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What Do We Need From ‘Suicide Squad’?

Drew’s Take

There’s a lot riding on Suicide Squad. The DC Extended Universe is still in the throes of an identity crisis – apropos considering that’s the name of a well-known arc in the comics – and Suicide Squad looks like the first of these shared universe films that is confident about its tone and direction. It doesn’t hurt that the premise itself feels much more fun than any of the prior DC films.

But what do we need from Suicide Squad? At the most basic level, it simply needs to be a good movie. That sounds reductive and it is; every movie should be a good movie. But, Suicide Squad needs to be more critically beloved than Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by leaps and bounds. If it isn’t, DC’s string of comic book films will continue to pale in comparison to the relatively well-liked Marvel movies. It’s especially important for Warner Bros promise of “creator-driven films” that David Ayer’s writing/directorial outing for DC reaffirm that this universe can offer something stranger and more unique than Marvel.

Honestly, all Suicide Squad needs to do is prove that the DCEU can be a blast. Zack Snyder’s operatic and stern films have made DC look po-faced. Suicide Squad is channeling a madcap, jaunty, and brazenly weird spirit that feels reinvigorating. After the enormous success and cultural pervasion of Deadpool, audiences are craving a superhero story that colors outside the lines. If Suicide Squad can cater to that crowd and carve out its own zany path, it will be a win in every way possible. [Drew Dietsch]

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Troy’s Take

Suicide Squad needs to do what the DC Cinematic Universe has failed to do as of now. The Squad has to find a voice that honors the books but manages to connect to a wider audience. Men on a mission movies are generic unless done with a style and panache that sets said work apart from the rest. While the Snyder films have gone grimdark to the point of parody, a little darkness could go a long way in this film. But, this is a shared universe where Superman kills and Batman viciously maims people. Does this mean that we need to see Boomerang shoving a blade Boomerang in Rick Flag’s butt? Of course not.

What it means is that we need to see how powered villains work in a world where superheroes have been shown to willingly cross the line. Looking past Hot Topic flavored Joker, the villains assembled for this film are quite peculiar. Boomerang, Rick Flag, Deadshot, and Enchantress were members of the original team, while Harley Quinn is there for licensing opportunities. None of the Squad members in this film are particular violent but given to bouts of extreme aggression. They don’t think clearly and few of them are willing to work together. So, you ask what Suicide Squad needs for its film to be a success? Half of the team needs to die and die viciously. [Troy Anderson]

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Andrew’s Take

If Suicide Squad is going to be anything, it should at least be entertaining. The marketing for the film has been one highlight reel trailer after another set to rock and pop tunes, yet the tone and flow of the movie has never really been established as of yet. Suicide Squad has had to do a lot of backpedaling due to its almost Juggalo-like style and redesign of massively popular characters, but fans have seemed to embrace the look and are ready to see these new versions on screen.

As long as David Ayer’s film and script are not offensively dumb, Suicide Squad has a chance to be a fun take on embracing the bad guys. This movie needs to be successful so we can see more movies where the vigilante is the protagonist. Margot Robbie has already won our hearts as Harley Quinn from previews and stills alone, but characters like Killer Croc and Katana need to shine as well. If we’re ever gonna get that Lobo movie we all want, Suicide Squad is going to have to pave the way. [Andrew Hawkins]

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Danielle’s Take

One of the biggest issues plaguing the DC movieverse is that the movies thus far have taken themselves too seriously. Suicide Squad has a chance to break that mold. The movie needs to be a fun and funny, even if it delves into darker territory. The trailers for the film are a total blast (especially the one featuring Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”), so if the movie follows suit then it should do well. Making the movie fun should not reduce the characters to bare-bones simplifications of their comic book selves, however.

Suicide Squad has a great cast and a number of truly interesting characters. These characters need to be close to their comic-book counterparts if fans are to stick around. Harley Quinn may be crazy, but she’s not an idiot. As a matter of fact, she’s a doctor. Deadshot needs to be more than his inability to miss targets. If the filmmakers took too much license with the characters, comic fans won’t take it well. (Just look at how people reacted to Batman killing people in Batman v. Superman.)

It’s not an easy task to make a fun and violent superhero movie based on very adult characters with a PG-13 rating. Hopefully, the filmmakers took a cue from the criticism of previous DC films and added some levity and accuracy. [Danielle Ryan]


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