Aug 14 2016

Suicide Squad review (spoilers)

1. The character introductions were lacking. Having Waller narrate the characters’ backstories to a minor character in a no-stakes infodump was probably not ideal. If Waller’s MO is that she’s ruthless and/or exploitative, would have preferred a scene with her coercing Flag to work on the project and/or why they selected these guys rather than any other high-stakes criminals available. Also, given that virtually all of the characters are total unknowns to most viewers, a smaller team would probably have helped with character development. (Failing that, if you start with a large team of antiheroes, having several deaths would probably have helped raise the stakes and establish a mood).

2. It probably would have helped if the main mission of the movie had been more shady and/or disagreeable. If a supervillain is ravaging a city, it’s not clear why the government needs a “plausible deniability” option here of unwilling gangsters with guns and bats rather than, say, asking Batman or Wonder Woman to step in. Or that having 6 minor criminal patsies would have helped explain at all why a sorceress wrecked a major city. I feel like a very messy police mission like trying to destroy a major gang and/or killing somebody that’s gone rogue and/or helping a VIP (maybe Waller) deal with a major case of blackmail would have been a better fit.
2.1. Waller’s trying to fake an answer to the wrong question. If a villain magically turns millions of people into zombies, the blame coming your way doesn’t have anything to do about who did it, but rather that you either didn’t have a plan and/or it involved sending guys with guns and bats to stop a sorceress rather than, say, asking Wonder Woman. Also, if you DID need to falsely claim that someone zombified a city, could I suggest somebody more plausible than a group of minor criminals headlined by a crocodile and a prison psychiatrist?
2.2. The blame coming your way might also have something to do with “why was somebody as incompetent as Waller within 1,000 miles of a life-or-death assignment?”
2.3. “When Enchantress started killing millions of people, why didn’t we immediately flip the kill-switch on her magical device?”

3. The music selection was ugly. E.g. playing “Sympathy for the Devil” to introduce a shady character with semi-sympathetic goals calls out the viewers as idiots, I think. Not nearly subtle enough. In contrast, Killer Croc got the much more imaginative “Born in the USA”, rather than (God help us) Crocodile Rock.

4. June is the worst archeologist in the world. She spends less than 10 seconds in the temple before twisting the head off a priceless relic that nearly destroys the world. Whoops. Not to be outdone, she falls for the worst soldier in the world, whose superpower is playing golf without a handicap and bungling pretty much everything he touches.

5. The team selection is an odd choice: Harlequin, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Diablo, Katana, Deadshot, and Slipknot. Slipknot and Captain Boomerang are joke characters that contribute very little to the plot. (Seriously, Slipknot’s reason for being on the team is that “he can climb anything”). Harlequin and Deadshot (and secondarily KC and Diablo) feel like a pretty good personality fit for the movie, and the four of them dominate the memorable lines. I would have removed or overhauled CB, Katana, Slipknot, and maybe Rick Flag – they have little impact on the plot, and there just isn’t time.

6. Enchantress feels like a serious mismatch for the protagonists. Someone shootable would probably have created more interesting interactions and better fight scenes, seeing as almost everyone on the team is a badass normal. (The team’s only superhumans are Diablo, Killer Croc, and maybe Katana – not the most intuitive choice for stopping a world-ending threat).

7. Characters raise plausible concerns about Waller’s plans in a fair way (and thoroughly exhaust standard police and military alternatives). In context, it almost feels believable that serious people would agree to this crazier-than-crazy plan. (If we pretend that Batman and Wonder Woman were dealing with some other world-ending threat somewhere else, it almost makes sense). Also, in the interests of making Waller/Flag look better than “totally useless”, it might help if the problem the team had to deal with was not 100% created by Waller being a dumbass. In, say, well-executed noir movies like Out of the Past, characters create their own problems, but without compromising their competence.

8. Although this movie did as poorly as Batman vs Superman on Rotten Tomatoes, I think Suicide Squad is considerably better-executed and more entertaining. E.g. Will Smith’s attempted negotiation with Flag and Waller actually did a great job advancing character development, establishing conflicts between characters, and advancing the central plot. I don’t think there were any scenes in BVS that managed any one of those besides maybe Bruce Wayne’s very brief conversation with Diana Prince.

