Daniel B. Silver


Suicide Squad Made Me Contemplate Suicide's Upside

Guess what, everybody? I went and saw Suicide Squad with Kahlil/Judas. And, this will no doubt shock you, I – much like all the critics directors love to say are out of touch with what audiences want – I thought it was bad! Like, really, really bad in angry defiance of its very talented director's previous films, like one of those people outside of the Emmy's with a megaphone screaming that you are going to hell for not believing in their specific iteration of Jesus though you go to church every Sunday and generally try to be a good person independent of the fear of hell/jail/etc.

You know how some movies are fun-bad? Think of silly horror flicks like last year's Zombeavers and the very first Evil Dead flick before Sam Raimi figured out his magic horror-comedy formula. Suicide Squad wasn't that, but it had moments wherein I thought/hoped David Ayer was going for that kind of thing (he wasn't).

Now think of bad movies that are frustratingly bad, like the third Godfather flick that everyone, including myself, likes to blame Sophia Coppola for ruining (only kind of her fault, in reality). Suicide Squad was more in line with that: a movie that had a ton of ingredients to be great which somehow managed to combine all of them in the exact wrong way.

(What follows is the part wherein I list things I liked rather than things I didn't in the interest of this not becoming a #longread.)

Will Smith is a charismatic movie star and when he is on the screen the movie is almost somewhat entertaining at times. Margot Robbie is perfect as Harley Quinn and it's really unfortunate that she had to have her debut as the character in this thing because now she's facing an uphill battle getting the yellow armpit stain that is this flick out of her costume.

Fun Fact: I timed fourteen total minutes on my Aquaracer wherein I didn't want to run out of the theater to the closest bar to get blackout drunk so I could forget the whole ordeal.

(Hereafter I fail to figure out anything else nice to say and revert back to being negative, as is my want.)

Suicide Squad was advertised to be a superhero/villain team-up epic but was in actuality a bland, overly long action movie in which our "heroes" shoot nameless, faceless, subhuman bad guys that never once cause you to feel as if our protagonists are threatened in any meaningful way - creating an utter lack of the cinematic tension required to want to watch ninety minutes of gunfire interrupted by some walking and then gunfire, walking, a confusing bar scene that misses its mark so badly I can't fathom why it was left in, gunfire, etc. Then, at the end of the movie, they fight two ridiculously poor CGI characters and win… I guess... I don't know… because brotherhood? I had ceased to give a shit after the 13000th bullet was fired about what felt like a week or so prior.

Fun Fact: Jared Leto needs to be stranded on a desert island.

You guys remember seeing the first images of Leto as the Joker and the collective freakout everybody had? (OMG he has tattoos!!) Yeah, well that was a time of blissful ignorance, the halcyon days of yore when we held out hope that Hot Topic Joker would still give a good performance. So, that didn't happen. Instead, what we got was the most unnecessary and ham-fisted addition of an iconic character into a movie that he had no need to be in because Warner Brothers fucking HATES you, you nerdy nerd-faced jerk. Warner Brothers is now the movie studio equivalent of a bully stealing your lunch money, stuffing you in a locker and calling you a "fag" because you like comic books and science. Jared Leto managed to not annoy me for 23 seconds (also timed via my beloved, stainless steel Tag-Heuer). Every single scene with Leto in it makes one long for the cold embrace of death. Jared Leto's Joker is probably the leading cause of impotence and vaginal dryness, and should be outlawed.

I kid you not, there's a scene wherein the Joker is laying in the middle of a big circle of knives and other weapons and we are presumably to assume that he's so "crazy" that he took the time to set up this big, neurotic OCD knife ritual thing so that he could just lay in the middle of it and laugh maniacally because he's sooooo evil, you know? I know that upon reading this description that it seems pretty benign and in no way dumb enough to justify my anger about it, but just take my word for it: by the time this comes about, you will want to throw rotten fruit at the screen and convene a torch-wielding mob. The literal only redeeming quality of Jared Leto's Joker is that it really drives home the point that Harley Quinn is crazy because he's not even creepily manipulative enough to invoke some sort of abuser-abused codependency vibe. He's just a mono-dimensional, generic-in-spite-of-his-appearance-and-behavior douche. Donald Trump would be a far better and more nuanced Joker.

I have no doubt that some people who I both like and respect enjoyed this movie. And I also know deep down inside my soul that you were so baked out of your goddamn mind on marijuana edibles that you could enjoy watching an episode of Doctor Oz just as much. And I'm not judging you. I'm just saying that I'm jealous your work doesn't preclude you from exercising your right to get really, really high and indulge in some escapism. But also I want you to know that if you don't stand up to the bully, he will keep victimizing all of us. You are part of the problem until you get a pitchfork and meet me at Hollywood's town square upon the Harvest Moon.