"Never take off the mask."
"Never take off the mask."

Re-Versus: “(The) Suicide Squad”

About Re-Versus and what expects you below?

For some time now I’ve had this idea to try to do something which is both a review for a specific movie and at the same time a comparison between it and one that is similar/previous/whatever you can think about to it. I finally got a convenient opportunity to do it since exactly 5 years later, Warner Bros. and DC tried to revisit one of their most original and breaking the superheroic stereotypes comics and give it a shot with another attempt to bring it back with at least a bit of a fresher face and push out of the mud the otherwise sinking DC cinematic universe.

Therefore, even with a bit of a delay (still, better late than never), I can gladly present to you Re-Versus, a.k.a short for Review Versus (if you haven’t figured it out already, of course) where I’ll simultaneously take a look both into DCEU’s latest addition, as well as his older brother for which I may or may have not written a review before (I really can’t remember). But enough with the nonsense, I’m directly skipping to the real part where I’ll review and compare the main aspects of each of the movie and will try to convince you why one or the other deserves more of your attention and whether any of them deserves it at all with the final score. Enjoy reading!

The Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

Directing / Rating

Strength in unity.

I’m a fan of James Gunn’s work and that’s not because I’ve watched his whole filmography but because I like the way in which he manages to combine the serious with any kind of humour (well, in this case – mostly dark) and pick the people he’s working with extremely well. He’s also one of the main reasons why “Guardians of the Galaxy” is still my favourite movie (maybe even franchise) from Marvel and I can’t wait to see how things will end in Vol. 3. In any case, I can safely say that this man definitely knows how to create and deliver top quality comic cinema.

Therefore the fact that Gunn is literally left to do anything he wants can only benefit the movie as his views towards plot development and character interaction are exactly what I expected from a bunch of lowlifes who have been gathered to do what they’re told knowing that this probably won’t end well for them no matter the final result. And still we see several (anti)heroes towards whom you can feel both hate and sympathy and who you can also start to actually like from one moment in the story onwards (or hate them even more, it goes both ways depending on the character).

Here I managed to see what I expect from a misunderstood mix of “villains” – they all fall under the category of those with the “wrong approach and the wrong means”, doing bad things with absurd superpowers and due to absurd motives like “I hate my mother”, who somehow manage to find the last remaining drop of conscience they have left and ultimately save the world, even though they’ve killed that many people before and during their redemption. And still, the fact that we’re talking about suicide superheroes should tell you that we’re expecting to see total chaos and a complete destruction not only of human values, but also human skulls, disembodiment, blood and guts, etc. and the studio’s the decision to allow Gunn to unleash his creativity through the prism of the R rating is probably the best one they could have taken.

I’m adding this note here since I wanted to have at least one minus in this paragraph. And no, I’m not saying that Gunn is guilty or solely responsible for anything that might be wrong in the way he’s built his movie but I’m saying that “The Boys” is truly epic and that it’s the right way that comic parodies should be done, especially those with a 16+ rating.

Directing / Rating

Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.

On the other hand I think I’ve watched much more of David Ayer’s work and it definitely has its qualities (I have some sort of a weakness to “Street Kings”, maybe because of Keanu Reeves, and “Fury” was a pretty solid movie, especially when having in mind that I’m not the biggest fan of war drama). The problem is that his views towards comic movies (or at least towards this one, it seems) not only don’t match those of the studio, but those of the fans as well, who have gotten used to the lighter Marvel universe. This is where the more significant problems stem from.

In its current state (I watched the movie at the cinema and later the extended version at home) the movie is a total mess. Like I mentioned, the different views of the studio and the director don’t help it at all and Ayer’s “darker” vision, coming from the fact that he’s used to a more criminal approach, clearly doesn’t fit the studio’s (DC) which is trying to achieve more income and to get the fans’ approval like another studio (Marvel) does, seeing what the attitude and the tastes of the audience are. Now, I have to say that the fans’ taste is not always right and no, I’m not saying that all comic movies should be a bit childish like the ones from Marvel (even Deadpool, even though it’s with an R rating) but in this case the mix between both hinders either of them and what we receive in the end is a random mashup.

To some extent I understand the fans who want the so-called “Ayer Cut” version of the movie but the truth is that I’m not sure it would have saved it, simply because a movie about a group of random heroes with effective and not-so-effective superpowers and mental issues should obviously be a parody of everything sacred in the regular superheroes and this would have been a failure in the sense of “Justice League” instead, only with the Joker as a most anticipated but in reality least mentioned and worst presented character. I also didn’t sense the usage of the growing potential of the main acting characters (and there was such), not to mention the secondary ones – but who cares about them, the new movie basically proved that.