9. Even for a superhero movie, SS asks you to check a lot of realism at the door. E.g. 3 helicopter crashes for major characters without any deaths or injuries. Seriously, it would have been okay to kill off some of these characters. No one in this movie besides Batman and maybe Joker is integral to the success of the DC Universe moving forward. Also, Rick Flag is a notably passive, weak character – besides killing off Slipknot early, he is curiously reluctant to respond to provocations from his team. I was actively rooting for his death.

10. Several of the characters (notably KC, Joker and Diablo) are taken in an unusually gangsta direction. It feels really strange for Joker, who comes across as more sketchy than threatening. For Killer Croc, it got oddly humorous, in a non-PC way.

11. Harlequin’s background as a psychiatrist does not feel like it fits with the rest of the character.
11.1. The sexploitation was actually pretty effective.
11.2. Harlequin getting punched in the face by Batman probably got the loudest laughter from the audience, followed by Deadshot trying to negotiate in prison.

12. Villains threatening worldwide destruction generally don’t give protagonists much to work with. Enchantress felt like a sorry rehash of the most recent Fantastic Four’s Dr. Doom and Green Lantern’s Galactus, even down to the purple vortexes of death and terrible CGI. It’s much harder for characters to interact with a force that has nothing to talk about. Off the top of my head, the only superhero movies with global villains that worked out creatively very well were the Avengers series and Guardians of the Galaxy, and they relied on exceptionally interesting interactions between the protagonists rather than with the villains.

13. Most of the teammates – and Flag and (if you go as far back as Green Lantern) Waller – have a tragic backstory to soften them. I was sort of hoping for at least one character to have an unapologetic Walter White-style “I did it for me. I was good at it.” The closest we got was Harlequin stealing a purse. While that helps reinforce the character’s craziness, maybe something more important to the central plot?

14. Deadshot’s final scene with his kid (helping her with geometry) was surprisingly heartfelt and refreshingly dark. The kid isn’t just a sweet plot device, and it’s probably the closest this movie got to daring. I wish they had tried it more often (e.g. see Deadpool). For example, maybe giving characters more opportunities to do more antiheroic things than stealing a purse? Giving Diablo and Flag more of a pulse? Making Waller competent?

14.1. Deadshot shows off technical expertise in his final scene very naturally – compare how he talks about the geometry of shooting people and the curvature of the Earth to virtually every Fantastic Four conversation about science.

15. The setting is beyond weak. It’s very generic and, like every DC city besides Gotham, it’s just a soulless cardboard box to wreck. No interesting characters, no interesting places, no distinctive mood to the city… For God’s sake, it’s called Fauxcago “Midway City.” How much personality could it possibly have? PS: Would suggest checking out better noir movies for better alternatives to “dark and rainy all the time.”
15.1Adding a character from Fauxcago (maybe one of the Suicide Squad members) might have helped. The only line from a Fauxcagoan I caught was a bride complaining that her wedding was ruined. Instead of a useful suggestion here, let’s have a moment of silence where we can reflect on the loving care that’s been put into developing Gotham as a vortex of crime and despair, where a bunch of random bank robbers or ferry passengers or pretty much anyone on the street can make a masterpiece scene. Unfortunately, this is Suicide Squad, and we can’t have nice things. We get Fauxcago, and a complaining bride. It’s the setting we deserve, not the one we need.

16. The last 60 minutes of the movie (50:00 to 1:48:00) were a single, REALLY LONG mission where the characters break into Fauxcago, rescue a VIP, and ultimately defeat the villain. I strongly prefer the pacing of virtually every other superhero movie (e.g. Avengers and Incredibles), where several (much shorter) action sequences build up to a climactic confrontation with the villain. That would have also made it easier to work in dialogue into scenes than it was for Suicide Squad – e.g. look at how weirdly paced the bar scene is. (The world’s about to end, but hey, let’s talk about Diablo’s backstory!)

17. Across the movie, I counted about 38 minutes of action scenes. I think that’s about twice the average for superhero movies. Some issues here. First, it got tedious. Second, most of the fight scenes were ineffective. E.g. did we really need 3-4 separate scenes of soldiers/helicopters/aircraft carriers getting wrecked? There are so many characters that could have used most of that space more.

