Suicide Squad Film
SS Official Trailer
SS Film Analysis
After seeing this film on Pre-Screening Night, I would like to say that it delivers the DC Comics formula, by adding new characters to its other on-screen characters (Batman & the death of Superman shown in the Opening Montage). I saw Suicide Squad in 3D at a local favorite theatre in Hawaii, since it had been a while since I had experienced a 3D viewing. I liked seeing some of the 3D trailers, and as the Action lit up the Feature Movie, the 3D portion faded (I also viewed a Regular format right after the 3D version).
The only burning question among the Viewership is “What is the appeal or tie-in for the movie?” I can answer this question for y’all.
*The plot goes like this…
In Act I, all characters are introduced via narration and visual graphics by Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis), who is discussing her latest government project, called Task Force X, while having a dinner meeting with 2 other members of the National Security Council. As she discusses each character in her “Top Secret” file, the irony in the Dinner Scene is her cutting and eating steak, while the Metahumans are being discussed. The opening scene is dark, minimal lighting, with appropriate shot construction, to make me believe I was reading a page from the GN! Amanda’s narrative sets up the Story, the main Characters, as well as the Inciting Incident. In case you were wondering, she is a Key Character in this movie, because her decisions affect existing and new characters.
The Inciting Incident is the Enchantress’ Heart, which Amanda has thumb-disarmed, and her essence is released into the Subway system, where she finds her Brother trapped inside the body of a Businessman. The Enchantress is part of the Antagonist team, along with her absorption of other humans, to turn them into Hostiles.
The Central Conflict involves multiple story ideas: Romance, Love, Loss of a loved one(s), Suffering and Cathartic release. I’m seeing shades of Romeo & Juliet here, as shown between The Joker & Harley Quinn, as well as June Moone & Rick Flag. The film works on multiple levels, too; Ordinary, SuperHero and Paranormal/SuperPowers. All 3 levels are interwoven on the Screen, and I wanted to thank Mr. Ayer for crafting a wonderful story. I didn’t know so many different personalities could exist simultaneously on-screen.
One of the on-going themes that is answered throughout the movie is Humanity:
- · Who is human and who has a Soul-feeling-conscience?
- · Who is Less than human?
- · What does it mean to be human?
- · Who is the real Criminal here?
As each subplot is raised, it is also resolved by the EOM. There are definite shifts in the movie throughout the Ebb & Flow, with moments of slowdown, followed by revving up into the next Act. The dialogue becomes secondary at times, only to add some Humorous release to the film’s mature themes (“What an app!”). Some of the Screenplay dialogue has some mature words, which is the PG-13 rating. The Music is a pretty good selection, and complements the on-screen story (Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Rolling Stones, Mark Ronson).
The secondary story location is Midtown City, with the main location being Gotham City; Floyd & Batman’s scene with his daughter shopping during Christmas (irony is one SuperHero taking another SuperHero into custody in front of his daughter), Subway Scene with the Enchantress’ Brother, Helicopter Sequence, and Rooftop Scene. Cinematically, it works, with Gotham being a darker Metro city, and Midtown City being desert-barren makes the film’s story much more believable.
Act II begins with the Suicide Squad members being taken out of their Louisiana prison, and taken to Midtown City, an evacuation zone. The Hostile Army has upped the ante in the game, so Task Force X must battle them. At first, the Movie Viewer believes that the “Bad Guys” are the Suicide Squad members, but for the Story, it’s the Hostile Army and the Enchantress. The SS members are fighting internal conflicts, but Amanda has brought them into an external conflict (save Gotham City from an ExtraTerrestrial force) by having Rick as their leader. Until she is captured. Then it’s all Rick’s journey.
The Love and Tragedy over the loss of a Love (or Loved Ones) is experienced by each of the main characters, and culminates at The Bar Scene, which was edited into Movie Trailer. This is a Turning Point of the story, where the SS joins together, which was preceded by falling Rain (mourning the premature loss of The Joker for Harley, acting as a catharsis for Amanda’s capture by the Hostiles). This scene ends Act II, setting up Act III and the Showdown.
