Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad–not to be confused with The Suicide Squad, the upcoming reboot/sequel–is a victim of January’s theme of “worst movies ever” because someone on Facebook named it. Personally, I don’t think it’s even the worst of the DC Extended Universe, but nobody named Batman Vee Superman Colon Dawn of Justice or Justice League. I’ll get to those eventually, but today we talk about a movie done dirty by bad editing (although its lackluster story didn’t help).

Taskforce X, AKA the Suicide Squad, is a team of supervillains collected by Amanda Waller (Mrs. Viola Davis) to do covert missions in exchange for time off their sentences. Members include Deadshot (I told you I wasn’t done with Will Smith after Collateral Beauty), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo, and Killer Croc. Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) was a member but she went rogue and became the big bad because Waller is bad at her job. Also present are Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Katana, and Slipkn–oops, never mind, he’s dead so it doesn’t matter. The team is sent to rescue Waller–because again, she’s bad at her job–but run afoul of Enchantress and also run into the internet’s least favorite Joker (Jared Leto) trying to rescue Harley. Eventually the team comes together as a pseudo family to fight Enchantress and her big beam of light in the sky. El Diablo sacrifices himself to save the day and Enchantress and her brother Incubus (I swear no one actually said his name out loud, but whatever) are defeated. The villains go back to their cells, but Harley is broken out by the Joker so we can have the much better Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.

There are so many things to talk about with this movie, but I’m going to focus on two things. The first is how studio meddling hampered what could’ve been a dumb fun movie (which is still kind of is). See, the movie originally had a grim tone similar to Batman Vee Superman (and everything else Zack Snyder touches), but that movie getting panned encouraged Warner Bros. to switch gears. It was decided that movie needed to be funnier, using Guardians of the Galaxy as a sort of cheat sheet (which makes it hilarious that the sequel/reboot is written and directed by Guardians writer/director James Gunn after he and Marvel were on a break). When that wasn’t working, Warner Bros. hired the company that edited a more comedic Suicide Squad teaser to edit the entire movie, which is certainly a decision. Most of Leto’s Joker got cut and there’s a lot of dumb and/or weird moments that can be blamed on editing. For example, Captain Boomerang has a pink unicorn that he loves. It’s mentioned on his title card and we see it when he tucks it into his jacket on two occasions, setting up an upcoming “everything happens in threes” moment. Then he gets stabbed, but the knife didn’t actually hurt him! Instead it got stuck in… a wad of cash we never saw him stick in his jacket. The pink unicorn is never seen or referenced again. Bad moment, bad editing.

But I know a way to make this movie better. Marginally better. Ever so slightly better. In the movie as presented, everything is Amanda Waller’s fault. She brought Enchantress to the meeting where the witch was easily able to see information on her brother’s statue prison. Said statue was in Waller’s residence, unguarded. Waller even had a way to instantly defeat Enchantress–her heart was attached to a bomb. But when Waller realized the witch betrayed her, she grabbed a pen and stabbed the heart instead giving Enchantress enough time to get a power boost. Also Waller killed a bunch of office workers to cover her fuckups because sure, why not. Now… what if everything she did was intentional? What if Waller wanted to set up a situation where only her band of villains could save the day? What if she gave Enchantress everything she needed to become a major threat, just to prove to the military how effective Taskforce X really was? That could’ve added a whole new depth to her character as a master schemer! Too bad the movie doesn’t acknowledge anything even close to this, leaving this boss ass bitch character an total failure. Oh, and the military was already convinced to support Task Force X before everything went down, sooo… Yeah. Disappointing.

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7 thoughts on “Suicide Squad (2016)

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