17.1. Most of the action sequences setting up each SS member were wasted.

  • Boomerang’s heist – there’s no emotional impact to the betrayal, and he comes across as helpless. No exaggeration here: this is probably the least interesting interaction I’ve ever seen between a superhero and a villain in any medium. Compare to the vastly better-executed heist scene in Dark Knight, which establishes Joker’s disloyalty and unpredictability and his conflict with more conventional criminal groups. I believe it’s an especially memorable scene because he makes major decisions (e.g. preemptively betraying his own men) that 99% of villains wouldn’t have made in the same situation.
  • Katana’s scene stabbing a criminal in Japan was a heavy-handed way of showing her revenge angle, and it contributed to the movie in no other way. Easily removable.
  • Diablo torching a prison yard, shown twice. Not terrible. The crown of fire is a neat touch (but seems to imply that he hasn’t changed as much after killing his family as he’s trying to show).
  • Deadshot has 3 (a sample assassination which does a good job establishing his personality, getting taken down by Batman, and an inexplicably long scene where he shows off his skills by firing at dummies for 45 seconds straight).
  • The Joker/Harlequin takedown by Batman is probably unnecessary – it covers a lot of the ground of Batman taking down Deadshot, but that scene did a better job establishing Deadshot’s relationship with his family.

18. The movie took far too long before the teammates first meet each other 45 minutes in. Virtually all of the moments in the movies that actually worked featured Squad members interacting together (or Deadshot with Flag or his daughter), and getting the Squad together much sooner would probably have helped with the pacing. If your first 45 minutes of the film give more screentime to Waller, faceless government extras, and Joker than the titular heroes, it’d really help if these side characters got more opportunities to be interesting or memorable. In comparison, most of the great superheroes movies that introduce the main case exceptionally late, like Iron Man 1 and Incredibles, used the extra time early on for scenes that were very interesting, hilarious, emotionally effective, developed the main characters, or developed critical plot elements – hell, Tony Stark’s “Merchant of Death” scene and Bob’s attempt to prevent a suicide went far on all 5. In Suicide Squad, the first 45 minutes don’t have anything that well-executed… I’d argue the closest is Deadshot’s interactions with his client, which create some character development and humor.

18.1. The odd men out here are definitely Waller, Joker, Enchantress and her brother (Incubus), and arguably Batman. Ideally, I think it would have helped to replace Enchantress/Incubus with villains that could interact with the heroes more directly, made Batman’s scenes more distinctive or removed him altogether, and significantly accelerated the setup to the squad coming together. I think Joker would be a candidate for lead villain, but I wouldn’t keep him on as a side villain because there are so many characters fighting for space. Also, overhauling Waller (more competent, more believable, more logical, more reacting to an actual problem rather than creating a problem that doesn’t exist yet, more threatening to teammates rather than maintaining no surveillance on the team, etc).

19. A point worth belaboring: Waller is outlandishly incompetent.

  • At one point, she warns the squad, “Remember, I’m watching, I see everything.” Except that she doesn’t have, you know, team microphones or anything, which might have let her hear Boomerang goading Slipknot into bolting, or Deadshot telling HQ that he was going to kill Flag and the SEALs but needed Joker’s help with the nanites. So she’s less well equipped than a Counterstrike team.
  • She appears to get off on lying for no apparent reason (e.g. goading Deadshot into pulling the trigger on a VIP security officer by telling him that the gun was disabled, and telling Rick that it was a standard terrorist attack).
  • It doesn’t seem to occur to her that trying to trick Deadshot to kill somebody for no reason in front of the victim might cause the victim (who runs security for the prison housing her team!) to become less cooperative. And she doesn’t take any precautions against it, getting completely blindsided by a major asset getting turned by Joker, or his high-risk behavior playing in a heavily criminal casino. Nor is she aware that he’s slipped Harlequin a phone, and frankly there weren’t many places to hide it. She apparently trusts that to prison security, even after trying to have one of them killed for absolutely no reason.
  • She’s not aware of her helicopter getting hijacked by Joker. The resulting surprise gets many people killed.
  • Not being able to destroy the heart remotely, or put in a verbal command to someone who can. That seems like a pretty important capability, given that she knew Enchantress could teleport.
  • She murders her own subordinates because “they weren’t cleared for any of this.” First, this serial killing feels completely unnecessary. However, if it were necessary, it might be safer to wrap it up before Flag and Deadshot can witness it. Second, she’s not even good at being bad – she shoots four people once each, and doesn’t check to make sure that they’re dead. That’s really sloppy… there’s a high risk that at least one will survive.
  • No security precautions on the second doll.
  • Her decision not to destroy the first doll after Enchantress goes rogue and/or takes over a city is a major plot hole that makes the movie significantly worse. If she’s not going to use this lever at this point, it’d probably be better not give her this lever – otherwise she’s just developing herself as weak/passive/incompetent by not using it.
  • She allows herself (and the first doll) to be taken by Enchantress.
  • At no point does she approach basic competence. The movie is jaw-droppingly consistent that she’s an active liability to everything she’s trying to accomplish.