And since I talked a bit more about the right choice of a rating as well, PG-13 is obviously a bad one and Ayer’s vision about the plot development going any “darker” drives the movie straight towards mediocrity, if not even worse.

Script / Plot

“Father-daughter” relationship = chemistry

The script of “The Suicide Squad” will surely not be one of those nominated for best original or adapted story and even doesn’t entirely follow its origin comic plot but on the other hand crushes its competition. Written by Gunn itself, pushed by the studio or with his own intent, the director has masterfully cut the parts (and the characters) from the previous try that just didn’t work and has replaced them with new (and not so recognizable, which is another plus with such a biased audience) heroes and situations that successfully create the feeling for a complete and well-served story.

Gunn’s approach is visible in the first 5 minutes where he literally scratches everything that has been left over from the first part and I really enjoyed that. The only remnant of Ayer’s creation turns out to be Harley but to be fair, she was too valuable even then to just be removed. And since I mentioned her, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that here Quinn is, if not a secondaty character, then at best an equal to the rest of the heroes and everyone gets their deserved dose of attention in order to fully show their potential not only as a hero but as a character too and more or less get their own moment to show off with one of their qualities or skills.

The coolest thing of all was that Gunn manages to parody and patronize all of his characters at the same time, even the bad ones, and build his story in a way that could allow the future entrance not only of the rest of the available heroes in the anti-hero ensemble but for any other new and “incredible” characters. Task Force X’s mission is not driven by a romance drama this time but instead directly throws you into a relentless action with a solid dose of humour and jokes and succeeds in keeping up this pace until the end when we get a rather ironic happy end.

Script / Plot

“Man-woman” relationship = cringe

On the other end we have a story which is not only filled with several clichés (it’s not like the other one isn’t, but at least it more or less compensates with its sarcastic development) but also a bit incomplete. The attempt to start a separate story within between Harley and the Joker doesn’t work and he feels more like a side watcher who just wants to randomly say “hey, look at who I am” instead of doing something meaningful. The flashbacks in the extended version that were supposed to give some background on their story were actually more redundant than useful.

This is actually one of the movie’s main problems – the focus is put too much on the more popular characters and whatever attempts for exploring relationships or setting up the mood are done just circle around Deadshot and Harley, which is not okay. I agree that they are heroes who likely deserve their own movie (Harley already got it but sadly, it didn’t work out as well) but in the context of “Suicide Squad” I expected a little bit more attention towards the others, instead of getting a single scene in the past for each that was supposed to somehow explain to us why they do what they do. Presented in such a way, the development of none of them was of any interest and this attitude was unfortunately preserved in the second part as well. Or at least for those, that showed up for a second time.

I don’t know, maybe Ayer’s script was slightly more developed, even though it was probably darker, and maybe it would have received fans’ love, but in this case trying to go for a more serious tone had a negative influence and since damage has already been done, whatever might happen next would only make the situation worse. Or if I shortly have to sum things up in the trendy way: #DontReleaseTheAyerCutItsUseless.

Actors / Cast

Harley now = hot & badass

I have to admit that this is maybe the most competitive part between the two movies and when talking about people to work with, neither of the directors have chosen wrong, with some small exceptions, so as a result below you’ll see a more detailed characteristic for each hero and their previous counterpart (disclaimer: Jay Courtney is almost identically useless in both movies so I just decided to skip him, as well as anyone else that you might’ve thought about but don’t see in the list here):

Bloodsport – having in mind Idris Elba’s latest movies, he simply rose up again in this one and maybe the fact that his comic character is not that popular among the wide audience helped him here since for me he was truly a hero that deserved to survive and to be watched at least once more. Oh, and yeah, his suit was badass.

Harley Quinn – the new Harley is obviously different than any of her previous incarnations but in her case this is not necessarily a bad thing. Her solo scene this time was considerably better shot and entirely in her style, saving us the unnecessary childish memories and drama. Even better, the actress herself has wished to be more of a secondary character which reflects on her pretty well. After all we all know that Margot Robbie is beatiful and talented but this role of hers has gotten a bit boring of so much overabuse lately.

