ALFRED EAKER VS. THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS: SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)

It’s fairly clear now that the DC fanboys are, in some way, shape or form, related to Trumptards. They see a vast conspiracy, most likely one that is orchestrated by the shadowy Illuminati, whose nefarious aim is to overthrow the world with mind control. These are the same invisible Zionist-ran, Koch-funded demons who manufactured the holocaust lie; conspired with the Knights Templar to hide Mary Magdalene from history; orchestrated 9/11; fabricated the Sandy Hook massacre; discredited Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and the Duggars; are trying to rig and steal the election from Lord Trump; and are a front for Rotten Tomatoes, whose critical pawns give bad reviews to beloved deities who wear their underwear outside their pants.

Never mind that Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer has never produced anything worth a damn, and don’t be fooled by the same Rotten Tomatoes 90 % plus ratings for shows like “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” The Dark Knight, “Lois and Clark,” or Superman II. That’s a well-manufactured plot meant to distract us from their depraved intent of usurping our funny paper religion.

Still from Suicide Squad (2016)Fanboy thugs aside, Suicide Squad has reached a new low for the DC universe. Of course we expect a darker hue from a suicide squad, but Ayer and his cult seem to take the “suicide” part a tad too literally. Now, before DC fanboys add me to their most hated list, I should add that when it comes to DC VS. Marvel, I’m DC by a considerable stretch. I have unending affection for these classic characters, adorned in primary colors, who are entertaining symbols giving us a shred of hope in this hellhole. Superman, by far, is my favorite. He set the model and is what a superman should be—a trusted paternal figure who will get a cat out of a tree. He was never better than in his original incarnation in Action comics, the Fleischer shorts, and under the auspices of George Reeves (his was a Superman who tapped into Wyatt Earp, and even exercised gun control to put bigots in their place. A  retrospective on that innovative series is on my own blog). The Flash—with his red suit, sense of humor, ability to weather all the tragedies that fate could muster—Green Lantern, and Green Arrow all have had a secure place in my Christmas stockings over the decades. Now with that out of the way: Mother of Mercy, are we really this bankrupt?

The dyed-in-the-wool defense is “well, that’s my taste, I was born with it, and nothing I can do about it.”

B.S. Our tastes change in all things. We certainly weren’t guzzling coffee in our adolescence, and growing tastes have placed the Beatles above Elvis, Karloff above Lugosi, and Bing Crosby’s jazz-tainted velvet pipes above Sinatra’s pop-flavored silvery whine. Taste is a reflection of our openness and willingness to be more than what we know. Taste defines us.

Does Suicide Squad reach the nadir of Batman v. Superman? Well, no it doesn’t. I doubt (and hope) we’ll never be subjected to anything so willing to wallow in its own filth and incompetence again. Nor is it as idiotically apocalyptic as the latest X-Men (bragging rights—I did predict it’s failure here, despite this one being directed by the usually good ). Being titled Suicide Squad (which is really a dumb title for a movie, comic book or not), I expected it to be—ahem—on the dark side.

It’s not, really. Rather, it’s more suicide-inducing in its cutesy, self-congratulatory arrogance regarding—ahem—a gang of misfits who have no authentic chemistry with one another. We’ve seen the whole concept of misfit trash tribe coming round to vanquish a bigger, badder threat. It’s been around since 1954’s The Seven Samurai, but that was directed by Akira Kurosawa. We saw it too in the Americanized remake Magnificent Seven (1960, dir. John Stuges) and perfected in The Wild Bunch (1969). Of course, Sam Peckinpah was shrewd enough to know that to put over such violence (albeit stylized violence), back-slapping, sweaty hug camaraderie was needed. Arrogantly, David Ayer is too self-confident, too reliant on and too in love with his own script, directing his thespians while on autopilot.

Suicide Squad consists of yawn-inducing clichés. There’s that really old psychiatrist-turned-psychotic surprise Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who waxes orgasmic over the idea of destruction and giggles at her own jokes. Of course, there’s the Joker (), and he’s easily the most obnoxious of the bunch (and the prissiest Joker to disgrace the big screen, although he does have a cool laugh). But, like Batman, the Joker is essentially a guest appearance here—a symbolic guarantee of the DC brand. His mouth is full of braces, which doesn’t stop him from uttering asinine dialogue (to GF Harley Quinn) such as, “you’d die for me, but will you live for me?” True love. Fingernails meet chalkboard. Viola Davis serves as the Yule Brynner recruiter, and she’ll raise the hairs on the nape of your neck, with hands on her hip, before she even utters a word. There’s also Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who is—gasp—an Australian, because we all know that’s the weapon of choice for those folks down under. No big deal, he’s barely in it. And we have Diablo (Jay Hernandez) who is a lame rip-off the Human Torch. But Diablo’s different. He has a conscience, and it never seems to have occurred to Ayer and company that a super guy—even a bad one—doesn’t need such a pedestrian crutch . Rounding off the gang is Slipknot (Adam Beach as a rope. Get it?)  Katana (Karen Fukuhara with a sword), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje), and Deadshot (Will Smith, as an assassin no less, who who seems to be in a different movie—and no, that’s not a plus). Together, this ensemble will brace the world for the threat of meta-humans (aka superhero terrorists). Inset fading drum roll here.

Suicide Squad is in a constant state of overreaching. It’s a bit like the city of Chicago in being bogged down by believing its own publicity and self-promotions. It’s also dark—as in darkly lit—and when you can actually see the colors through all those muddy hues, they pop out like the most lurid leftover eyesores from The Wizard Of Oz.

at least tried with Batman v. Superman. At times we can almost see his sweat drops in the editing. Comparatively, Ayer and his plot don’t even register a pulse. Not that there is any plot to speak of. Rather, to lean on a cliché (which is apt here), Suicide Squad is a commercial for an upcoming movie. It assembles its mostly bland ingredients (Will and Viola excepted—they’re the spice) and prepares us for… a microwave meal.

5 thoughts on “ALFRED EAKER VS. THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS: SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)”

  1. Thank you! My Facebook feed is littered with people defending this film. I have reached the conclusion that they are experiencing some sort of brain injury or something. It’s refreshing to see not everyone has lost their mind.

  2. You used a variation on ‘retard’ in a rant that’s otherwise tearing down the alt-right? Seems like a contradictory choice. This is nitpicking, though.

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