Well, Zorro and I watched Suicide Squad and Batman vs Superman over the weekend.
I have a lot of thoughts skittering about, so for my own sake I’m writing them down.
I grew up watching Teen Titans and the Batman/Superman Adventures, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. I haven’t read a single DC comic book. But I’ve read pages here and there on Pinterest 😉
I know the whole “my disguise is glasses frames” thing is really thin, but why on earth does Lex Luther know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE???
Also….why is the Bat mobile tricked out with machine guns? Batman is a detective and a crime fighter, and he has this thing about guns. Yeah, he doesn’t use them. I can forgive the trippy dream sequences, because they were a worst case scenario and he would be horrified he was using guns. But really now, we’re messing with core Batman principles here. Things that set him apart.
While we’re on the topic: I would really like to see Batman the Detective more. DC’s movie people seem to be stuck on Batman the Superhero Goes To War, when not everything needs to be about the end of the world or the end of Gotham.
I could also here go on a rant that the reason Superman works is because he’s just a good guy trying to do good things…from what I heard about the Superman movie, they messed with that. It seemed like Batman v Superman was a lot of back pedalling to address the things everyone hated about the Superman Movie, and also to introduce Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and was that Cyborg? Very much a transitional film.
Also, these heroes hallucinate a lot. And there are random montages and things that really do not make sense. Yes, I caught the blurb from future Flash trying to warn Batman about someone (presumably Superman, but we don’t actually know that) but it was mostly just mystifying.
We all know why Superman figures out who Batman is, but Batman is never shown putting any thought at all in figuring out Superman’s identity (contrast: the Batman/Superman adventures, they get that hurdle out of the way pretty quickly) and why on earth does Lex Luther know everything about everyone???
Speaking of Lex. He talked about his father so much I wondered if they were trying to imply that he was bald Lex’s son. But I guess since he goes bald at the end he must be THE Lex Luther. Except he’s not. He’s not the genius business tycoon who is essentially Bad Bald Batman–this Lex truly felt more like a Joker or Scarecrow character.
There isn’t going to be much left in the world if they keep destroying cities at this rate. I mean…Metropolis has been devastated. They made it a point in Batman v Superman to say repeatedly that the city had been (magically) evacuated and the bulk of the fight was in a huuuuge abandoned dockyard…which is now much flatter than it used to be. It was almost entertaining how they were very, very careful to say that about each fight location.
And Suicide Squad…Midway City got a little devastated (by the bad guys, at least) and the US military got a serious beating around the world. We’re talking fleets and bases are gone now. Just gone.
So I feel like they are sort of trying to tone it down after the audience reaction to that Superman movie…but they aren’t actually succeeding a lot.
So. Suicide Squad. I actually liked it. I know, right? Amanda Waller was definitely Amanda Waller, lifted perfectly out of the animated world and brought to life by Viola Davis. It seems that DC’s live action predisposition to darkness has finally found a home in villains. Deadshot is an intensely likable assassin perfectly played by Will Smith, Harly Quinn is extremely well done, Boomerang was entirely unnecessary to the plot, and Joker…well…Joker….he wasn’t as important as Jared Leto seems to think. I feel that the mad clown might just be doomed as a live action villain. I appreciated Heath Ledger’s version of Joker–the Joker you weren’t actually sure was mad–but I wish they would take a hint from the animated series and tone down the disturbing stuff. I think that I am mostly stuck on his torture of Harley (since they also appear to have a love you just want to root for, which is so uncomfortable) and his teeth. And how the actor misapplied method acting and was a truly impressive jerk to his co-stars. Something that was really unnecessary on so many levels I’ve lost count.
**Edit: I should add that Killer Croc was a fun character to have around. He’s one of the villains utterly overlooked by live action Batman flicks, perhaps because he’s so simple. (Ever watched the “Almost Got ‘im” episode? So good!) And Angelo’s fire character was a great foil for everyone else, and a refreshing and unexpected glimpse of someone with nothing to prove, just things to atone for.)**
But Suicide Squad, and the recent trailers for Wonder Woman and the teaser for the Justice League….I have hope. I might actually enjoy the next few DC movies. That would be so nice…