King Shark – baaaby shark doo-doo … oops, that’s not for this review … cookieees, om-nom-nom … yeeah, this is also not really on topic but is basically what the king of sharks needs to do here, only with people instead of cookies. If I have to describe Nanaue, he would be the DC equivalent of Drax (not so much of Groot), in Gunn’s style. A part of the most hilarious scenes inevitably include him, he gets his moment to shine in the aquarium scene and in general stands out as one of the most memorable characters, even when we’re talking about a completely CGI one.

Ratcatcher 2 – with a weird but catchy name, Daniela Melchior makes a pretty strong debut in Hollywood and is the spiritual successor of the latino vibe which Jay Hernandez brought with himself in the previous movie. The interesting thing is that, as boring as her power sounds, it turned out to be quite more powerful and brutal and a worthy successor of Diablo’s fire shows. Well, here at least we got a more positive turnout for the character.

Rick Flag – I like Joel Kinnaman, especially because of the first season of “Altered Carbon”, but here his character was already exhausted and logically, he got his fully expected and tragic end.

Peacemaker – an apparent ironic character, whose name is slightly off from reality, which is that John Cena’s performance is wooden (but like really wooden – in any sense) and to some extent I regret the way the plot developed in the end, but if we consider a different point a view – since he made me not like him, perhaps he did his job well. I have to admit that his participation in such movies is a step forward from “Fast and Furious” and his competition in the face of his former colleagues Bautista and The Rock has not really been there recently, so I’m willing to give him another chance and see where he’ll end up.

Polka-Dot Man – to be honest, David Dastmalchian doesn’t really have an equivalent since his physical disorder and superpowers can hardly be copied (well, apart from his family). Here the cult towards the mother is turned completely upside down and the way that the man with the polka dots is motivated and activated is ridiculous but at least it’s quite helpful.

Starro – probably the most ridiculous and grotesque villain they could’ve thought of but at least it first perfectly with the way the plot developed. A brainless creature creates an army of star-zombies and kills everything brutally only to be stopped by another army of animals – amazing. Even if we don’t consider anything else, the starfish looked pretty real and was visually great and it’s somewhat sad that we won’t see it again.

Actors / Cast

Harley then = hot & drama queen

As I already mentioned, the actors here are also the thing that keeps the movie from collapsing completely and at that time maybe they were indeed the best choice. There are some drawbacks in this as well and that’s why below you’ll see which of the old characters worked (or not) better than the new additions:

Deadshot – I have to admit that Will Smith to me is like the black Jason Statham, or in other words – exactly the same in every movie, no matter if here’s a cop or an anti-hero. He looked fine visually but his romance with Harley was kind of forced and redundant (and yes, I know it’s there in the comics). Honestly speaking, his ethics and motives (his daughter) are almost 100% identical to the ones of Elba but at least in the latter case I somewhat cared for the father-daughter relationship whereas here it served more as a filler.

Harley Quinn – I mentioned already that Margot Robbie is a pretty effective and a testosterone-level raising choice for the Joker’s mate and is surely one of the movie’s main driving forces. And still, even when ignoring the useless focusing on her and Deadshot, I keep thinking that a part of the romantic nonsense around her could have been spared, considering the fact how scarce of an information we’ve received for everyone else. It’s a fact, though, that this role shot her career sky-high and the next iterations in her character’s development are not only unsurprising but also show how diverse, successful and liked Robbie can be even when playing the same thing.

Killer Croc – on the other side we get the person with make up whose name I can never pronounce properly (Wikipedia has a say in it with which I’m inclined to agree) and whose appearance is almost unnoticeable and the scene which was supposed to show his powers could have easily been performed by any person with no superpowers. The croc definitely had potential but not in a movie with such a rating and with such a short (and dark) amount of screen time in which you couldn’t even properly see the scales on his face.

Diablo – as I mentioned yet again, Jay Hernandez was metaphorically and literally speaking one of the brightest episodes in the movie and probably the only character that I cared for … it’s a shame that things didn’t end up well for him but at least we got a nice fire fiesta.

Rick Flag – here Colonel Flag and his love are the main suspects of the plot development and we see him striving towards the same “better” end of their story. The sad thing is that the somewhat of a happy ending that we got here had zero impact both on Flag’s character and on the following franchise development.

Joker – with a risk to repeat myself, I put Jared Leto here as a comparison not only because he was likely the most disappointing part of the movie but also because his weak performance is somewhat comparable to that of Cena. The difference is that the Joker’s interpretation has been anticipated multiple times more and while wrestlers who play grumpy muscular machos can get a hall pass, here I was left with a pretty bad taste in the mouth and the extended version didn’t make it sweeter. Leto is years away from what we saw in “The Dark Knight” before him and in “Joker” after him and unfortunately he will be among the people who wouldn’t want to remember this movie for too long.