19.1. While Rick is not as legendarily inept as Waller, he’s not exactly covering himself in glory.

  • “I don’t do luck. I do planning and precision.” Except for, you know, any sort of plan that accounts for 50%+ of your team plotting to kill you, and you having no surveillance on them even as you have SEALs within 10 feet of the plotters. If your team’s situational awareness is that bad, you might as “do luck” and randomly blow up a teammate, because everyone on the team besides Katana and KC is openly discussing killing you.
  • Flag lets HQ back onto the team even after she sides with Joker and gets most of his SEAL friends killed.

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Suicide Squad review (spoilers)”

  1. Jed Hon 15 Aug 2016 at 1:41 am

    Totally agree with your review. A few things I’d like to add:

    – When Waller gets into the helicopter, rather than going UP, like normal helicopters do, it dives down the side of the building, setting off about a hundred flares. It cruises along, 50m above the street, before getting shot. This scene messed with me so bad I had to check with my friends that it actually happened. Twice. This isn’t just a standard basketball-sized idiot ball: it’s a boulder-in-Indiana-Jones-sized idiot ball.
    – #11.2 – same story for the cinema I watched it in.
    – Echoing #16, I felt like the third act of the movie lasted for 60%+ of the run time. Definitely would’ve been better to go with the Avengers approach.
    – I agree that the villain (Enchantress) was the wrong choice for the movie. Would’ve been much better for the HUMAN suicide squad to go up against a HUMAN opponent – after all, this movie is suppose to be a counterpart to the slug-fest associated with your superman v batman’s.
    – I felt that the film’s portrayal of batman was done well. It was refreshing to see him through the eyes of the villains (i.e. as the scary dark knight)

    “Deadpool shows off technical expertise in his final scene very naturally – compare how he talks about the geometry of shooting people.”
    – Do you mean Deadshot? I know Deadpool’s an expy of Deadshot, but that’s no reason to get their names confused :P.

  2. Xbimpyxon 15 Aug 2016 at 3:37 am

    Although the characters are flamboyant and wild there is sense that they just behave like that. Instead of being a personality trait I can reason with it’s actors acting as fools, while the script tells them to state who they really all.

    The most offensive usage of show not tell. Contrast that to Like Cage trailer. When he talks about himself it doesn’t feel and sound like a video game tutorial.

    However, I am not surprised Aryer didn’t fix this when it is apparent all over the DECU. I guess staying constant with Man of Steel’s exposition makes sense since 95 prevent of other characters speak like Jor El, Zod, and Pa.

  3. InnocentBystanderon 15 Aug 2016 at 7:27 am

    Minor nitpick: 14.1 calls Deadshot “Deadpool.”

    Overall, I agree with what you said. It also got called to my attention by another reviewer that the reason for assembling the Suicide Squad, while good in theory, makes no sense for the movie. As I understand, in the comics the Squad was created to do the dirty work the government needed done, but couldn’t use their own forces because of diplomatic issues or such. In the movie, however, Waller wants to assemble the Squad in case someone like Superman decided to launch an attack on humanity. While that’s a legitimate concern, the people making up the Squad don’t seem like they’d last a minute against someone on the same level as Superman. Most would be dead while Katana, who has a magic sword, might stand a chance (keyword MIGHT). And while the reviewer said that Deadshot would be killed, I would argue that he could possibly take out Superman if given a Kryptonite bullet. He also didn’t take Enchantress, who was on the line-up for the Squad, into account. So that’s three people out of nine who MIGHT stand a chance against Superman, one of them only if given the right tools, and the rest would be in body bags.

