First of all, let me just start off by saying that I absolutely hate to keep tearing apart this movie that hasn’t even been released yet (okay, maybe I do enjoy it) — but DC and Warner Bros. just keep making it too damn easy for me.
Obviously, we all need to reserve the final judgement until the movie actually releases. I already know it’s going to make a bunch of cash, whether it’s a good movie or not — à la Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) — it’s kind of a given. People love the spectacle. Maybe Simon Pegg is right afterall.
Every time I see news or another look at what’s going on with Suicide Squad, I just get so embarrassed. They put together a talented cast and don’t seem to be capitalizing on it. We might not be talking Batman & Robin levels of embarrassment; as there isn’t a Bat-nipple in sight, but I have to question some of the art direction in this movie. You know what, screw it, let me just break it all down for you and how the art direction is terrible.
I realize Slipknot’s comic book design isn’t exactly the greatest either, but at least he doesn’t look like Call of Duty guy. What’s so special about him? How is his design unique? This guy is supposed to be a supervillain? I’m sorry, but Adam Beach just looks like his character Kicking Wing from Joe Dirt 15 years later after serving a couple of tours in Afghanistan. His design is completely uninspired and unoriginal. He looks like a character from David Ayer’s Sabotage. And please for my own sanity do not let him be the cliche “Native American tracker” member of the team. If he just ends up being Billy from Predator, I’m going to flip out.
I didn’t realize Captain Boomerang was a homeless wiseguy. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy camping out underneath the bridge near my home. So let me get this straight, he has enough money for gold chains (probably fake, right?), a big ring on his pinky, what looks like a nice gold watch or bracelet, yet he has to duct tape his boot? And not both of his boots for it to serve some sort of practical purpose. Nope. Just one of them because I guess it was falling apart? He is homeless after all. And does the jacket under his jacket say “Captain” on it?
This is what I think of his whole design:
Thankfully, Enchantress doesn’t look half bad compared to her comic book design. But I could have sworn I’d seen her before… Oh right!
Okay, so spooky voodoo white girl isn’t exactly original, but it’s not terrible. She could have gone in a lot worse of a direction in terms of design. Let’s just say I don’t hate it. But why cast Cara Delevingne, a fashion model, with no real acting experience under her belt? Remember that time when they cast Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Transformers: Dark of the Moon? She had the acting capacity of a dead fish. Maybe Delevigne will prove to be a better actress, but why choose her for the role over all the other talented and beautiful actresses working today?
Probably one of the only designs that stays true to the original, or at least modern, comic book appearance of the character. I really don’t have any qualms with the design, so nice job! My issue is again, like with Enchantress, the casting choice. Forgive me if I’m wrong, as I don’t keep up with Arrow, but why cast Karen Fukuhara — an unknown actress — when Katana was already portrayed by Rila Fukushima in Arrow?
Fukushima is a great actress with a proven track record. She was fantastic as Yukio in, The Wolverine. In fact, she was probably one of the best parts of that movie. Again, I’m ignorant to what’s happening on Arrow, but if Suicide Squad‘s Katana is the same Tatsu Yamashiro, then why cast someone different in a major motion picture who has no experience other than voice acting?
I really can’t hate the look, because Flag’s comic book design was also unoriginal. He was just guy in yellow shirt with gun. But this is also why it was important to make Slipknot look unique as well. There are basically three members of the Suicide Squad (Slipknot, Flag, and Deadshot) who just look like soldiers, and they’re being grouped with a juggalette and some homeless looking freakazoids (sans Katana). Part of me wonders if Tom Hardy dropped out of this when he read the script and knew it was going to be complete shit. I imagine with the experience of The Dark Knight Rises and Max Max: Fury Road under his belt, he’s much more keen on what makes for a good blockbuster film.
The pieces de resistance of the Suicide Squad besides Joker. Yep… This is it everybody. The big screen debut of Harley Quinn.
It’s clear they were going for more of the New 52 Harley Quinn look, but the mark was completely missed. Harley Quinn looks more like a juggalette, or better yet, one of the Joker thugs from the Batman Arkham games.
Is it the worst Harley Quinn we could have had? Absolutely not. But unlike Joker, Harley Quinn has never appeared in any live-action films. This was Warner Bros. chance to blow everyone away — to say, “you’ve seen Joker before so we’re trying something new with him, but check out Harley!”. Margot Robbie was such a perfect casting choice as well. I don’t know if her acting chops will be enough to overcome the initial impression the character has. Did the costume designers even have to make her costume or did they just find everything they needed at Hot Topic?