Katana – as I already sai, Polka-Dot Man doesn’t really have an equivalent, so as his closest competition we can most likely pinpoint Karen Fukuhara, although she is more a part of the “good” guys but still as silent and deadly as him. And yet again, if I were to watch her as a superhero, I’d prefer Kimiko in “The Boys”.

Enchantress – definitely not one of the best roles of Cara Delevingne and the schizophrenic part was also lacking since the Enchantress was almost as bright as a starfish. Her army reminded me of the one from “Thor: The Dark World” which is definitely not a good example. In two words – we’re better off with the entirely CGI-made villain in the reboot.

Visuals / Effects

Least anticipated but funniest part.

From a purely visual perspective “The Suicide Squad” looks awesome. We already talked about the R rating’s influence and in this aspect its impact is as big as it is when talking about the directing freedom. The blood and guts that are being splattered everywhere were too realistic even for me at times.

There are also tons of explosions, shotouts and destruction (even in slow-mo), the CGI is executed on a high level (well, they could’ve tried a bit more with King Shark’s looks but let’s say he’s decent enough) and the characters’ costume and make-up are pretty authentic and somewhat badass (excluding the toilet on Cena’s head but at least Harley looked a bit more like herself this time). A cool idea was the way the movie transitioned from one “episode” to another by using the environment and a few photoshopped writings.

Visuals / Effects

Most anticipated but most boring part.

I can’t say that Ayer’s creation has any significant problems, at least as far as the visual part is concerned. It’s true though that the villain in the new movie, as absurd as he was, looked way cooler than the Darkseid look-alike which we saw as the witch’s brother in this one. On the other side Diablo’s fire fiesta and the Enchantress’ magic were decent, it’s just that there was maybe too few of them.

Make-up and costume-wise, I’d say they could have done better, especially when talking about Harley Quinn (who I already mentioned) and the Joker (honestly, Joaquin Phoenix’s looks were better, not to mention Heath Ledger) but at least Killer Croc was pretty well done for a semi-CGI character. It’s a fact though that Gunn’s creation looked great even in 2D (thankfully) while the one here is nothing special or impressive.

Audio / Soundtrack

Not great, not terrible.

This is probably one of the few aspects that left me with a rather neutral (somewhat leaning towards bad) impression. The movie’s soundtrack wasn’t catchy enough, there was no proper surrounding sound during the more action-based scenes to really set the mood (we don’t count here Harley’s singing, we’ve heard it a couple of times already anyway). Hits like “Heathens” are non-existent and therefore there’s not an original song that would grab your attention or top YouTube’s charts. It definitely lacked that energizing musical vibe which Gunn has already achieved previously with both Awesome Mixes in “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

On the other hand, King Shark’s lip sync was actually pretty good and Stallone has done an impressive job in voicing him (as well as in getting paid pretty well and participating in a summer blockbuster for yet another decade without too much effort).

Audio / Soundtrack

Much amazing, much wow.

I can wholeheartedly say that this is the part where the movie shines. Excluding the fact that I’m a fan of Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons, the movie’s tone (as existent as it is in this mess) is satisfyingly accompanied by songs written especially for the movie (and some covers ala Margot Robbie here and there) which suit its atmosphere. Unlike Gunn’s film, in Ayer’s one I could definitely see (and feel) that excitement and the situations’ heating up which a cool soundtrack brings with and the audio was definitely on an appropriate level in such cases.

And yes, I don’t think it’s necessary to even mention songs like “Sucker For You” or “Heathens” (yet I still did) which momentarily topped YouTube’s charts and are probably the greatest trace which this movie will leave after itself since people keep on listening to them even now and for me at least they’re the biggest reminder that this movie ever existed.

Opinion / Score

“The Suicide Squad” is probably one of the most quality (at least for me) DCEU productions so far and one of the few that manage to meet the expectations they’ve set. It seems that it had to be a Marvel director to make things go further ahead and in any case it appears to be the right way, so I’d be glad to see more of those collaborations.

★ ★ ★ ★

Opinion / Score

“Suicide Squad” is watchable and fair enough to kill 2 hours of your spare time. Unfortunately, that’s the best I can say about it. It will likely be remembered more with the scandals and the unmet expectations than with some amazing features or memorable characters (excluding Harley, but she’s constantly put in front of our faces anyways).

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Suicide Squad

Directing / Rating

Strength in unity.