    I also felt that the movie was trying to be Guardians of the Galaxy by having a band of misfits come together, form a cameraderie, and save the world. Except Guardians gave the characters enough time to interact and feel like a complete team and even the most cynical of reasons for going against Ronan (he wants to destroy the galaxy, which they live in) worked. Here, the Squad (minus Harley and Deadshot) don’t feel like they have that same cameraderie. Plus, it didn’t make much sense that none of them wouldn’t side with Enchantress when she offered them a place in the world she was creating. Deadshot, El Diablo, Katana, and Flagg made the most sense; Deadshot was motivated by his daughter while the latter three clearly had morals. Harley’s wasn’t as good, but the “sure, why not?” thing still works given that she thinks the Joker is dead, so maybe she’s a bit suicidal and wants to go out with a bang. But you’re telling me Croc is okay doing what is likely a suicide mission rather than booking it out of the city? Or that CB would stick around?

    The best thing I can say about the movie was that the casting was, for the most part, pitch perfect. Will Smith was phenomenal as Deadshot, Viola Davis was great as Waller, and some of the other actors (Jai Courtney, Margot Robbie, Jay Hernandez) gave me the impression that they would’ve been loads better if they had been given better material. Of course there were some who just wouldn’t work no matter what (guy playing Flagg), but I was impressed by how much some of the actors got out of so little.

    Honestly, if you want a decent Suicide Squad movie, check out Assault on Arkham (don’t be fooled by the Batman at the front of the title; WB only did that because they felt anything without Batman, Superman, or the Justice League in the title wouldn’t sell well). It’s more logically sound than this and the characters work better.

  4. InnocentBystanderon 15 Aug 2016 at 7:30 am

    Jed H.: Deadpool is an expy of Deathstroke/Wilson Slade, not Deadshot.

  5. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2016 at 6:21 pm

    “I guess staying constant with Man of Steel’s exposition makes sense since 95 prevent of other characters speak like Jor El, Zod, and Pa.” It hurts because it’s true. I thought Suicide Squad’s exposition was considerably better than MOS’s, though — e.g. selecting supervillains for a clandestine suicide squad is much higher stakes and more naturally dramatic than “You just have to decide what kind of a man you want to grow up to be”).

  6. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2016 at 7:00 pm

    “Or that CB would stick around?” It flies in the face of every distinctive action from Boomerang up to that point (he repeatedly betrays his teammates to help himself, in one case wussily goading Slipknot into escaping to determine if Waller/Flag are serious about blowing renegades up).

    “But you’re telling me Croc is okay doing what is likely a suicide mission rather than booking it out of the city?” In fairness, he is a fighter, and I think that might be enough to keep him going against a world-level threat. Also, both Assault on Arkham and Suicide Squad cast him as one of the more cooperative members of the team.

    “It’s more logically sound than this and the characters work better.” Agreed. Also, the movie’s considerably shorter, which I think makes the “single, very long mission” setup a lot more pleasant.

    “Plus, it didn’t make much sense that none of them wouldn’t side with Enchantress when she offered them a place in the world she was creating.” I’ll play devil’s advocate for the writers here. First, all of the squad members have major trust issues, and she’s been trying to murder them and the better part of humanity for the entire movie. Also, the last thousand humans that she’s worked with, she’s turned into zombies, so there’s a lot of room for distrust here. If any of them (besides maybe Boomerang, who’s pathologically disloyal and maybe too dumb to realize how badly it surely would have worked out for him) just sort of forgot about being in a helicopter that she shot down and nearly getting killed repeatedly by her zombie minions, that probably would not have been the betrayal I was hoping for.

    –Diablo comes clean and turns himself in after accidentally killing his wife and kids. Not the most obvious partner for global genocide.
    –Killer Croc doesn’t seem to me to be the type to negotiate from a position of weakness. Also, if Enchantress wins, BET is definitely over. 🙂
    –Neither Flag nor Katana. He can’t get June back with Enchantress alive, and she’s all bushido.
    –Deadshot has a kid he cares about, and even if he did think that Enchantress would let them live, living in a world where 99%+ of humans are zombies is not very promising.
    –Enchantress’s only leverage with Harlequin is her (alleged) ability to resurrect Joker. HQ doesn’t give the offer much thought. I suspect HQ knows/believes Joker survived the crash (e.g. because he texted her and/or he’s survived a lot worse and/or wishful thinking). Nobody that knows Joker well would look at his vehicle explode and assume that he’s dead. Also, if Enchantress actually could resurrect people, it seems suspicious that she didn’t resurrect her brother.
    –Boomerang could plausibly be turned out of cowardice/survival, but the first person to betray the team will get soul-stolen and/or shot and/or chomped alive whether or not Enchantress’s offer is genuine. He might be good for a backstabbing, but I don’t think he’s brave/direct enough for a frontstab.

