What was almost a disaster of a movie and movie going experience turned out to be highy enjoyable. Yesterday at noon, I unsubscribed from all my movie and comic forums, facebooks and twitters. I broke once to check out two trusted critics. One hated SS and another loved it. Things didn't look good. Then I got an email from WB saying the screening was overbooked and to arrive as early as 1 hour before. My girlfriend and I both work until 5:30 so that was cutting it close with the theater 20 minutes away and a 7pm start.
I hauled out of work and we got to the theater at 6 sharp. We were somewhere back near the entrance to the lobby in a huge line from the entrance to the theater and half the line already got in. We didn't think we would make it. Turns out we were less than 10 people from being cut off. Inside we couldn't find a seat, every seat appeared taken, so two studio reps started looking for us. My girlfriend ended up in the front row while they tried to find one for me. Suddenly, a wild nice old lady appears and says she has two right next to each other. They were smack dab in the middle of the theater. The perfect seats. It was like our Lord and Savior, Geoff Johns (praise be!) came down and shined a light on them. Movie saved.
I won't go into spoiler details, but Suicide Squad was just shy of what I was expecting. I don't know if the screener was different from what the critics saw, but it wasn't the doom and gloom I read. The very packed theater of 455 people really seemed to enjoy it. The whole place kept laughing of what seemed to be a mixed crowd. An old lady to my left, young kids behind us, young adults and middle aged folk in what I fully expected to be a neckbeard festival with nothing but Flash and GL shirts (I own both). Yet, it seemed like I was the only DC nerd there giggling under my breath when Captain Boomerang started talking with Slipknot.
The theater was electric to say the least which is very different from the premier night of BvS. BvS had the crowd just kind of like “Welp :/” when it was all over. Suicide Squad had people laughing quite a bit and some clapped when it was over. The entire the theater seemed to have a nice buzz about it.
Neither myself or or my girl who hates, just hates BvS could figure out the pacing issues critics had. It's a bit heavy upfront with character introductions, which is more of a 20 minute montage, but I doubt most could tell you anything about Amanda Waller or Enchantress, so the intros, complete with Zombieland-ish fact sheets, were welcome.
Amanda Waller is a mean bitch and just perfect. So cruel. If you're not familiar with her, she is the only person who can make Batman blink.
Oh and Batman… This is the Batman like I have never seen him on film. He fucking cares and he has empathy. It was a moment straight from the comics. Not panel for panel like “I Believe You” in BvS, but a small moment that shows his character. The way he told Deadshot he didn't want to take him down in front of his daughter. Just awesome.
Here is the bad: Villain is weak, I can't say more than that. The Joker suuuuuucks. He has very, very little screentime, so it's almost a non issue. It's not Leto's fault either, it's the style he was given to portray and the way he was written. Modern day gangsta Joker and I hate it. Will Smith plays Will Smith, but not once did he say “aw hell no.” And Deadshot was written as Will Smith, so it doesn't make it a bad decision. I like the dude, so his grounded character works.
Solid movie. 3 of 4 stars and didn't pay much fan service as much as it pandered to audiences for laughs. There isn't a whole lot of substance here, just a popcorn script and action fun.
Character breakdown grades from a comic fan:
Amanda Waller A+++++
Captain Boomerang A+ (needs more screentime)
Rick Flag A
Diablo A- (also needs more screentime)
Killer Croc B-
Slipknot - Special needs class participation award
Cameos - Yay!
Stay for the credits.