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The Suicide Squad - James Gunn now confirmed to write and Direct - Summer 2021


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Enjoyed this.  It’s. it the second coming like I’ve been hearing people on Twitter say (not that I trust Twitter as a barometer of these things anyway) but it’s one of the better DC efforts for sure.  For all the adverts pushing it being from “the twisted mind of James Gunn” though, it’s not really that messed up.  Sure it’s gory in a few spots and there’s a reveal late on that’s pretty dark.  But really what’s Gunns brought, similar to what made GotG good, is giving us a team that we can get behind.  Which he does really well - there isn’t a moment as strong as the team joining with Quill to use the power stone, but by the time the remaining members did the walk off to the final battle, I was 100% hoping they’d all survive.

 

That said, none of the deaths really shocked me and one scene definitely had a Deadpool vibe to it but not as good.  Spoilered below for that scene.

 

Spoiler

Pretty much as soon as the film opened, I was preeeetty sure we were getting a Deadpool 2 X force style massacre.  Which we did, but none of them were that funny or interesting really.  It was an enjoyable scene, and the follow on scenes that tied in around it made it more interesting, but it really felt like they were putting the B team out there with Quinn and Flagg to be slaughtered, and threw in Boomerang as if that was somehow to show that they were going to kill off people you didn’t expect.


The other issue was that the promo materials made it really clear who was going to make up most the film, and easy to guess the many Slipknots in this one.  Like, Gunn said there was misdirection going on, but if there was, it wasn’t that good.

 

That said, I don’t think it’s a film where you need to go in spoiler free and get your expectations subverted to enjoy - it doesn’t really do that.  Instead, it’s a fun romp, with likeable characters who are fun to watch bounce off each other.

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27 minutes ago, Welrain said:

I’d not seen any trailers etc so was totally surprised when 

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The first team got massacred 


I don’t really engage in promo materials…they just spoil the film.

Nothing in the promo material alluded to that happening, so even I was shocked. I expected 

Spoiler

some to die because Gunn had confirmed they would (it's called Suicide Squad afterall), but nothing like what happened at the start

 

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I enjoyed this for the most part but there’s no way it needed to be nigh-on two and a half hours. So many scenes were just that little bit overlong, particular the action scenes, which is an odd flaw that seems to have become a feature of superhero movies generally. 

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14 hours ago, strider said:

Just watched this and can’t get my head around it. Felt very disjointed with really bad pacing issues.

I’ve never seen Harley Quinn in anything before, is she an idiot in the comics as well?

 

She started in the animated series.

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21 minutes ago, strider said:

Thanks. It's since been pointed out to me that she also has a PHD and various other things. She sounds a lot more interesting in other media. 

 

I'd say the Harley Quinn animated series has the most rounded version of her character but she's still portrayed as "whacky" and someone who doesn't really think things through.

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19 hours ago, strider said:

Thanks. It's since been pointed out to me that she also has a PHD and various other things. She sounds a lot more interesting in other media. 

 

I think the context is important. She's in no way dumb, but she absolutely bears the trauma of a world she didn't make. A kind of fairytale archetype of a capable woman made into something very different by extreme, patriarchal circumstances.

 

That said, a lot of the time in the past it manifested as baby voices and skimpy clothes. Which, I suppose, is meta.

 

It's a bit problematic that she's been almost entirely defined through the lens of (a) man's impact on her, but they seem to be trying to move away from that recently.

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It was all over the place wasn't it?  That final Taika Waititi scene was like something out of The Greatest Showman, the beach assault like something from The Boys.

 

It certainly had moments, but it was just so uneven.  I can't put my finger on it but DC just haven't nailed costumes or "look" like the Marvel movies have.  Were the costumes meant to look shit?  Are they supposed to to have that home made, Watchmen aesthetic?  Like Hooded Justice?  And if so, why do so many frames of the movie just look plain ugly (is that the world building?  It's the world building right?)

 

I really liked:

 

Spoiler

The menace and violence and sociopathy Harley demonstrated, Robbie was acting her socks off.

 

That moment when she opens her eyes whilst strung up, the delicate absurd way she picks up the key with her feet, the way she lifts herself up to unlock the shackles).  It was all so purposeful, and physical and believable.  She's a terror.

 

And the moment when she shot the president, and talks about how beautiful he is with those evil thoughts out of his head.  That was genuinely chilling and great callbacks to her founding as a character.

 

Props also to Viola Davis who was terrifying in moments as well.  Her screaming and spitting into the radio was great stuff.

 

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He confirmed it in an interview with Collider

 

 

Quote

Well, I think in some ways it's something that ... I did a video game called Lollipop Chainsaw, and I always loved the sort of ... In that game, which I did was with Suda in Japan, I always loved the way that the hearts and beautiful little things came out of people mixed with blood. So, a lot of it goes back to that, the aesthetic of mixing this horrible gore with Harley's starry-eyed way of looking at life and creating Harley-vision basically. So that was something that came on very early. It was in the first draft of the script

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Just finished this and thought it was great. The first actually, properly good DC movie from start to finish since Shazam.

 

The belly laughs started early for me and were pretty much always from the violence which is mostly hilarious. For the first twenty minutes or so I thought it was pretty cute, but not in the same league as his Guardians movies. As it went on I liked it more and more though, and the last hour was probably better than the first hour.