  7. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2016 at 7:33 pm

    “And while the reviewer said that Deadshot would be killed, I would argue that he could possibly take out Superman if given a Kryptonite bullet.” I agree characters in-story could plausibly see Deadshot as a viable contingency plan against Superman. Look at how much trouble Superman had with Batman (e.g. letting Batman shoot him in the face with a kryptonite grenade). Also, Deadshot has a lot more killer instinct and cannot be stopped by the word “Martha.”

    “He also didn’t take Enchantress, who was on the line-up for the Squad, into account. So that’s three people out of nine who MIGHT stand a chance against Superman…” I’m not questioning the concept of the Suicide Squad. As an anti-Superman concept, it’s actually pretty believable (assuming the characters are not genre-savvy enough to know that Superman is covered in plot armor as thick as Earth’s, and that Guns Can Never Accomplish Anything™* ).

    *Besides a Tragic Backstory.

    However, once Enchantress goes rogue, sending in the rest of the Suicide Squad seems like a really crazy option compared to, say, asking Wonder Woman and/or Batman. If hundreds of soldiers with guns and tanks aren’t enough against a world-level threat, sending in a firestarter and a swordswoman and a few more guys with guns/bats doesn’t seem like a winning combination.

  8. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2016 at 8:08 pm

    “When he talks about himself it doesn’t feel and sound like a video game tutorial.” I agree, but if I could be contrarian, it does feel like there’s more than a whiff of “Daredevil rehash” here. Not sure if they’re going to deliver on the personality or humor that made Daredevil work.

    And enough stereotyping going on that I’ll predict that at least 2 of the following happen:
    –His connection to the Chinese restaurant involves kung fu.
    –There’s at least one “Uncle Ben” scene in a barbershop about what an individual owes society or vice versa.
    –The now-wealthy crime lord is compensating for a super tough childhood (probably the only thing the hero and villain have in common).
    –Government drugrunning. (Probably corrupt cops, but if this is going as blaxploitative as it looks, I’d appreciate the audacity of using the CIA here).

  9. B. McKenzieon 15 Aug 2016 at 8:17 pm

    “Do you mean Deadshot?” Yes, thanks.

  10. InnocentBystanderon 16 Aug 2016 at 6:41 am

    Okay, those points are fair, too. Though Killer Croc wasn’t in Assault on Arkham; that was Killer Shark. Then again, with how similar their concepts, designs, and names are, I don’t blame you for getting them mixed up.

  11. InnocentBystanderon 16 Aug 2016 at 6:43 am

    Wait; my bad. King Shark, not Killer Shark. Still, pretty easy to get the two mixed up.

  12. B. McKenzieon 16 Aug 2016 at 10:15 am

    “Though Killer Croc wasn’t in Assault on Arkham; that was [King] Shark.” Good call! It’s been a while.

  13. FVE-Manon 18 Aug 2016 at 2:17 am

    It was an entertaining movie when it played to its strengths, but the plot was all over the place. Definitely a case of interesting characters being put in the wrong story.

    One other thing that bugged me which I haven’t seen reviewers mention yet was Enchantress’ giant “weapon”. It seemingly existed for the sake of reminding everyone that this is a superhero film – with buildings being torn apart during its construction in a display of CGI glory – but I don’t recall it ever being explained what it was meant to do once completed (maybe I missed a line of dialogue). It felt like a forced attempt to create some race against the clock for the antiheroes when Enchantress should really have been able to complete her goals (whatever those were; again, vague) with the same ease in which she stole those foreign documents back at the start of the film. What was stopping her from instantly seizing control of some nuclear weapons? What was her weapon meant to accomplish that nuclear warheads couldn’t? Just because we know the protagonists will destroy her weapon in the last minute, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least have some explanation to work with.