I’m a fan of James Gunn’s work and that’s not because I’ve watched his whole filmography but because I like the way in which he manages to combine the serious with any kind of humour (well, in this case – mostly dark) and pick the people he’s working with extremely well. He’s also one of the main reasons why “Guardians of the Galaxy” is still my favourite movie (maybe even franchise) from Marvel and I can’t wait to see how things will end in Vol. 3. In any case, I can safely say that this man definitely knows how to create and deliver top quality comic cinema.

Therefore the fact that Gunn is literally left to do anything he wants can only benefit the movie as his views towards plot development and character interaction are exactly what I expected from a bunch of lowlifes who have been gathered to do what they’re told knowing that this probably won’t end well for them no matter the final result. And still we see several (anti)heroes towards whom you can feel both hate and sympathy and who you can also start to actually like from one moment in the story onwards (or hate them even more, it goes both ways depending on the character).

Here I managed to see what I expect from a misunderstood mix of “villains” – they all fall under the category of those with the “wrong approach and the wrong means”, doing bad things with absurd superpowers and due to absurd motives like “I hate my mother”, who somehow manage to find the last remaining drop of conscience they have left and ultimately save the world, even though they’ve killed that many people before and during their redemption. And still, the fact that we’re talking about suicide superheroes should tell you that we’re expecting to see total chaos and a complete destruction not only of human values, but also human skulls, disembodiment, blood and guts, etc. and the studio’s the decision to allow Gunn to unleash his creativity through the prism of the R rating is probably the best one they could have taken.

I’m adding this note here since I wanted to have at least one minus. And no, I’m not saying that Gunn is guilty for anything that might be wrong in the way he’s built his movie but I’m saying that “The Boys” is truly epic and this is the right way that comic parodies should be done, especially those with a 16+ rating.

Script / Plot

“Father-daughter” relationship = chemistry

The script of “The Suicide Squad” will surely not be one of those nominated for best original or adapted story and even doesn’t entirely follow its origin comic plot but on the other hand crushes its competition. Written by Gunn itself, pushed by the studio or with his own intent, the director has masterfully cut the parts (and the characters) from the previous try that just didn’t work and has replaced them with new (and not so recognizable, which is another plus with such a biased audience) heroes and situations that successfully create the feeling for a complete and well-served story.

Gunn’s approach is visible in the first 5 minutes where he literally scratches everything that has been left over from the first part and I really enjoyed that. The only remnant of Ayer’s creation turns out to be Harley but to be fair, she was too valuable even then to just be removed. And since I mentioned her, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that here Quinn is, if not a secondaty character, then at best an equal to the rest of the heroes and everyone gets their deserved dose of attention in order to fully show their potential not only as a hero but as a character too and more or less get their own moment to show off with one of their qualities or skills.

The coolest thing of all was that Gunn manages to parody and patronize all of his characters at the same time, even the bad ones, and build his story in a way that could allow the future entrance not only of the rest of the available heroes in the anti-hero ensemble but for any other new and “incredible” characters. Task Force X’s mission is not driven by a romance drama this time but instead directly throws you into a relentless action with a solid dose of humour and jokes and succeeds in keeping up this pace until the end when we get a rather ironic happy end.

Actors / Cast

Harley now = hot & badass

I have to admit that this is maybe the most competitive part between the two movies and when talking about people to work with, neither of the directors have chosen wrong, with some small exceptions, so as a result below you’ll see a more detailed characteristic for each hero and their previous counterpart (disclaimer: Jay Courtney is almost identically useless in both movies so I just decided to skip him, as well as anyone else that you might’ve thought about but don’t see in the list here):

Bloodsporthaving in mind Idris Elba’s latest movies, he simply rose up again in this one and maybe the fact that his comic character is not that popular among the wide audience helped him here since for me he was truly a hero that deserved to survive and to be watched at least once more. Oh, and yeah, his suit was badass.

Harley Quinnthe new Harley is obviously different than any of her previous incarnations but in her case this is not necessarily a bad thing. Her solo scene this time was considerably better shot and entirely in her style, saving us the unnecessary childish memories and drama. Even better, the actress herself has wished to be more of a secondary character which reflects on her pretty well. After all we all know that Margot Robbie is beatiful and talented but this role of hers has gotten a bit boring of so much overabuse lately.

King Sharkbaaaby shark doo-doo … oops, that’s not for this review … cookieees, om-nom-nom … yeeah, this is also not really on topic but is basically what the king of sharks needs to do here, only with people instead of cookies. If I have to describe Nanaue, he would be the DC equivalent of Drax (not so much of Groot), in Gunn’s style. A part of the most hilarious scenes inevitably include him, he gets his moment to shine in the aquarium scene and in general stands out as one of the most memorable characters, even when we’re talking about a completely CGI one.