 

The characters were all really well rounded, and expendable. I always thought Robbie’s Harley while looking great was a bit flat, and here it’s almost like she’s in a different movie for a lot of the time. Her portrayal just didn’t gel with the rest of the team for me. I mean, she carried the first Suicide Squad but even in Birds of Prey she’s kinda overshadowed by the other actors, and in this she’s just out-classed. Not sure why as Robbie’s a decent actress. 
 

Anyway, apart from that, I loved it. Want to watch it again as soon as possible.

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  • 4 months later...
On 24/08/2021 at 22:58, strider said:

Just watched this and can’t get my head around it. Felt very disjointed with really bad pacing issues.

I’ve never seen Harley Quinn in anything before, is she an idiot in the comics as well?

 
Bit late replying to this but ah well….

 

Harley, when she’s written well, is really good.  I mean, that’s true for anyone I guess, but as you’ve put about her being an idiot, if she’s not done well, she can come across as an annoying bimbo trying to be funny.  Part of the problem is that the stuff that can make her interesting is hard to write well (mainly her abusive relationship with the Joker, but there’s other stuff too), and sometimes writers have gone to all in with the “sexy psycho chick” as her predominant feature.

 

The first Suicide Squad hinted at some of this, but didn’t really pull the trigger.  Rumours were the plan was to have a solo Harley film all along to go into it, but that became Birds Of Prey which (by Robbies wishes) shared focus with Canary/Huntress/Cop woman who’s name escapes me now, and that didn’t really go as much into Harleys story as I’d have hoped.  The general backstory is that she was a young psychologist who no one took seriously, which pushed her to try and “crack” the Joker while he was at Arkham.  Most stories have Joker then manipulating her to help him escape, but in doing so she becomes infatuated with him.  The first film has a blink and you’ll miss it hint that she actually managed to get through to him in ways that other doctors didn’t and it freaked him out.  There’s a really bad take on this in one comic that got panned where she’s basically not very good, but slept with doctors to progress, and has always been basically a bit “crazy”.  I’m convinced though that part of that comes from there being a surprising number of people who fetishise the Joker/Harley relationship.  One guy I worked with constantly used to talk about “finding his Harley”, and when he was in relationships compared him/her to the pair.  Perhaps unsurprisingly I found out a bit ago (haven’t worked with him for a couple of years) that he’s still single and one of his ex’s has a restraining order against him and several have warned other women to stay away.

 

Id like to see a good Harley story on screen.  There are some good ones out there - I like some of her Injustice arc, some of the stories with her and Poison Ivy are good too.  And if they went into some of the joker stuff, which could be pretty dark, I think Robbie could pull it off no problem.

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I thought this would be good fun but it was absolutely terrible. 

Rubbish story, rubbish characters, really unnecessarily violent in quite a sick way. The whole thing has a really unfunny, adolescent style of humour running through it. 

I absolutely hated it. 

 

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1 hour ago, George Clooney said:

There’s a really bad take on this in one comic that got panned where she’s basically not very good, but slept with doctors to progress, and has always been basically a bit “crazy”.

 

That was in Dini & Timm's Mad Love, the very first telling of her origin story:

 

RCO012_1466063383.thumb.jpg.674b82b1329ba4ae9afe09bed14015a1.jpg

 

Apart from that one detail, it's otherwise generally thought of as a great Batman comic.

 

That image is from this Scans Daily page - the last few comments at the bottom of the page are from other people who dislike the idea that she was a bad student who seduced her way to good grades:

 

https://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/8028318.html

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8 hours ago, George Clooney said:

 
Bit late replying to this but ah well….

 

Harley, when she’s written well, is really good.  I mean, that’s true for anyone I guess, but as you’ve put about her being an idiot, if she’s not done well, she can come across as an annoying bimbo trying to be funny.  Part of the problem is that the stuff that can make her interesting is hard to write well (mainly her abusive relationship with the Joker, but there’s other stuff too), and sometimes writers have gone to all in with the “sexy psycho chick” as her predominant feature.

 

The first Suicide Squad hinted at some of this, but didn’t really pull the trigger.  Rumours were the plan was to have a solo Harley film all along to go into it, but that became Birds Of Prey which (by Robbies wishes) shared focus with Canary/Huntress/Cop woman who’s name escapes me now, and that didn’t really go as much into Harleys story as I’d have hoped.  The general backstory is that she was a young psychologist who no one took seriously, which pushed her to try and “crack” the Joker while he was at Arkham.  Most stories have Joker then manipulating her to help him escape, but in doing so she becomes infatuated with him.  The first film has a blink and you’ll miss it hint that she actually managed to get through to him in ways that other doctors didn’t and it freaked him out.  There’s a really bad take on this in one comic that got panned where she’s basically not very good, but slept with doctors to progress, and has always been basically a bit “crazy”.  I’m convinced though that part of that comes from there being a surprising number of people who fetishise the Joker/Harley relationship.  One guy I worked with constantly used to talk about “finding his Harley”, and when he was in relationships compared him/her to the pair.  Perhaps unsurprisingly I found out a bit ago (haven’t worked with him for a couple of years) that he’s still single and one of his ex’s has a restraining order against him and several have warned other women to stay away.

 

Id like to see a good Harley story on screen.  There are some good ones out there - I like some of her Injustice arc, some of the stories with her and Poison Ivy are good too.  And if they went into some of the joker stuff, which could be pretty dark, I think Robbie could pull it off no problem.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to this. I’ve been told similar stuff by a few other people/friends so it sounds like the are far more interesting versions of her to read about.

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