It’s okay. Definitely not a bad film.
Writer & Director: David Ayer, Full cast, Run time:2h3m
Let’s first shout out the cinematographer, Roman Vasyanov, involved with making Toronto look nothing like Toronto. As I watched I tried to look for where the CN Tower was much less any other well known spot was and outside from the obvious, it was rather hard to tell. Mixed in with some post shots of Chicago, it was very well shot. It was hard to tell, at times between studio and city locations. thats always a good thing artistically.
If I’m applauding the cinematic look first that may be a sign.
But it’s not a bad one.
Now for my analysis. Now, when Bruce Timm and crew made the character “Harleen Quinzel” I don’t believe they had ever intended to be the characterization of what all holloween costumes are for girls these days. Some skimpy clad caricature of something. And the wardrobe head on the film dropped the ball here. Now with things like Hot Topic, she’s all you seemingly see ladies in geekdom dress as. It’s as common as you see black spots on a pavement on a busy city street. The more she has revealed skin, the higher her popularity rose. In a way, she is like many females on social media who show skin to get a lil fame. Now this aside, there are great moments from Margot Robbie that brings the famed and loved take of Harlequin from the animated series. They just come much later in the film than one hopes for. What is most interesting is how well she plays off everyone graciously. The physical contrast to standing next to Killer Croc, Deadshot and the villian witch, while inna some bhatty ridas, and heels, allowed for her character to feel as authentic as she could possibly be at being a bad ass. By the end of the film I was so pleased with how well she acted. But still only for the second half.
The elephant in the room should be seen and spoken about. When he was casted as…….. Deadshot. Nah, The Joker. Jared Leto. Everyone thought he was a great choice, as he’s a sound actor. He has a quality method acting ability. If you doubted the casting, you were always reminded about Heath’s casting for TDK. THEN Mr. Leto’s look as the Joker was released and all geekdom hell broke loose. Needless to say, you either accepted it, or hated it and moved on. I’m definitely the latter. However, is mannerisms as Mr. J were all right. If Mark Hamil is the definitive Joker, then Leto may be the best on screen, (but I still think Heath is best Joker as his take is much deeper and darker a character). But his performance(Leto) in the role he was given was excellent. I don’t like the story’s portrayal, but it is similar to stories of past takes on the Joker being more of a gangster versus just a mad clown. But there is a mad clown for sure. I don’t think he matches up with how we saw Batman, in BVS, but the Batman we see in S.Squad, seems more plausible. But more on that later. The one thing I think people will dislike is his look, and feeling of being too much of a gangster. Mr.Ayer said he
“writes with his own life’s diversity in mind.“
And that he
“was the only white kid in his neighbourhood.”(-comingsoon.net, S.Squad presser)
so maybe how Joker was written had something to do with that.
Viola Davis. She can act man. SHE CAN REALLY ACT. She was probably the most bad ass of them all. Her screen time is logistically limited but with every frame, she gracefully commands and shares the screen well(Also shout to to the editor(s) who worked on her stuff).
At the younger age of 50(Her birthday is tomorrow) and probably her first ever huge blockbuster, she did an amazing job. I was very proud of her performance. She could quite possibly have the best take of Amanda Waller. She held her own in many ways and seemed is the most authentic to the source material. Apparently she drew from her 8 year old bad-assself.
Smith. He was the one I didn’t think would ever do “another” superhero movie, but alas, here we are. He is just an acting beast. Aside from the Joker, he just almost captivates the screen. Where the Joker shows up and everyone is intrigued, the face and name of Smith does the same, but he has such a character arc, that just makes you appreciate the fact he’s in the film. He has a particular moment when the mission starts and he is essentially a one man army. They all kind of get a moment, but really as the odd man out, he rather owns his the most. All the elements of his character arc are well crafted. Nothing ground breaking, but his arc is definitely a stand out.
Jai Courtney is someone I have a love/hate relationship with. I loved his role in Spartacus, but since, he’s done nothing that has won me over as he did in his Spartacus role. This however, is as close as he’s come since. He comes in as Captain Boomerang. Which was first portrayed by another one of his Spartacus Co-stars on the CW Network’s Arrow/Flash shows. The two are strikingly different. Which isn’t a bad thing but I just couldn’t help but feel his portrayal was just there for comic relief. Seriously, what was up with that pink unicorn? Mr. Boomerang seemed to have a story that we will see in later movies. Which was cool, but they need to stake a page from Marvel and make their movies a bit more self contained. I wish i could say more about this character but he was one of the under used ones.
The rest f the cast seems to just be skimmed over. Which is logical as it is unfortunate. With all the flashbacks already in the film anymore and it may as well have been Arrow the movie. But I imagine with all the characters who do have a flash back, you’re more than likely going to see them pip uo again in future films.
What I found to be a great addition to the movie was Ben Affleck’s Batman being a hero again. I’m all for Batman being a seasoned hero with a chip on his shoulder, but I want to see why that happens. I want to see some real ground work as to what would make that guy as pissed off as ever. But with the events of BvS now part of the DCEU canon, the only way to go from here is up. He is just a background character. People will whine about not seeing more of him but I think he was used perfectly. It’s not about him. It’s about (his) villains.
My issues with this movie are these. Whenever they have text on the screen be it for a brief description or a means of letting you know where the story is taking place, it comes across the screen so fast that I heard more than one person say what did that one say? Two people I sat beside even asked me what the very first one said as it was black text over a shadowy area of a screen. That’s just poor editing work.
The seeming disappointing use of characters. Example: Slipknot is in the movie but there really wasn’t a need for it. He was literally there just to prove an unnecessary point so early on. i also feel that the handling of Kitana was a cheap gimmick to wrap up the story. I do like that they tried to give El Diablo some back story but again, came off cheap. His origin is unique to the film, but he is really just Ghost Rider.
The disconnect is there but it’s there to add a layer of perspective. It’s cool and adds to the character of Enchantress, but it was again not necessary.
My biggest issue was it felt too much like X-men: Age of Apocalypse. Centuries old being hates the planet, has to create some stupid metal thing that’s pretty obvious how to take down even tho its the first time anyone has ever seen them.
Lastly, I hated the way the made Killer Croc look. his scales looked more like mini eyeballs than it did scales. but I do applaud them for going practical versus cgi. but maybe if there is a sequel, that will happen. I hope it does. That said, he did as fine a job as one could hope. I will give credit to the application of his costume, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje didn’t look anything like himself on screen.
Bottom Line: It’s a summer popcorn flick that was made to entertain and it does that. there are clear problems; but it’s nothing as bad as the theatrical release of Batman v Superman. There is loads of action sometimes its unnecessary, other times you wish it went on a bit longer. you leave the theatre wishing they included just a wee bit more of the Joker.
I’m proud this was Filmed mostly if not entirely in Toronto.
- Overall rating of the movie: 5.5 out of 10,
- Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
- Editing: 6 out of 10,
- Audio: 5 out of 10,
- Acting: 8 out of 10,
Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? See it on a cheap day, but you really could just wait for the blu ray.