Suicide Squad (Review)

suicide-squad-Harley and Deadshot

At Least the Team is Good

Can a director write a script in six weeks and make a really good blockbuster? Suicide Squad tries to answer that question and it is resounding no! Warner Bros. signed David Ayer, director of Fury and End of the Watch, in September 2014 to write and direct the Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. had the film scheduled to start filming in April of 2015 and to be released in August of 2016. David Ayer had 7 months before filming. He had to research the characters, write a decent script, cast the team (which most of the team December of 2015), and start pre-production in 7 months. Steven Spielberg, John Ford, or any other famous Hollywood Director could have completed this task Warner Bros. and again the studio failed to supersede Marvel’s success.  Suicide Squad turned out to be a mess but is saving grace are the characters and the chemistry that the actors display and really helps bond the characters together.

Superman is dead! The world doesn’t have anybody to protect it. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) believes that she can coerce a group of supervillains to fight for her and protect the world against other metahumans who want to destroy it.  She manipulates Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnamann) to fall in love with June Moon (Cara Delevinge) to keep her alter-ego, Enchantress, at bay. Enchantress quickly turns on Flagg and Waller. Waller seeking a way to stop Enchantress recruits the supervillains known as:  Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney),  and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to fight for her.  The supervillains must work together and prevent Enchantress from destroying the world.

Suicide Squad is a clock with a lot of broken parts but casting, visuals, and action is the parts that work. Visually has a dark setting but the lightening allows humor to be infused within the movie. The action is spectacular. Deadshot can take out an army of baddies by himself by him being so accurate. Harley beats people up with her bat and looks sexy while doing. Captain Boomerang has different kind of boomerangs that help him.  El Diablo and Killer Croc are the muscle with superhuman powers or strength that can rip enemies to shreds or burn them to a crisp. The action sequences are very entertaining because the team works together and each add humor some situations.

Will Smith nails Deadshot. Smith delivers a tormented heart felt performance  and is really the leader of the Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie is fantastic as Harley Quinn. She embodies all of the characteristics of the Harley. Jai Courtney is very entertaining as Captain Boomerang. Boomerang is such a ego maniac, snarky with every character, but also a badass. He really can kick ass in the film.  Jay Hernandez really portrays a tormented Diablo. The audience can tell that Diablo is super powerful but holds back and the movie explains that reasoning quite well. Adewale is really good Killer Croc. He has a physical presence on screen that makes his character very formable.  However, the real star is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.  Joel Kinnamann is great as Rick Flag but the leader and villain of this movie is Amanda Waller. Davis portrays Waller as ruthless, non-empathetic, and might be a bigger sociopath than the Joker. She will kill anybody to keep a secret.  Suicide Squad has major issues.

The Suicide Squad, despite the character performances, really is unevenly paced with pointless plot.  The pacing is uneven because the movie starts with a bang with the introduction of the team in the prison complex with different musical songs introducing them then switches to Amanda Waller with her song being Sympathy of the Devil.  The song selections were perfect introductions to the characters and their personalities. Waller is the devil so her song is perfect for her. The film switches to Amanda Waller narrating why we need a team metahumans because Superman is dead. Characters actually narrate about other characters during these flashbacks.  The audience spends about twenty minutes getting introduced to these characters and we don’t get to see Waller recruit the team and see their abilities until about 30 minutes in the movie.  The film switches to the Enchantress villain and it keeps switching. The Joker even has a subplot in the film about finding Harley Quinn.  The Joker is another big problem.

The Joker doesn’t belong in the movie. He is a distraction in the storyline, and Jared Leto’s acting is a major distraction.  His Joker is a mixed bag.  His Joker and Harley have a very co-dependent relationship which is nailed perfectly but on the other hand, his mannerisms as the Joker are not creepy and rather predictable. His best scene by himself might be in the night club flashback using Harley as a distraction to kill one of his henchman. However, he is not really memorable because the Harley flashbacks and his storyline take away from the enjoyment of seeing the Suicide Squad as a team together. I walked to the bathroom during a Harley and Joker flashback because the scene was so disinteresting.

Suicide Squad is a bad movie. Everybody is to blame besides the main actors not including Jared Leto as the Joker. The action sequences are good but not memorable. This DC movie has humor in which is a positive. Will Smith, Margo Robbie, and Viola Davis really help make this film entertaining enough to watch.  Warner Bros. Studios does deserve the blame because they expedited the developmental process to complete with Marvel and their marketing department put a emphasis on the Joker. He is in the movie for like 10 to 20 minutes and seriously takes away from the screen time of the team in the film. David Ayer also deserves some blame for adding the Joker in the movie.  However, Suicide Squad deserves a sequel where Deadshot, Harley, and the whole team deserve to come back and face a worthy villain that is entertaining. Suicide Squad gets 2.5 out 5.

