some ULTRA-COOL shit. But you’ve been letting me down for a few years, now. I still haven’t forgiven you for dissing Batwoman, who you so awesomely made a lesbian and then you apparently refused to allow Batwoman to marry her partner so the amazing J.H. Williams III and another writer bailed.
REMEMBER THIS, PEOPLE? Yeah. That was shit-canned.
And don’t even get me started on how you booted the uber-talented writer Gail Simone for…wait for it…commenting on sexism in the industry (she came back, but ended up leaving 2 years later over “creative differences”). Simone was writing Batgirl. And THEN. AND THEN DC tried to bring on notorious homophobe Orson Scott Card. Outcry over that resulted in the artist stepping away from the project, which was mothballed.
Which brings me to this.
DC is slated to release a Wonder Woman movie in 2017. Yeah, the trailer is freaking bad-ass. Don’t believe me? LOOK. <–SERIOUSLY! LOOK!
I face this with some serious trepidation. Because so help me Athena, in the hands of DC/Warner Bros., this movie could go seriously wrong, given the track record. And Wonder Woman deserves SO MUCH BETTER. OMG. But that, my friends, is a discussion for another time. At least we have the trailer.
I had high hopes for Suicide Squad. But again, DC/Warner Bros. (BROS for sure, y’all) let me down. And now I worry for the future of one of the all-time most iconic superwomen in modern history at their hands.
But let’s try not to think about that now. Instead,
Happy Friday, happy fandom, and may the odds be ever in your favor!