Act III begins with SS arriving at the Train Terminal, where The Enchantress has been amassing her Army by using her seductive powers on men. The stakes are at an all-time high (how does the SS beat the Hostile Army & the Queen Bee). Harley’s character is a useful plot device, as she is thorny underneath her pretty exterior, but she does know good from evil. The Showdown ends the Story, with something that the character would never do: a killer of women or children. In a slow motion sequence, Killer Croc hurls the time released bomb, while Floyd’s bullet penetrates the bomb, exploding The Enchantress’ essence into dust. She and Rick Flag share words, as she challenges him to crush her heart, if he has the “balls to do it.”
Personally, I felt the Story should have ended at this point. (Was this coincidental with the Hero being named after another famous Rick, as in Casablanca)? The Plot, however, continues, as Floyd calls to Rick, and June peels back the Enchantress’ exterior shell, and this couple is given a HEA ending. There are also other possible Love pairings: Captain Boomerang and Kiana.
A current filmmaker’s technique that I’ve also observed in last week’s review of Jason Bourne: the telling/showing of key information twice throughout the film, sometimes, the important theme is repeated three times in Suicide Squad.
In the Epilogue, the Movie Viewer is shown how each SS member returns to the prison, which is where the Viewer expected it to end. The Post-Showdown scene involves Harley reading a Romance Novel inside her cell while sipping Espresso, and the Viewer doesn’t know what’s happening… until, Guard 23 saws open the locked cell, and The Joker appears in his own Black SWAT Suit with his name on the chest. He rescues her for the next HFN ending/plotline.
*Stay past the Ending Star Credits (above the line credits)!
The Viewer is given a Preview of Coming Attractions (aka future screenplays) with a scene involving Amanda and Bruce Wayne. The Viewer is treated to 3 new characters, whom Bruce calls friends, who will take care of Gotham’s problems. One of the pictures is of actor Miles Teller (post Fantastic Four). Bruce promises Amanda that she’ll be under his protection if she can deliver the goods as promised. She pulls out another “Top Secret” file.
There is a long list of actors and actresses, so I’m listing the Main ones and their characters:
- · Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc (aka Waylon Jones)
- · Ike Barinholtz as Griggs
- · Adam Beach as Slipknot
- · Alain Chanoine as Businessman and Incubus
- · Common as Monster T
- · Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang (one of my current fave actors, great to see him again since last summer’s Terminator: Genisys)
- · Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
- · Cara Delevingne as June Moone aka Enchantress
- · Robert Atkin Downes as Angelo aka Incubus
- · Scott Eastwood as Lieutenant GQ Edwards; son of Clint Eastwood, who grew up coincidentally in Hawaii (!!). Looking forward to seeing him starring in Fast 8, which is in pre-production now! (Thank you for assisting in the foundation after the loss of Paul Walker).
- · Karen Fukuhara as Kiana
- · David Harbour as Dexter Tolliver
- · Jay Hernandez as Diablo
- · Jared Leto as The Joker
- · James McGowan as Panda Man
- · Ezra Miller as The Flash
- · Jim Parrack as Frost
- · Shailyn Pierre-Dixon as Zoe
- · Margot Robbie as Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel aka Harley Quinn
- · Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
- · Will Smith as Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot
- · Kevin Vance as Kowalski (Seal Team A)
- · Lastly, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne aka Batman (another fine looking actor, looking good!)
*Written and Directed by David Ayer. Thanks to the EP Team of 5 producers, who laid it on the line and made it happen. At a production cost of $175 million, this film is very stylistic and the Story moves along. There is no restroom break here.
*Cinematography by Roman Vasyanov.
Thank you to the numerous crews who made it happen – Makeup, Special Effects, Art, Sound, Stunts, Electrical and Unit Film Crews. This was a huge undertaking, and I appreciate everyone who worked on this film. Making it come alive from a Graphic Novel format is a creative endeavor.
After all, don’t you wish you were a Superhero? Or, maybe not. Stay tuned for more next time for Film Adventures…
What do you think?
Does this film deliver?
Other DC Comic Flicks
Batman vs Superman
Dawn of Justice