 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (review)

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Out-of-the-Shadows-poster

More Turtle Time less Human Time

Despite critics panning the 2014 Turtles, audiences still flocked to see the movie because of one thing: IT’S THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES FOR GODSAKES.  These are characters that non geeks and nerds love because the four Turtles have unique personalities and great chemistry together.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the newest entry in the film franchise. Yes, the critics are panning the movie but honestly their opinion shocks me because this movie is a lot better than the 2014 reboot.  It might be the best Turtles movie ever.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows begins with the four turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo still conceal themselves from the public eye to fight crime in the New York City. They fight during the night, and train during the day or be teenagers and do nothing.   April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is there only connection to the human world. She is currently tracking Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and believes he is working with the Foot Clan and Shredder (Brain Tee). Shredder has plans his own to make an army to combat and get revenge on the Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows does have major flaws. The dialogue can be so over the top like “I am going to be a detective someday” as Casey Jones yells when he gets suspended from the force. He also taunts Shredder in the movie. Who taunts Shredder? Seriously, major plot hole, the Shredder is the most dangerous person on the planet and could kill Casey in a heartbeat. Shredder is a throw away character. He literally does nothing. Krang is god awful. He doesn’t do much either.  The positives outweigh the negatives.

The main positive are the Turtles and their chemistry. They make the movie fun because of their personalities. The Turtles have to deal with conflicts within the team. The additions of Rocksteady, Bebop, and Baxter Stockman are another positives. Rocksteady and Bebop are formidable foes against the Turtles. They do fight once, and the winner is not who you expect. Stockman is portrayed accurately by Perry. He’s manipulated by other’s with power like he usually is. Perry makes the scenes with him more entertaining because his commitment to the character.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows isn’t a perfect movie. It’s more entertaining their X-Men: Apocalypse and Batman V. Superman. The audience walked out of the theater smiling and enjoying the movie. On a side note, I had to convince someone to go see X-Men: Apocalypse last night. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Captain America: Civil War Review

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America    Robert Downey Jr.  Tony Stark / Iron Man    Scarlett Johansson   Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow    Sebastian Stan   Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier    Anthony Mackie   Sam Wilson / Falcon    Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine    Jeremy Renner   Clint Barton / Hawkeye    Chadwick Boseman   T'Challa / Black Panther    Paul Bettany  Vision    Elizabeth Olsen   Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch    Paul Rudd  Scott Lang / Ant-Man    Emily VanCamp  Sharon Carter    Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man    Daniel Brühl Zemo    Frank Grillo  Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. Tony Stark / Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Sebastian Stan
Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie
Sam Wilson / Falcon
Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine
Jeremy Renner
Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman
T’Challa / Black Panther
Paul Bettany Vision
Elizabeth Olsen
Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp Sharon Carter
Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Daniel Brühl Zemo
Frank Grillo Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

 

Is it really a Civil War?

Captain America: Winter Soldier was a giant box office hit in 2014.  Audiences came out of theaters wanting more Captain America movies. Marvel Studios announced later that year that Tony Stark (Iron Man) would be a character  in the next Captain America Film in order to adapt the Civil War storyline from the Marvel Comics.  The studio added more excitement from audiences when they announced Black Panther and Spider-Man would be added as characters.  Captain America stars Chris Evans as Captain America but also Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-man), and the rest of Avengers including Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes aka. The Winter Soldier).

It’s been one year since the fight with Ultron has leveled Sokovia, and the Avengers are solid cohesive team that are hunting Crossbones (Brock Rumlow, Frank Grillo). They track his location to Lagos and several Wakandas are killed when they attempt to capture him. The United Nations comes agreement called the Sokovia Accords. A governmental panel would have the authority to send the Avengers on missions, and the Avengers have no say where they go.  Naturally, this agreement causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man. The situation becomes more complicated when Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) plants a bomb and assassinates the King of Wakanda.  Captain America must decide to sign the Sokovia Accords or break the law by taking Bucky Barnes into custody, the Winter Soldier and his longtime friend, since vigilantes are outlawed.

The negatives of the film are that Vision and War Machine have little to do in the film. Vision was the coolest character in Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers a downgrade in this film. He has very little screentime, and his motivations for signing the Slovakian Accords are never fully explained. War Machine (Don Cheadle) joins the Slovakian Accords but his motivations are not fully explained either on signing the Slovakian Accords. The audience doesn’t know if it is his history with the government, his friendship with Tony Stark, or if he feels like it is the right thing to do. The other negative about Civil War is the government forcing superheroes to sign the accords. Personally, the introduction to the government wanting to control superheroes feels rushed. The film never fully resolves conflict between the two teams about governmental control.  Marvel Studios and the filmmakers should have waited to introduce this storyline by itself or waited after Thanos shows up in Avengers: Infinity Wars.  The two sides square off once and it’s a disappointment to only see them fight once.