    Katana was interesting, if underdeveloped/underused. I like how she would’ve preferred death by her own sword if it meant being reunited with her lover. She felt like a small hint of an interesting subplot that never got explored. At the very least, she was the most interesting character named after their weapon. (Seriously, Captain Boomerang sounds like a one-line joke character from that ep of The Simpsons where they go to Australia.)

  14. B. McKenzieon 18 Aug 2016 at 5:25 am

    “What was stopping her from instantly seizing control of some nuclear weapons? What was her weapon meant to accomplish that nuclear warheads couldn’t?” She had some sort of ideological objection to human machines, and/or a similar development in X-Men: Apocalypse was pretty goofy. Was there anything stopping her from stealing the heart? It looked to be guarded only by Waller.

    “(Seriously, Captain Boomerang sounds like a one-line joke character from that ep of The Simpsons where they go to Australia.)” And he dresses like a flight attendant (though thankfully not in the movie).

    I’m guessing that higher-ups demanded a Flash villain to help ease Flash into the cinematic universe, and they’re all pretty awful. E.g. Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, Mirror Master II, Trickster II, Double Down, Professor Zoom, etc. When Lex Luthor sounds like a step up, you’ve really got your work cut out for you.

  15. InnocentBystanderon 18 Aug 2016 at 9:13 pm

    The suitcase containing the heart was rigged with an explosive. And, apparently, it was able to tell if Enchantress (or anyone besides Waller) got too close to it. Don’t know how she got around it after capturing Waller and it was poorly explained, but there was a failsafe.

    With the Flash’s rogues gallery, I’d argue that a writer worth their salt could take them and make them threatening (one JL episode/novelette had Mirror Master and Captain Cold team up and implement a plan which not only removed the JL’s powers but also made them significantly weaker). But considering how poorly the characters with potential were handled, I don’t have a lot of faith in the movies doing so.

  16. B. McKenzieon 18 Aug 2016 at 10:04 pm

    “I’d argue that a writer worth their salt could take them and make them threatening…” I think it might be pretty challenging. The first thing that comes to mind would probably take a lot of imagination and execution, like pushing the envelope on personality and/or dramatic complexity (e.g. Mr. Freeze getting recast as an unusually cerebral serial killer tragically treading alone). Unlike, say, writing a Batman story, where you have a LOT of successful stories and a superior roster of side-characters, I think the writer on this Captain Cold/Mirror Master story would have to build a lot from the ground up.

  17. FVE-Manon 21 Aug 2016 at 2:38 am

    “She had some sort of ideological objection to human machines” Makes sense, although I still think she could’ve found some easier way to complete her goals given her demonstrated abilities. As you’ve said, they chose the wrong villain for this film, and I think this was just one symptom of that choice. I think it’s time for superhero films to start scaling back the scope of the villains’ plans, like they did with Dark Knight, Deadpool and Civil War. It’s getting harder to care for all these empty buildings/nameless civilians being constantly destroyed.

    Judging by his hat, I’d say that flight-attendant Captain Boomerang is a spokesperson for Nike.

  18. B. McKenzieon 21 Aug 2016 at 4:47 pm

    “I think it’s time for superhero films to start scaling back the scope of the villains’ plans, like they did with Dark Knight, Deadpool and Civil War. It’s getting harder to care for all these empty buildings/nameless civilians being constantly destroyed.”

    Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad had a lot of similarities, but I can’t think of any similarities that seemed effective/helpful. E.g. the hyper-generic settings, the so-dark-it’s-hard-to-see cinematography, the scale of the villains, action sequences that actually take 10+ minutes and feel longer, etc. I’ll look more into this, but my impression is that these movies (especially MOS) spend an extraordinarily long amount of time on action.

  19. MajorDestructionon 20 Jan 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I really didn’t understand this movie.

    So, Waller called in a group of dangerous Supervillians into an already volatile situation because she needed an escort team to take her to the roof of her own building? Why didn’t she get out before the building was surrounded by monsters? Am I overthinking this?

  20. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2017 at 12:10 am

    “Why didn’t she get out before the building was surrounded by monsters? Am I overthinking this?” The supervillain could teleport, and was trying to recover the doll that Waller had. It’s not clear that getting out earlier would have helped much against an enemy that probably could have followed anywhere on Earth, but it might have saved a million or two civilians. Waller’s just really, really bad at this. This being everything.

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