The Suicide Squad [Grade: D]

Director: James Gunn

Story By: James Gunn

Cast: Idris Elba, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, & Daniela Melchior

* * *

When it comes to conversations regarding Suicide Squad of 2016, I’m on the other side of the fence. I enjoyed it, and it has a pretty good soundtrack!

So I wasn’t as interested in this “remake/redo” as many others, but was intrigued to see what it would feel like—especially considering the different discussions across my social media. Unfortunately, this film didn’t give me what it was supposed to have gave…

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #TheSuicideSquad that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), Wait for Streaming, Don’t Rush, & Don’t Watch.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.

* * *

Theme: D

Plot & Story: C

Pacing: C

Character Arc/Development: F

General Entertainment Factor: Don’t Watch

Film Enthusiast Entertainment Factor: Don’t Watch

* * *

TAKEAWAYS:

1. I will admit, I did enjoy Idris Elba’s delivery vs Will Smith’s in the role of the “sharp shooter” type. 👍🏾

2. One moment that actually annoyed me, and just came across as some experimental shyt was the scene where we watched the fight through the helmet. I mean… huh!? What was that? 🤦🏾‍♂️

3. So in terms of messaging, the film comes off as being a one that focuses on “Leadership/Guidance.” We hear this with Viola’s character in Act One and Act Three when referring to Bloodsport.

Now, the theme I felt that came across more via Bloodsport and the entire team was around “Finding Purpose / Learning to Care (for something &/or others), which I was able to see manifest with multiple characters.

However, the story isn’t grounded in the theme I came to notice, nor does it use Acts Two and Three to engage with that theme through the characters. Instead, it focuses more on the action and comedy with these oddly placed sentimental moments here-and-there that awkwardly connects to “purpose/caring.”

Additionally, the idea of “Leadership” wasn’t really set up well in Act One—it didn’t seem like the issue for Bloodsport to figure out and embrace. 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️

4. King Shark was adorable. 🥰

5. My goodness, the gore and visuals… 👀😮

6. Character development was pretty disappointing mainly due to pacing, but I felt like the film tried to force the belief that a development happened by Act Three with the comment about “Leadership.” As I mentioned in my point about the theme, there was NOTHING about Bloodsport that said he wasn’t a leader, or that he was avoiding being a leader. If anything, the moment Bloodsport hit the screen, his actions were those of a role model in his context—i.e. a leader. There just wasn’t any real life given to the characters at all—they were pawns forced to entertain.😩🤦🏾‍♂️

7. I love Margot Robbie, and I truly think she has really done something special with Harley Quinn…it’s just unfortunate that Warner Brothers hasn’t quite figured out how to elevate her character into the dark, manic badass beauty she is. 🤦🏾‍♂️

8. PENIS! Love a good frontal shot! 😜

9. So the story isn’t “bad.” We have a woman looking to put together a team of Black Ops, all of whom are felons, to take on a secret mission that could be beneficial to society.

Act One pretty much gives room to set up the team, Act Two allows our team to unpack findings to completing the mission, and Act Three provides the action/interaction with the mission…so, the story moves through its blueprint checkpoints.

Unfortunately, there are so many aspects of the story that feel messy/thrown together. It reminded me of when I reached the end of #SorryToBotherYou and was like, “what the hell is this!?” It just felt like a really bad mash up. Also, because the theme wasn’t as clear, our characters really don’t do much but “move through the script” which sort of made a lot of moments cringeworthy for me because of the delivery &/or odd placement with the overall story. 🥴

11. To piggyback off the point #5, the visuals were impressive though. Very good cinematography. 👍🏾👍🏾

12. Pacing was…eh. I remember saying after the first 6 minutes, “this needs to slow down…” Then I started to see the plan, but still felt things moved too fast. Then there were these other storylines that started to be stacked on the main storyline, and it started to feel a little chaotic and free versed which then caused me to become impatient/want the film to be over…but it was still going…so though parts were rushed, it also dragged.

On one hand, I appreciated the pacing for the sake of getting to the action and main point of the storyline; but on the other hand, it was 1 hour too long. 🥴

* * *

Overall, #TheSuicideSquad gives Birds of Prey-meets Army of the Dead-meets Kick-Ass- meets HP Lovecraft.

I really had to force myself to stay focused around the middle to end of Act Two because I was annoyed and low-key bored. Everything about this film just felt like hyper-hetero frat jocks drunk and/or high, and making a storytelling game on the spot to amuse themselves. And this would’ve probably been fun, funny, and enjoyable in the moment because of us watching the storyteller(s) in various inebriated states…but not because of the story itself. I immediately turned on the 2016 version right after; and even with some of the flaws in terms of character delivery and casting, that story and the overall direction and aesthetic is 1000% better than this new version.

Also, is James Gunn a music video director or commercial director because many shots just felt like a mash up of music video scenes (I could literally see the storyboard moments from the planning for this film because scenes felt like they were being introduced in a staccato ).

And again, I just have to repeat that I love Margot Robbie, and I truly think she has really done something special with Harley Quinn…it’s just unfortunate that Warner Brothers hasn’t quite figured out how to elevate her character into the dark, manic badass beauty she is.

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