There's a battle currently going on in the superhero movie genre and it doesn't involve anyone in a cape or shiny red tights. It's a battle between film critics and movie audiences who are once again at odds over Suicide Squad, DC Comics' latest outing. There's actually a petition started by a fan to shut down the review site Rotten Tomatoes because according to him: “Critics always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust bad reviews...and that Affects people's opinion.”
There seems to be this notion that film critics are against anything DC makes and raves about anything that has to do with Marvel. But let's be honest, that seems a bit far-fetched. Do we really think that film critics conspire against DC movies and talk to each other about how they're going to bash them? Of course not. Kung binabayaran ako ng Marvel para mag-sulat ng positive reviews about their movies, please let me know kung paano ko sisingilin si Iron Man kasi malaki na ang utang niya sa akin.
The face of fans everywhere when the reviews started coming in
When early reviews for Suicide Squad first came out (including this website's), a lot of fans were up in arms with all the negative things critics had written about the movie. Fans couldn't believe something that looked so good in the trailers can be called awful. But at the end of the day, reviews are just a person's opinion and you can agree or disagree with it. Even if legendary director Martin Scorsese himself wrote a film review for Suicide Squad, some people will probably still say that he doesn't know what he's talking about. (O eh 'di ikaw na mas magaling kay Scorsese!) And the funny thing about that is, Direk Marty can indeed get it wrong. Everyone has reasons for liking something and all of them are legitimate.
There are a few good things to like about
the squad despite all the negative reviews
I happen to be part of a minority of film critics (I actually prefer the term "film enthusiast" because the word "critic" has such a negative connotation but enough about me) that enjoyed the film. I'm not just going against the grain here, I actually thought it was fun and it was exactly how I expected it to be. Granted, some of the negative comments were spot on but it's not the disaster that a lot of people are making it out to be. I enjoyed it better than I did Batman v Superman. So if you have yet to see Suicide Squad and are a bit wary because of the bad reviews, here are a few things you can like about it.
(WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!)
1) Suicide Squad doesn't take itself seriously, and that's a good thing.
Love it or hate it, we'll remember SS as the movie where
Margot Robbie looked hot in short shorts
A lot of critics have been making comments about how the movie is too "over-the-top" and how "the premise doesn't make sense." Those comments are valid but I don't know what these critics were expecting really. The government takes the nastiest villains in the DC Universe and forms an elite squad to save the world from other meta-humans. But didn't that already sound over-the-top to you when you saw the trailer? Hindi ba maghahanap ng sasapakin si Batman pag nalaman niyang yung mga pinaghirapan niyang hulihin pinakawalan ni Amanda Waller? While we're at it, would you really rely on these villains if the fate of the world depended on it? Maybe you could depend on them for minor missions but surely nothing as important as this one, right? Bakit sila pa, busy ba si Batman?
But it's a superhero movie, so suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite. Would you say that the story of Superman was more grounded on reality? Not really. I think people are expecting too much from Suicide Squad. It's based from a comic book not Shakespeare. Don't take it too seriously and just go along for the ride.
2) Cara Delevingne as Enchantress is unintentionally funny.
Cara plays someone na nasa early stages ng pagiging taong grasa
Let's be fair here, Cara Delevingne is primarily a model, not an actress, so don't expect her to pull a Meryl Streep and sweep you off your feet with her acting. But I think the material she was given in the movie made her look funny unintentionally. Some might see that as a flaw and it probably is; but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. She literally had to do a crazy, funny-looking rythmic dance in front of a raging fire/energy force for half of the movie. I actually wonder how directing those scenes went for her. What did the director tell her? "O, take 72! Cara, sige harap ka lang diyan sa apoy tapos gumiling-giling ka ulit ah. Isipin mo parang ginagapang ng mga higad yung katawan mo. Tapos sabayan mo ng mata ni Undertaker ah!" And can we talk about how as an archaeologist, she probably should have known better than to twist the head of a 3,000-year-old statue she found in the jungle? Cara naman eh.
3) Certain members of the Justice League get cameos.
Pa-minsan minsan pag coding yung Batmobile nag-u-Uber na si Batman
I won't mention who else makes an appearance for the benefit of those who haven't seen the movie yet but I will talk about Batman's cameo since we know from the trailers that he's in the movie. People have been wondering how he fits into Suicide Squad's plot. If you're aware of the background of these characters at all, you probably do know that some members of the squad like Deadshot and Harley Quinn are Batman's villains. In fact, he's the one responsible for bringing them in. The great thing about the Batman cameo is that it ties up the movie with the rest of the DC movies. SPOILER ALERT: There's a scene where Batffleck confronts Deadshot in front of his daughter in the middle of a dark alley. Didn't Batman lose his parents when someone jumped his family in the middle of a dark alley? And he's now doing it to Deadshot. Batman is such an asshole sometimes.
4) The soundtrack was awesome.
One thing Suicide Squad did better than most superhero movies was to use the soundtrack effectively. It had the luxury to do so since like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, this movie is less serious than its peers. You can't really expect to see a montage of Batman working out in his Bat Cave while "Work" by Rihanna plays in the background right? But you can play a Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" as Will Smith's Deadshot demonstrates to a group of tense spectators behind him his sharpshooting skills. Or Eminem's "Without Me" as the squad gets reunited with their gear. Although it seems hastily edited and the sudden jumps were at times confusing, I still enjoyed the opening montage where the movie introduced the different members of the squad mainly because of the effective use of music.
5) You'll see an interpretation of the Joker character you've never seen before in movies.
Justin Bieber in a few years probably
Look, talented as he is there really was no way Jared Leto was topping Heath Ledger's performance anyway. Heath Ledger won an Academy Award for playing the Joker and the mystique behind the role grew even further because some say that the role played a part in his demise. Jared Leto is an award-winning actor himself but Heath Ledger was just really hard to beat. Isipin mo kung yung ex ng girlfriend mo si James Reid tapos ikaw yung sumunod. Kahit gwapo ka pa mananalo ka ba? Sasabihin nila, "Gwapo naman siya kaso hindi siya si James Reid eh." Bad trip di ba? Ang gwapo mo na pero di pa rin enough!
But the Joker appears in Suicide Squad for only a fraction so that's probably not a big enough sample size to really judge whether Leto did well or not. It's a new interpretation that we haven't seen in movies before—Joker crazy in love. This facet of the Joker character has not been explored in movies so much, so it's interesting to see. It adds a new dimension to the character because there's finally something about him to relate to. Did you ever imagine saying something like that about the Joker?
As someone who writes about movies, I know that criticizing something that people care about will naturally upset them. But on the other hand, you also have to be honest if you think the movie isn't good. Personally, I'd rather be honest to my readers than write something that I think they'll like but I don't really believe in. As a film enthusiast, I enjoyed watching Suicide Squad. Whether that influences you or not, is entirely up to you.
Rey de la Cruz Jr. likes talking about films as much as he likes watching them. He runs www.reyview.org, a site that provides Filipino moviegoers with reviews written in a voice that is uniquely Pinoy.