Update (18 August 2016): Screen Junkies has posted a video review for Suicide Squad. It is quite spot-on with how I feel about the film.
Original: I watched Suicide Squad on its opening day yesterday with a couple of friends. All of us agreed that the film was a disjointed mess. There were too many unnecessary scenes, too many jumpy cuts, and a lot of characters felt unnecessary and underdeveloped. My friend summed it up best with one simple question: “Can you tell me what was the best scene in the film?”
We couldn’t find an answer, and that’s usually not a good sign. Suicide Squad isn’t flat out terrible like Batman v Superman. But it wasn’t good either.
The only shining, standout positive from the film for me was Karen Fukuhara’s role as Katana. Her character was horribly underdeveloped (expect me to use this description very frequently in film or TV reviews: “underdeveloped”), but she managed to deliver an okay performance with her limited script.
Somehow, if there were ever a live-action Kara no Kyoukai movie, I think Fukuhara might be a good casting choice for Ryougi. She’s a legit, Japanese-American actress and her Japanese lines delivered in the film were authentic. Hollywood, why can’t you cast more Asian actresses like Fukuhara instead of whitewashing them with Scarlett Johansson?
So two DC movies were released in the same year, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. The first one was horrendous, and the second one was barely passable. The odds seem heavily stacked against the Justice League movie coming out in 2017. Three strikes and you’re out, DC.
While having a late supper with my friends after the film, our conversation somehow transitioned into the Sucker Punch movie. We all hated Sucker Punch for the same reason — it is a textbook, time-honoured example of a show that over-promised and under-delivered. We wanted to watch girls kick ass and beat people up (hint: watch Kill la Kill instead). Unfortunately, what we got was a poorly executed film with lousy fight scenes, too much CGI, and wonky themes of escapism.
Suicide Squad didn’t quite deliver a sucker punch to us (thank goodness). But the entire discussion got us thinking: What makes a good superhero movie? What makes a good power fantasy? Why were the first Iron Man and Avengers films so good, and their sequels so disappointing? Interesting questions to ponder with so many sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies coming out all at once. It’s like being a kid in the 1990s again watching endless piles of Saturday morning cartoons. Except that for every Dark Knight or Mad Max: Fury Road, there’s a Sucker Punch lurking somewhere to knock you out into oblivion.