26% on Rotten Tomatoes? Were the critics watching the same movie that the audiences were?
At 78% (so nearly 8/10 rather than 3/10 from the peanut gallery), I have to side with the audience. That’s also roughly the score I’d give it.
What this is, is the most comic-booky comic book movie in a long time, with super powered villains, vainglorious anti-heroes and plenty of bullets, arms, legs and buildings flying about in pieces. There are a good selection of characters to ogle at as they strut their funky numbers on screen and the finale is satisfyingly explosive.
If you like superhero movies, you’ll love this one. It’s not quite as good as The Avengers was when it first popped on screen, but I think it’s close to Avengers 2, and better than in places.
It’s not without flaws, and a definitive directors cut will be a vastly superior film (quite probably in the same vein as the ultimate edition of Batman vs Superman is massively improved in cohesive narrative) but it’s still definitely a fun ride.
I’ll write a bit more after the break, it may be spoilery so proceed at your own risk. I’m writing more about this one than Trek simply because the difference in critic vs audience is so huge.
If you want the bad first, then this movie suffers from shotgun editing that left a lot of room for the characters to develop and for the plot to breathe on the cutting room floor. Don’t get me wrong, the movie flow is great. There are no sudden lulls in the action leaving you wondering what happened to the story line, no awkward jump cuts where things don’t happen in a cohesive manner, but there has just been obviously so much extra, quality material left out that it will leave you scratching your head as to why. Even good bits from the trailer that you were expecting to have elaborated on are just plain missing.
For starters, the Joker isn’t in it, almost at all. Batfleck is little more than a footnote, and despite this being Suicide Squad and not Joker, Batman and the Suicide Squad Power Hour, it could’ve done with more Joker and Batman. Not much, true, as this story really is about the motley crew you see in the poster, and I understand why they didn’t want it to be about two iconic characters where the two actors in question really could’ve stolen the show, but it does suffer from it.
And really, that’s the whole problem. There are a number of unanswered questions that do annoy me, and if you watch the movie you’ll go “and why the hell can he speak like that and do that?” just as much as I have, along with “okay, so they’re bad guys… why are they still helping?”, but I’m pretty sure that will be solved by just a better edit.
This movie really feels like somebody in the studio saw the success of Deadpool and went “do that” whilst the people trying to carve their own vision were trying to explain why you can’t just deadpool something up and have it capture the same magical pixie sparkles that Deadpool did.
I fully feel that the directors and script writers completely had the chops to make an awesome movie, but that somebody with no talent and too much pull dragged their sweaty nutsack all over it and the result was a watered down “okay” movie rather than the dynamite blockbuster it deserved to be.
For the biggest question I had, I can fully say that Jared’s Joker felt right. A completely different Joker to any of the previous ones, with less of a competent actor it could’ve fallen totally flat, but to me, his gaudy, gangstery gauche psycho nutjob mob boss worked and that’s also why it’s such a pity that he wasn’t really in the movie. We deserve a Harley/Joker movie, now. Without the studio meddling.
Ignore the fact that the titles are neon, nothing else is bathed in multicolour cockwaffle, and enjoy it for what it is: A big budget popcorn flick with characters I really hope come back for seconds, and more than that, I hope get their true due in a superior directors cut that I will really want to watch.