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Will the Suicide Squad movie be any good?

By Alex Wiggan

On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you for the Suicide Squad movie? Come on, let’s get a virtual show of hands going on here.

Six? Eight? Ten?

Well at present, based solely on the recently released trailer and the cast photo which did the rounds a few months back, I’d have to say I’m a six. A solid six; but a six nonetheless.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some DC-hating cinema goer only concerned with Marvel movies; in fact I love a lot of DC movies. Superman: The Movie (1978) and Batman Begins (2005) are on my top ten list of all-time favourite films and I also enjoyed Man of Steel (2013), The Losers (2010) and pretty much anything that has animated DC characters in it. I’m even watching an episode of the 1960s Batman series as I type these words (The Impractical Joker/The Joker’s Provokers to be exact), so I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of DC and most of its output.

Yet all that said, my reaction to the Suicide Squad has so far been pretty muted. I’m not against it, I just don’t have any strong feelings towards it either way.

My issue with Suicide Squad – and it’s a simple one – is that I’ve yet to get excited about it. The casting seems fine; I like Will Smith, Margot Robbie will no doubt be great as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto will make the perfect Joker, it’s just that recent trailer did nothing for me. Yeah it looks like the story will be executed quite well, but nothing about the trailer wowed me.

Of course, I may be alone in this.

Writing for Forbes.com, Forbes contributor Mark Hughes, recently wrote about the unveiling of the Suicide Squad movie trailer at the San Diego Comic-Con and the response it received. The same trailer which he referred to as “a brilliant Suicide Squad trailer.”

Hughes went on to say, “Suicide Squad’s trailer was so amazing and the reaction to it so positive, it further demonstrated how this film is going to exceed expectations and utilise the Joker-Batman combination to maximum effect.

“This is a dark, twisted film that’s completely outside the box for the superhero genre, while still featuring enough big branding and mainstream appeal to win over a wide fanbase.”

Suicide Squad

Hughes’ comments are based on a viewing of the trailer and come well ahead of seeing the finished film, meaning they could quite possibly change; however, the trailer has done the trick and has sold him on the movie long before its release date. Likewise, from personally speaking to a few people this week the general consensus seems to be a big thumbs up for the Suicide Squad trailer.

So the most important question remains, will the Suicide Squad movie be any good?

Well to answer that, let me put aside my feelings towards the trailer (or rather, my lack of feelings) and take the film on its own merits.

First up, if nothing else the film is coming out at a time when audiences are perhaps ready for a movie which focuses on villains instead of heroes. Over the past few years TV audiences have embraced villains in a way unlike ever before, from Hannibal and Dexter, to Norman Bates and Walter White.

Just take a look at the way audiences championed Walter White on hit TV show Breaking Bad. White was a morally dubious character whose decisions became even more questionable as time went by, yet he was so darn interesting to watch.

In August 2013, Kirsten Acuna of Business Insider.com wrote a piece titled 13 Reasons Why Everyone is Obsessed with Breaking Bad. She said:

“We can’t think of another television series that introduces a sympathetic main character who slowly becomes diabolical, greedy, self-centred, and cruel.”

I couldn’t agree more; but then villains are always the most interesting characters as they seem to go on the biggest journeys, whether those villains be the stars of TV or cinema. White might not have been a traditional villain, but he was still a bad guy nonetheless and we all invested time in his story, very much in the same way audiences flocked to cinemas to watch Maleficent (2014) and will no doubt head to theatres to watch Deadpool (2016).

It’s worth noting that Marvel Studios has so far fumbled almost all of it’s cinematic villains (not counting Loki of course), so audiences have yet to see that many strong supervillains on the big screen when compared to the amount of heroes who have popped up in recent years. This means that villain fatigue has yet to set in, which bodes well for Suicide Squad.

Now let’s take another look at that cast, or rather three key characters from the core cast: Harley Quinn, the Joker and Batman. Yep, Batman is set to appear in Suicide Squad and even if it is just for a few minutes he will be a big draw which will guarantee bums on seats, as will fan-favourite characters Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Joker Jared Leto

Some may not be convinced by Jared Leto as the Joker, but then many weren’t all that crazy about Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson until they saw them in action. The simple truth is that Leto would not have been cast unless he was more than capable of taking on the part, so I expect him to join the list of great Jokers (which includes Cesar Romero and Mark Hamill) come August 2016.

So the cast looks good and there is certainly a gap in the market for Suicide Squad, I guess the final selling point of the movie is the fact that it is another step on the road to a shared DC Cinematic Universe (DCCU). Marvel has had a head start on this journey and it’s paid off, so it will be good to see how Suicide Squad slots into the DCCU and how it develops the universe that fans of the comics have come to enjoy for so long.

With a year to go before Suicide Squad is unleashed on audiences it’s impossible to say whether or not the film will be a hit, but it’s safe to say that it stands a good chance of appealing to fans of the comics. Whether this appeal will extend to non-comic book fans is another matter altogether and that is maybe its biggest challenge, but it certainly has a lot going for it.

For now, when it comes to Suicide Squad I’m sticking with my solid six on the excitement scale but I’d like to think this will increase as we get closer to that release date. Perhaps I just need to be won over by Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will be released ahead of Suicide Squad. In all truth this is the film which really needs to convince audiences that a DCCU is something that they will want to invest time in.

So what do you think? Will the Suicide Squad movie be any good or do you think Warner Bros/DC Entertainment should concentrate on developing its heroes first? Let us know your thoughts and whether or not you are looking forward to Suicide Squad.

 

About Alex Wiggan: Alex is looking forward to seeing Ben Affleck take over the role of Batman. He thinks he will knock it out of the park.

 

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