Ratcatcher 2with a weird but catchy name, Daniela Melchior makes a pretty strong debut in Hollywood and is the spiritual successor of the latino vibe which Jay Hernandez brought with himself in the previous movie. The interesting thing is that, as boring as her power sounds, it turned out to be quite more powerful and brutal and a worthy successor of Diablo’s fire shows. Well, here at least we got a more positive turnout for the character.

Rick FlagI like Joel Kinnaman, especially because of the first season of “Altered Carbon”, but here his character was already exhausted and logically, he got his fully expected and tragic end.

Peacemakeran apparent ironic character, whose name is slightly off from reality, which is that John Cena’s performance is wooden (but like really wooden – in any sense) and to some extent I regret the way the plot developed in the end, but if we consider a different point a view – since he made me not like him, perhaps he did his job well. I have to admit that his participation in such movies is a step forward from “Fast and Furious” and his competition in the face of his former colleagues Bautista and The Rock has not really been there recently, so I’m willing to give him another chance and see where he’ll end up.

Polka-Dot Manto be honest, David Dastmalchian doesn’t really have an equivalent since his physical disorder and superpowers can hardly be copied (well, apart from his family). Here the cult towards the mother is turned completely upside down and the way that the man with the polka dots is motivated and activated is ridiculous but at least it’s quite helpful.

Starroprobably the most ridiculous and grotesque villain they could’ve thought of but at least it first perfectly with the way the plot developed. A brainless creature creates an army of star-zombies and kills everything brutally only to be stopped by another army of animals – amazing. Even if we don’t consider anything else, the starfish looked pretty real and was visually great and it’s somewhat sad that we won’t see it again.

Visuals / Effects

Least anticipated but funniest part.

From a purely visual perspective “The Suicide Squad” looks awesome. We already talked about the R rating’s influence and in this aspect its impact is as big as it is when talking about the directing freedom. The blood and guts that are being splattered everywhere were too realistic even for me at times.

There are also tons of explosions, shotouts and destruction (even in slow-mo), the CGI is executed on a high level (well, they could’ve tried a bit more with King Shark’s looks but let’s say he’s decent enough) and the characters’ costume and make-up are pretty authentic and somewhat badass (excluding the toilet on Cena’s head but at least Harley looked a bit more like herself this time). A cool idea was the way the movie transitioned from one “episode” to another by using the environment and a few photoshopped writings.

Audio / Soundtrack

Not great, not terrible.

This is probably one of the few aspects that left me with a rather neutral (somewhat leaning towards bad) impression. The movie’s soundtrack wasn’t catchy enough, there was no proper surrounding sound during the more action-based scenes to really set the mood (we don’t count here Harley’s singing, we’ve heard it a couple of times already anyway). Hits like “Heathens” are non-existent and therefore there’s not an original song that would grab your attention or top YouTube’s charts. It definitely lacked that energizing musical vibe which Gunn has already achieved previously with both Awesome Mixes in “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

On the other hand, King Shark’s lip sync was actually pretty good and Stallone has done an impressive job in voicing him (as well as in getting paid pretty well and participating in a summer blockbuster for yet another decade without too much effort).

Opinion / Score

“The Suicide Squad” is probably one of the most quality (at least for me) DCEU productions so far and one of the few that manage to meet the expectations they’ve set. It seems that it had to be a Marvel director to make things go further ahead and in any case it appears to be the right way, so I’d be glad to see more of those collaborations.

★ ★ ★ ★

Suicide Squad

Directing / Rating

Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.

On the other hand I think I’ve watched much more of David Ayer’s work and it definitely has its qualities (I have some sort of a weakness to “Street Kings”, maybe because of Keanu Reeves, and “Fury” was a pretty solid movie, especially when having in mind that I’m not the biggest fan of war drama). The problem is that his views towards comic movies (or at least towards this one, it seems) not only don’t match those of the studio, but those of the fans as well, who have gotten used to the lighter Marvel universe. This is where the more significant problems stem from.

