Why We Have High Hopes for Suicide Squad — Despite Batman v Superman
Warner Bros. Pictures
Batman v. Superman isn’t necessarily a horrible film. Stay with us here. Yes, it's bad. But, no, it's not horrible.
There are things to like, even if you didn't enjoy Man of Steel and think Ben Affleck is still a weird choice to play Batman. The action and pure CGI porn are inherently fun to watch. And the presentation of this Justice League universe has potential, mostly thanks to Gal Gadot's turn as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg's animated performance as Lex Luthor.
Ultimately though, it's just the latest in DC's string of dark superhero films, which critics and audiences seem all but done with — especially when you consider the fun, colorful Marvel alternatives.
While Batman v Superman may have dashed your hopes for a solid DC reboot, there's a reason to hold onto a little bit of hope for the next film from the comic book powerhouse. If you're looking for a ridiculous and fun palate cleanser after this disappointing "showdown of titans," try to hang on until August 5.
That's when Suicide Squad hits theaters.
Barring any major tonal changes from what we've seen in the film's trailers, it's something worth having high hopes for.
Of course, trailers are ads, and their job is to entice and attract the masses. But their job is also to capture and convey the mood of the film proper. Based on what Warner Bros. and DC have presented so far, the movie can't come soon enough.
Suicide Squad is the gathering of super-villains (mostly from Gotham City’s wheelhouse) sent out to do the government’s dirty work in a situation where death is guaranteed. Aside from DC staples Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith), we’re given time with more obscure bad guys, including Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney).
The colorful team is the major appeal here, and it's exciting to have less-known villains step into the spotlight. Since it's seemingly become mandatory to have the Batman origin story inserted into each film he's in, getting fresh stories (even if they're centered on baddies) is going to be a vastly welcome change of pace.
What reverberates throughout Squad's trailer is a sense of humor (something that BvS was lacking). It's further bolstered by the tongue-in-cheek insertion of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
It's a stark contrast to BvS which, understandably, was never billed as an action comedy. But having Eisenberg's Luthor as the sole proprietor of the film's humor, only furthered the necessity for the other characters to say or do something to lighten the mood. Jeremy Irons' Alfred helped out a little, but even Batman is known to toss out a sarcastically deadpan quip or two. Here, there was nothing.
Squad already seems rife with personality, and even a cursory glance at its neon-streaked posters nails that sensibility. In addition, we're already in love with Robbie's portrayal of the childlike Quinn, and knowing Jared Leto's penchant for absorbing himself into his roles, we're looking forward to his portrayal of the Joker (bad tattoos and metal teeth aside). Here's hoping he comes into his own, just like his predecessors.
Granted, Squad has the potential to be as much of a wreck as BvS is — maybe even worse. Aside from the aforementioned issues with the Joker, most of the villains are going to slap a massive question mark over the heads of viewers who don't stick to the comics.
But it looks to be a complete 180 from the “grimdark” mood that its predecessor has displayed — a side effect of the Dark Knight series. Will it dramatize the characters and give us glimpses into their mentalities? Probably. A few sad looks into their backstories? Most assuredly. And that's okay, so long as it can strike an even balance between the dramatics, the action, and the comedy.
It’s obvious that Squad won’t take itself too seriously, or perhaps even seriously at all. Everything in the trailers has pointed to something akin to a darkly comic, swashbuckling (for lack of a better word) night out with friends (or like-minded individuals) that doesn’t seek to depress or bore you with too many details and allows for the optimal amount of chaos.
Squad knows how ridiculous the premise is, how ridiculous the cast is, and it hardly seems to care at all. That’s what’s so enthralling about it.
Batman v. Superman'sissues look to have done some serious damage to its second weekend. After taking $166 million on opening, it fell 68 percent to just $52.4 million on the week after without a decent competitor in the theaters.
Still, folks will drift to it for the next couple of weeks, albeit on a diminished scale. But we do hope that those who bought tickets, sat through its too-long dramatics, and walked out hating it don't give up on the DC Extended Universe just yet.
But if Suicide Squad tanks, too? Pass the crow and a few dollops of BBQ sauce. Just know that two bad movies do not equal a bad film universe (see: Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World), so we're willing to stick around and watch what happens.
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