TL;DR – A film that finally made me care about these characters but one that also suffered from some narrative bloat
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film.
The Suicide Squad Review –
In life, you rarely get the chance to make a second first impression. For every Parks and Rec that gets to find its feet in its second season, many more fall by the wayside after their first attempt. Well, today, DC gives us a film that is a second chance to bring a set of characters and scenarios into the DCEU to see if they work, and the answer to that question is yes … mostly.
So to set the scene, we open in with Savant (Michael Rooker) in prison attacking birds with his bouncing ball. But before he has time to finish his time off, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) tells him that he has been conscripted into a mission. Within moments he is rushed to the island of Corto Maltese, with Weasel (Sean Gunn), Javelin (Flula Borg), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), TDK (Nathan Fillion), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Their mission is to infiltrate the island and get past the military patrols, as the island recently suffered a military coup. It is all going well right up until Weasel dies because he can’t swim, and Blackguard immediately sells them out.
As things have been going, I think it has been safe to say that the DC expanded Universe has been made up of more misses than hits. However, in recent times that trend has started to change with Aquaman being a fun little film and Shazam! finding some real heart, showing that the studio can make it work on something other than Wonder Woman. However, coming into Birds of Prey, I was a little hesitant given what came before, but thankfully I had nothing to worry about.
So to set the scene, in the time since Suicide Squad ended, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) broke up with The Joker and it was entirely amicable … okay maybe not. However, everyone thinks she’ll get back together with him, it’s only a matter of time. Well, that’s not what Harley thinks and to prove it to everyone she blows up the symbol of their love the chemical factory which does not quite go to plan. Meanwhile, Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) is trying to find out who is going around crossbowing local goons and a young pickpocketer Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) is about to pick the wrong pocket potentially shifting the balance of all of Gotham City.
TL;DR – I have used many adjectives to describe Quentin Tarantino’s films before but dull is a new one here.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene
Quentin Tarantino is a very specific kind of director and sort of puts him in a
category where I find a lot of people either love or hate his films. I have
found myself falling into both categories in the past with me adoring some of
his films like Django Unchained and
really not liking some of his other works like The
Hateful Eight. However, whatever the case may be, I have always
walked out of his films with strong feelings one way or the other, but not this
time, this time I walked out looking at my watch to see how much time that
So to set the scene, we open in on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) star of the
most popular show on TV Bounty Law as
he gives an interview with his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).
Flash forward to the end of the decade and after a failed swing at movies Rick
has been demoted to playing the bad guy or ‘heavy’ in other people’s shows and
Cliff is still there as his driver and assistant. Well, one day a new
opportunity arises for Rick, a real chance at something, but what neither Rick
nor Cliff knows is that there are people out there that do not have everyone’s
best interests at heart and a friendly smile might hide violent personality.
TL;DR – An interesting look at the concept of an unreliable narrator, wonderfully acted, but there were some facets of the film that didn’t work for me.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a sort of mid-credit scene
From many angles I, Tonya is a fascinating film, it is incredibly well acted, it is telling the story of one of the weirdest moments in sports history, and it using a really interesting framing method to tell its story. However, while there were a lot of really fascinating factors at play here, there were also some real issues that I feel the unreliable narrator aspect really devalued and muddied the waters in an area that really should not have been. So today we are going to take a dive into the world of figure skating and look at the life of one person that challenged every part of the system.
TL;DR – Sigh, oh DC, it really looked like you tried on this movie, but boy the best that you can do is an aggressively mediocre outing that adds nothing to the franchise, and as a self-contained film – well you can do a lot worse, but you can also do a lot better.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid-credits scene
When it comes to that whole DC v Marvel comics rivalry which seems to permeate the internet these days, for me this was one of those arguments that was never really a factor in my life growing up. This is because we didn’t really get the comics where I lived, but what we did get was the animated series, like X-Men and Batman, and they were not aired in competition with each other, and indeed sometimes aired on the same TV channel. So growing up you were not a DC or Marvel person, it was more “did you see that episode yesterday”, I feel I really need to start with this up front because I really want this Justice League series to work, I really do. However I don’t think Suicide Squad is the film that will do it, and in fact all it does is show that DC/WB just don’t seem to know how to get this movie series off the ground. At best it is average, and at worse it is quite problematic, but in the end it is not really all that engaging and you’ll probably forget most of it within a day of watching it.
TL;DR – There are some aspects of this film that just work, but there are others that just don’t, if you do go to see it you will probably enjoy it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Hollywood remaking movies from the past are all the rage at the moment, with Disney doing live versions of their classic cartoons, we’ll have a Magnificent 7 film later this year, and the list goes on and on. This week we have the remake of the Classic Tarzan film/book series with The Legend of Tarzan. As far as reboots go, it’s ok, but there are a lot of issues with it, well one big one really, and all of that draws it down quite a bit.
TL;DR – This is a film I should not like because it has many of the problems that usually frustrate me, but somehow it charmed me, and in the end I have to say I really liked Whisky Tango Foxtrot.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a really interesting film for a number of reasons, it has Tina Fey in her first real attempt to move into more dramatic roles, it is dealing with the aftermath of the War in Afghanistan post-Iraq when everyone forgot about it, it is analysing the culture that gets created in such a weird situation of extremes, and also because it engages in so many of the things that I dislike in films yet I still really like it for some reason.