I think the biggest problem lies in this Harley’s design coupled with the new Joker design (we’ll get to that later). When paired with a more “traditional” design like Heath Ledger’s Joker (I can’t even believe I need to use the term traditional with Ledger’s Joker) it doesn’t look too bad.
Not terrible right? Not great either. In fact, looking at this just makes me hate juggalette Harley even more!
As I said before, Deadshot is one of the three members of Suicide Squad who just looks like they belong in a Call of Duty game. But okay, at least it’s justifiable when it comes to Rick Flag and Deadshot. The movie design doesn’t look nearly as good as the design in the comics, but at the same time I don’t think it needs to be. You know what needed to be right though? The mask.
I would like to know whose idea it was to use a Wilson volleyball for Deadshot’s mask so I can slap them silly. Why does Deadshot in Batman: Arkham City look a million times better and, more surprisingly, realistic, than the live-action version we’re getting?! In fact, I’m thinking the powers that be working on Suicide Squad should have just stolen the designs from the Arkham games, because at least they’re inventive and coherent. And then there’s the casting choice of Will Smith. I love the guy and really enjoy his films, but I just don’t think he’s right for the role. Will Smith is one of those actors who all you see is, well, that actor. There are only a few roles that Will Smith ever portrayed where I didn’t just see The Fresh Prince fighting aliens, and I don’t think Deadshot will be one of them either.
As much as I have to commend the Suicide Squad team for using practical makeup effects, I think Killer Croc is one of those characters, like Hulk, that really benefits from the CGI treatment to create a more monstrous creature. There’s just no way to recreate the monstrosity that is Killer Croc using practical makeup. Instead, Killer Croc looks more like the goombas from the Super Mario Bros. movie.
I mean… I get it. El Diablo has kind of become “tattoo guy”, so maybe it will work. Still, I much prefer this look:
We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. I hate the wardrobe decision though. A letterman jacket that says “Diablo”? A little too on the nose, don’t you think? Instead of the bat symbol on his chest, Batman should just have “Batman” written out instead. Come on, guys. You already have Captain Boomerang with a jacket that says “captain” on it and Joker with “damaged” tattooed on his forehead.
Which reminds me…
Yes, the tattoos and grill are real. I think you can guess how this makes me feel.
I’m going to just go out and say it. I think David Ayer is a yes man. I have to give him a lot of credit, because he has some great movies under his belt — U-571, The Fast and the Furious, Training Day. But those are writing credits. I have a feeling a lot of writers are susceptible to becoming yes men in Hollywood. Take David Koepp for example. He has written the screenplays for movies like, Death Becomes Her, Jurassic Park, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Panic Room, and Spider-Man. But he is also responsible for directing movies like Mortdecai. Remember that film? Apparently, it was released this year and starred Johnny Depp. It also received a beautiful 13% from Rotten Tomatoes.
It’s glamorous to be a director. But it also takes a vision — it’s not enough to just write it all out on paper. The director has to think about every aspect of the movie, from start to finish — the costuming, the acting, the tone, the overall look, the story. That’s what makes a true auteur. A good director also needs to fight the studio big wigs to maintain their creative vision and sometimes that leads to the director dropping the project, like Edgar Wright on Ant-Man.
Yes, there are writers who can make the transition to director such as James Gunn, but you can tell he poured his heart and soul into Guardians of the Galaxy. It was coherent and had that “James Gunn” feel. It’s clear the character designs for Suicide Squad are a design by committee. Here’s how the meeting for the art direction probably went on Suicide Squad:
“Hey, the kids love that Call of Duty, right? We need guys to look like that. And they also like that techno rap music, right? Oh, and tattoos are in, our data shows that tattoos have a 89.3% approval rating amongst audiences, so make sure the characters have lots of those. But make sure they’re ‘street’, they can’t look too clean. We want them to be realistic, that’s why the Nolan Batman movies were so successful. So make sure everything looks dark and edgy.”
How can you possibly defend tattooing “damaged” on the Joker’s forehead? It is probably one of the most ham-fisted things done in terms of character development in cinematic history. People were complaining that the Thing in the Fantastic Four reboot looked too rocky. At least he didn’t have “it’s clobberin’ time!” tattooed on him.
And seriously, get some damn security on your set. We won’t even have to watch the movie in theaters at this rate if the leaks continue to roll out like this. Wouldn’t you rather disappoint audiences AFTER they’ve paid for their tickets?
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