Saturday, August 07, 2021

Short Review - The Suicide Squad

I don't like movie theaters much. The chairs always hurt my legs and back, so by the end of the movie I'm in enough pain that I rarely find myself enjoying the show. I know it was an incredible movie if I don't come out limping and wanting to cry. Add in the annoyance of other people and the appeal of a movie theater is almost non-existent for me. So having HBO Max and being able to see certain movies at home is a blessing. Being able to pause those movies as well is amazing. So when The Suicide Squad was released on HBO Max along with theaters, I jumped at the chance to see it.

And by "jumped" I mean I fired it up the day of release and stayed up late to finish watching it.

Initial thoughts: Over-the-top violently gory, basic plot, some really good performances and generally just fun.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I'm going to try to avoid outright spoilers, but no matter how hard I try, some spoilers may possibly slip through. Please don't read any more if you want to watch the movie unspoiled.

This is NOT a movie to watch while eating. The gore is ridiculous. It really is a very comic book type of violence, almost unbelievably silly in places, but it's still gore. And there are moments where the topmost thought in my head was "yeah, that couldn't happen - bodies don't work that way." But, keeping in mind it's a comic book universe, I mostly just sat back and rolled my eyes at it.

The plot was fairly typical of a Suicide Squad mission - Amanda Waller sends the team in to deal with a top secret problem and lots of people die. The villains used in the movie ranged from well-known down to folks even most fans don't know much about. I very much enjoyed the appearances although I was a little surprised at some of the choices made. There was at least one villain played by an actor I am not fond of that met a suitably satisfying end. I won't say more than that.

As usual, Harley Quinn tended to steal the scenes she was in, but some of the other characters shone through brilliantly despite it all. A handful I really liked: King Shark - who was portrayed as stupid, but showed a few signs of being more intelligent than he seemed; Ratcatcher and Sebastian - Daniela Melchior was amazing and her chief rat was unbearably cute (as well as something of a running joke); and Polka-Dot Man - whose mother became one of the best visual gags in the entire movie by far.

Visual effects were very well done throughout, including the big bad. Even when the effects were overwhelmingly comic book-y, they still were solid and blended seamlessly with real life. There were more than a few times I felt the movie went overly cheesy in what it was showing, but it was never cheesy because of bad effects - just cheesy because the director chose to go that far (the ones I found most ridiculous seemed to involve King Shark's eating habits).

For me, the only false note in the entire movie was Amanda Waller. Viola Davis was brilliant in the role, as always, but the script made her a little too emotional. Waller is the single most powerful person in the DC Universe in part because of her incredible control - but the plot pushed her out of that control in a way that I found inconsistent with the character's history. This is a fairly minor quibble, I'm sure, but it did strike me as not quite right.

Overall, a solid and fun movie that will not be to everyone's tastes. There is some very brief nudity and WAY too much over-the-top violence. And yes, there's an end credits scene.


Roger Owen Green said...

Whereas I have no discipline to watch movies at home. Or didn't until 2020, when I had no choice.