Captain America: Civil War has a ton of positives and there are too many to describe. The two main themes are friendship and revenge. Bucky Barnes and Steve Rodgers have a friendship that stands the test of time.  The Winter Soldier is highly sought after in the movie for reasons. The government thinks he is a terrorist or Black Panther blames him for killing his father.  With all of this going on, Captain America finds himself in the middle trying to protect his friend and his belief puts him wrong side of the law.  Iron Man, Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), and Black Panther are vengeance driven throughout the film. The three characters take specific actions to retaliate something or someone based on their current beliefs or that happened in their past. The revenge plot is really the backbone of the storyline.

Spider-man and Black Panther are perfect additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-man is nailed perfectly by Tom Holland, and he nailed all of Spider-man’s mannerisms, attitudes, sarcasm, and background. Peter Parker is a dumpster driver in the movie. Tony Stark even makes fun of him for that.  Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. have perfect chemistry together onscreen while playing Spider-man and Iron Man. Downey Jr. will appear in Spider-man: Homecoming next year because of the chemistry with Holland. Black Panther was the other great audition.  Chadwick Boseman had a distinct African accent. He would command the audience’s attention while on screen.  He played a vengeful forceful Black Panther.  He and Holland made the audiences buzz about their performances while leaving the theater.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is a good movie with a lot of suspenseful action. Spider-man is so perfectly played to a T along with Black Panther.  The film does a great job in making audiences understand different character’s point of views. Captain America: Civil War gets a 4 out of 5.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review (no spoilers)

Batman played Ben Affleck Superman played Henry Cavill  Wonder Woman played Gal Gadot

Batman played Ben Affleck
Superman played Henry Cavill
Wonder Woman played Gal Gadot

Good Movie but Could be Greater

The last Superman movie, Man of Steel, divided many fans and critics. People were instantly excited when Warner Bros and Zack Synder announced at 2013 Comic Con that Batman would be in the next Superman movie. Batman V. Superman has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics. However, fans have said screwed the critics and either really enjoyed or liked the movie. The fans have one more joining their opinion on Batman V. Superman. Batman v. Superman is a good movie but could be better movie.

Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is a witness to Superman’s (Henry Cavil) and General Zod’s epic battle that destroys most of Metropolis. The battle and destruction of Wayne Tower leaves Bruce scarred and full of vengeful rage towards Superman. 18 months later, the question still remains “Is Superman a trustworthy force of good” in the world.  The Senate debates the question while Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is secretly manipulating behind the scenes of politics and using other methods to destroy Superman. His actions eventually lead to a giant conflict between Superman and Batman. However, there is an enemy lurking in the wings and an ally waiting to revealed for Batman and Superman have yet to discover.

Lets start with the bad first. No, it’s not Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne or Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. The worst part of the film is poorly edited first hour of the movie which tries to add subplots in the movie. The scenes are choppy and jump to quickly to another scene involving a different subplot. One scene particular is Bruce Wayne and  Alfred (Jeremy Irons) discussing attending Lex Luthor’s party to obtain Luthor’s knowledge about how to deal with Superman. The scene has maybe 5 lines of dialogue between them, and doesn’t give the audience a chance to emotional connection to the pair like in previous Batman movies.  The scene shown in the trailers when Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent banter with each other about the role of Batman and Superman is interrupted to soon.  After the dialogue, there is no tension because Lex Luthor immediately steps in and breaks up what could be an epic stair down. My final complaint about the movie is how Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is the problem solver in every mystery in the movie. Even though she is a journalist, Lois is overused and not allowing the other characters to solve problems themselves. However, the good outweighs the bad.

Bruce Wayne (Aflleck) confronting Diana Prince (Gadot)

Bruce Wayne (Aflleck) confronting Diana Prince (Gadot)

Batman V. Superman has many positives. For one, the portrayal of Lex Luthor by Jesse Eisenberg is perfect. Luthor is a devious sociopath that is obsessed with one thing, to destroy Superman at any cost. Eisenberg brings a lot of cockiness and intelligence to Luthor and probably is the best version of Lex Luthor in film history. Secondly,  Ben Affleck is a great Batman. He has the rage and vengefulness that drives Batman. He is brutal but doesn’t cross a line. Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is decent but not the best ever.  The acting overall is tremendous. Third, the plot is not that bad. Even though the first hour is very choppy, the plot of the movie is enjoyable. The character movitations are clear maybe besides Superman wanting to take down Batman.  Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) teaming up with the pair is a great scene in the movie and advances the plot too. That’s not fully explained but the plot has quite a few twists. The twists allowed the cameos leaving the audience wanting Justice League sooner. Although, those cameos could have been handled better.  Finally, the action in the movie is completely enjoyable. The action scenes make this movie really enjoyable than Man of Steel. The action wasn’t over the top which allowed the audience really keep focus on the plot.  The strong acting made the action allowed the audience to become emotionally invested.

Overall, the weak first hour of the movie of shortchanging scenes and the overuse of Lois Lane as plot point drags Batman V. Superman down. However, Eisenberg made a strong villian, and Affleck was a exceptional Batman.  The action was great and the plot was still good eventhough it was shortchanged.  Batman v. Superman gets a 3.5 out 5.