In its current state (I watched the movie at the cinema and later the extended version at home) the movie is a total mess. Like I mentioned, the different views of the studio and the director don’t help it at all and Ayer’s “darker” vision, coming from the fact that he’s used to a more criminal approach, clearly doesn’t fit the studio’s (DC) which is trying to achieve more income and to get the fans’ approval like another studio (Marvel) does, seeing what the attitude and the tastes of the audience are. Now, I have to say that the fans’ taste is not always right and no, I’m not saying that all comic movies should be a bit childish like the ones from Marvel (even Deadpool, even though it’s with an R rating) but in this case the mix between both hinders either of them and what we receive in the end is a random mashup.

To some extent I understand the fans who want the so-called “Ayer Cut” version of the movie but the truth is that I’m not sure it would have saved it, simply because a movie about a group of random heroes with effective and not-so-effective superpowers and mental issues should obviously be a parody of everything sacred in the regular superheroes and this would have been a failure in the sense of “Justice League” instead, only with the Joker as a most anticipated but in reality least mentioned and worst presented character. I also didn’t sense the usage of the growing potential of the main acting characters (and there was such), not to mention the secondary ones – but who cares about them, the new movie basically proved that.

And since I talked a bit more about the right choice of a rating as well, PG-13 is obviously a bad one and Ayer’s vision about the plot development going any “darker” drives the movie straight towards mediocrity, if not even worse.

Script / Plot

“Man-woman” relationship = cringe

On the other end we have a story which is not only filled with several clichés (it’s not like the other one isn’t, but at least it more or less compensates with its sarcastic development) but also a bit incomplete. The attempt to start a separate story within between Harley and the Joker doesn’t work and he feels more like a side watcher who just wants to randomly say “hey, look at who I am” instead of doing something meaningful. The flashbacks in the extended version that were supposed to give some background on their story were actually more redundant than useful.

This is actually one of the movie’s main problems – the focus is put too much on the more popular characters and whatever attempts for exploring relationships or setting up the mood are done just circle around Deadshot and Harley, which is not okay. I agree that they are heroes who likely deserve their own movie (Harley already got it but sadly, it didn’t work out as well) but in the context of “Suicide Squad” I expected a little bit more attention towards the others, instead of getting a single scene in the past for each that was supposed to somehow explain to us why they do what they do. Presented in such a way, the development of none of them was of any interest and this attitude was unfortunately preserved in the second part as well. Or at least for those, that showed up for a second time.

I don’t know, maybe Ayer’s script was slightly more developed, even though it was probably darker, and maybe it would have received fans’ love, but in this case trying to go for a more serious tone had a negative influence and since damage has already been done, whatever might happen next would only make the situation worse. Or if I shortly have to sum things up in the trendy way: #DontReleaseTheAyerCutItsUseless.

Actors / Cast

Harley then = hot & drama queen

As I already mentioned, the actors here are also the thing that keeps the movie from collapsing completely and at that time maybe they were indeed the best choice. There are some drawbacks in this as well and that’s why below you’ll see which of the old characters worked (or not) better than the new additions:

DeadshotI have to admit that Will Smith to me is like the black Jason Statham, or in other words – exactly the same in every movie, no matter if here’s a cop or an anti-hero. He looked fine visually but his romance with Harley was kind of forced and redundant (and yes, I know it’s there in the comics). Honestly speaking, his ethics and motives (his daughter) are almost 100% identical to the ones of Elba but at least in the latter case I somewhat cared for the father-daughter relationship whereas here it served more as a filler.

Harley QuinnI mentioned already that Margot Robbie is a pretty effective and a testosterone-level raising choice for the Joker’s mate and is surely one of the movie’s main driving forces. And still, even when ignoring the useless focusing on her and Deadshot, I keep thinking that a part of the romantic nonsense around her could have been spared, considering the fact how scarce of an information we’ve received for everyone else. It’s a fact, though, that this role shot her career sky-high and the next iterations in her character’s development are not only unsurprising but also show how diverse, successful and liked Robbie can be even when playing the same thing.

Killer Crocon the other side we get the person with make up whose name I can never pronounce properly (Wikipedia has a say in it with which I’m inclined to agree) and whose appearance is almost unnoticeable and the scene which was supposed to show his powers could have easily been performed by any person with no superpowers. The croc definitely had potential but not in a movie with such a rating and with such a short (and dark) amount of screen time in which you couldn’t even properly see the scales on his face.

Diabloas I already mentioned, Jay Hernandez was metaphorically and literally speaking one of the brightest episodes in the movie and probably the only character that I cared for … it’s a shame that things didn’t end up well for him but at least we got a nice fire fiesta.

Rick Flaghere Colonel Flag and his love are the main suspects of the plot development and we see him striving towards the same “better” end of their story. The sad thing is that the somewhat of a happy ending that we got here had zero impact both on Flag’s character and on the following franchise development.

