Review: How Does ‘Suicide Squad’ Stack Up Against ‘Batman v Superman’?

The Third Major DCEU Film Was Just Released! How Does Suicide Squad Compare To Its Peers?

Suicide Squad‘ had a very tough task. Not only did they have to entertain audiences but they also had to sway certain viewers back after the polarizing ‘Batman v Superman’. They relied on great marketing filled with catchy pop songs to grab viewers while selling them on the mayhem. Also, anytime you bring The Joker into the mix, he brings a certain diehard fanbase with him.

So how did ‘Suicide Squad‘ combat the massive hype?

By producing a semi-stylized film that’s a bit more accessible than its predecessor.

David Ayer listened to the critics and disgruntled viewers, delivering more fun. While I do feel like the film is easier to get into than ‘Batman v Superman’, it lost some originality that DC was beginning to create for themselves. It may be studio influence or the reshoots not mixing well with the original footage but it felt inauthentic. That’s not to say that ‘Suicide Squad‘ isn’t a good movie. It’s totally a fun ride but traded hyper-realism for a more cartoon-like feel. Others hate the tone Snyder created but I’m in a rare minority that was completely enamored. This feels like it wants to fit in with the rest instead of distancing from the pack.

“It’s taken me some time, but I finally have them. The worst of the worst.”
Amanda Waller

When you get to see the true David Ayer influence though, it feels like magic happening on-screen. The first half of the film was stylistic and adventurous. The editing was visceral; disorienting the viewer or giving fun introductions with neon title cards and bios. Also, there is a plethora of great action sequences.

Sadly, when the mayhem picks up and the last half starts is when the story begins to falter. Then sadly ‘Suicide Squad‘ starts feeling familiar instead of intriguing. A typical superhero third-act villain appears and we dip into a mess of visual effects. This cinema trope has been tired for years and somehow, 2016 seems to be using it more than ever. Like the two films (Man Of Steel + Batman v Superman) before it, the grounded nature of the film is changed in such a dramatic fashion that it almost feels like two different movies.

When the plot began to tank, at least the rock solid characters kept getting the chance to do some outstanding work. Even a character with little recognition like El Diablo was given the chance for a great arc. Viola Davis play Amanda Waller with a calm but vicious personality. There was comic book stars like Deadshot who the film was bascially centered around while the twisted romance of Joker & Harley Quinn played as an fun side story, even if they didn’t spend much screen time together.

A minor complaint has to be the heavy reliance of a pop song filled soundtrack. After the stunning work by Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer in ‘Batman v Superman’, I was hoping to see some more focus on a score. I will say, there was times that songs like Black Skinhead by Kanye West or Without Me by Eminem worked amazingly within their scenes. It just felt overused by the fifth or sixth music video-style scene. For me, hearing a solid film score mixed in with the pop soundtrack would have made it feel less repetitive. Imagine if The Joker could have had some amazing theme song like the one they gave Wonder Woman in ‘BvS‘.

Final Thoughts:

With the reports of reshoots and Warner Bros. playing a part in changing the tone, I believe all of that shows in final product of ‘Suicide Squad‘. It feels like Zack Snyder, the director of ‘Batman v Superman’, was allowed to make something that fits his brand and set the tone of this universe. Suicide Squad’s David Ayer doesn’t seem to have the privilege. Cant knock the feeling he was creating something original but was reigned back in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Changes like that can lead to a messier product that doesn’t attract die-hard fans or newcomers.

Probably the worst thing about ‘Suicide Squad‘ is how average it ends up being.

Let me know how you feel about the film in the comments below!

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno

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