I’m still doing my best to give positive feedback to some terrible films from 2016. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before we got to …
Damn, what a mess.
Oh, there’s cool stuff in this movie too, but it’s all chucked into a blender along with 80 per cent pain and stupidity. Tons of viewers loved this flick when it came out, and perhaps some of them still do, but its star is definitely falling. Perhaps this is one of those Phantom Menace situations, where it took a few months for the fan boys to be honest about what a fiasco they’d witnessed.
The premise is irresistible: A gang of largely-forgotten and imprisoned super villains are forced to act as a special ops unit against super-powered threats. If they survive the mission, they get their sentences reduced, but the main thing they bring to the table is expendability. See? That sounds amazing!
And yet, the movie is as sure-footed as a drunk unicyclist on a landmine-speckled hillside. Some characters get introduced multiple times, while others are thrown into the action after one line of introduction. The soundtrack flings hit songs at us with barely any thought about their appropriateness. For example, the defiant feminist anthem You Don’t Own Me heralds Harley Quinn’s appearance, despite the fact that she’s in utter thrall to the most psychopathic villain in the DC Universe.
Oh, and this is the first time anybody has tried to make The Joker sexy. They didn’t succeed, but it’s weird that they tried. Remember a few years ago, when Twilight was huge, and producers were pummelling us with junk like Beastly and Warm Bodies in a misguided attempt to romanticize zombies and monsters? Yeah, it’s like that, only with clowns. None of Jared Leto’s Joker scenes work, so he’s been almost entirely cut out of the movie, which is a small blessing.
As for the cool stuff, well, Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn is a delight to watch. There’s a cool moment when she, uh, “fights” Ben Affleck’s Batman under water, which is great. Oh, and there’s one part that even the most outspoken Suicide Squad haters like …
THE BEST BIT
There’s a scene where a frightened young woman is called upon to transform into her creepy, supernatural alter ego, “The Enchantress.” The camera focuses on her trembling hand, resting on a desk. Suddenly, coal-black fingers rise up from nowhere, clasping the hand with an eerie tenderness. Then, the hand sort of flips over, and she is transformed. Words cannot do this visual effect justice; you have to see it. And once you see it, you won’t forget it.
Next time: Probably not Batman v. Superman. Probably something else.
John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his website, Facebook and Twitter. You can also watch Volume 1 of his new series produced for NUTV here.