Jokerwith a risk to repeat myself, I put Jared Leto here as a comparison not only because he was likely the most disappointing part of the movie but also because his weak performance is somewhat comparable to that of Cena. The difference is that the Joker’s interpretation has been anticipated multiple times more and while wrestlers who play grumpy muscular machos can get a hall pass, here I was left with a pretty bad taste in the mouth and the extended version didn’t make it sweeter. Leto is years away from what we saw in “The Dark Knight” before him and in “Joker” after him and unfortunately he will be among the people who wouldn’t want to remember this movie for too long.

Katanaas I already said, Polka-Dot Man doesn’t really have an equivalent, so as his closest competition we can most likely pinpoint Karen Fukuhara, although she is more a part of the “good” guys but still as silent and deadly as him. And yet again, if I were to watch her as a superhero, I’d prefer Kimiko in “The Boys”.

Enchantressdefinitely not one of the best roles of Cara Delevingne and the schizophrenic part was also lacking since the Enchantress was almost as bright as a starfish. Her army reminded me of the one from “Thor: The Dark World” which is definitely not a good example. In two words – we’re better off with the entirely CGI-made villain in the reboot.

Visuals / Effects

Most anticipated but most boring part.

I can’t say that Ayer’s creation has any significant problems, at least as far as the visual part is concerned. It’s true though that the villain in the new movie, as absurd as he was, looked way cooler than the Darkseid look-alike which we saw as the witch’s brother in this one. On the other side Diablo’s fire fiesta and the Enchantress’ magic were decent, it’s just that there was maybe too few of them.

Make-up and costume-wise, I’d say they could have done better, especially when talking about Harley Quinn (who I already mentioned) and the Joker (honestly, Joaquin Phoenix’s looks were better, not to mention Heath Ledger) but at least Killer Croc was pretty well done for a semi-CGI character. It’s a fact though that Gunn’s creation looked great even in 2D (thankfully) while the one here is nothing special or impressive.

Audio / Soundtrack

Much amazing, much wow.

I can wholeheartedly say that this is the part where the movie shines. Excluding the fact that I’m a fan of Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons, the movie’s tone (as existent as it is in this mess) is satisfyingly accompanied by songs written especially for the movie (and some covers ala Margot Robbie here and there) which suit its atmosphere. Unlike Gunn’s film, in Ayer’s one I could definitely see (and feel) that excitement and the situations’ heating up which a cool soundtrack brings with and the audio was definitely on an appropriate level in such cases.

And yes, I don’t think it’s necessary to even mention songs like “Sucker For You” or “Heathens” (yet I still did) which momentarily topped YouTube’s charts and are probably the greatest trace which this movie will leave after itself since people keep on listening to them even now and for me at least they’re the biggest reminder that this movie ever existed.

Opinion / Score

“Suicide Squad” is watchable and fair enough to kill 2 hours of your spare time. Unfortunately, that’s the best I can say about it. It will likely be remembered more with the scandals and the unmet expectations than with some amazing features or memorable characters (excluding Harley, but she’s constantly put in front of our faces anyways).

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The final verdict

Since I came across this image while I was browsing and reading stuff about the two movies online, I wanted you to also check how RT see a huge difference in the first and the “second” movie on the same topic. It’s not like that’s any proof anyways, since you could also see some amazingly incorrect and illogical (i.e. bought) scores in the picture above, but it still gives a good idea on how polar the opinions are on the two movies.

The bad news is that in the common case sequels are worse than their predecessors. The good news is, however, that “The Suicide Squad” is technically not a sequel rather than somewhat of a reset of “Suicide Squad”. Which means that we can safely say that the oddly specific fact that we’re not talking about any squad of superhero kamikazes but instead it’s all about THE squad of such weirdos wins the battle and Gunn’s creation is without doubt superior (if not even more) to its darker brother (which seems to be the common opinion, by the way).

I’m not sure which quality road the universe will take from here on but talking specifically about Amanda Waller’s supernatural group, I’d love to see a true sequel directed by Gunn (after he’s finished with “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3”, of course, with the same (potentially extended) bunch of wackos and their adventures. And until then, if you’ve also found at least one of the two movies discussed entertaining, you could enjoy the upcoming spin-off series next year (which will include a few episodes directed by Gunn himself, by the way – let’s hope the main character will also improve his performance a bit), as well as Rocksteady’s upcoming video game on the same topic.

HYPE!

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