It’s been a few days. I have recovered from what was an assault on taste, senses and storytelling so I feel I can now share.
The premise of the film is a classic outlaw staple in cinema from the Dirty Dozen to Battle Beyond the Stars to the upcoming Magnificent Seven. The notion of a ragtag bunch of outlaws being flung together to help save the world from a bigger evil, coupled with the recognition and iconic power of Harley Quinn, the Joker and Batman should have been enough to draw anyone in.
I went to a Friday afternoon screening filled with people who were so geared to love this film. They all came out sighing.
It’s not so much that it has no plot but rather that it is spread so thinly amongst the two hours of neon carnage it’s almost imperceptible. We take 20 minutes of establishing the characters, 15 of which are spent saying Deadshot loves his daughter, did we mention he loves his daughter, he shoots people, and he loves his daughter, and the other three on Harley Quinn being hot and the other two for the rest of the losers.
From this we follow the team from point A to point B. Really. Ultimately it’s a bunch of goons walking down a street. And then they get to the skyhole (as an aside I’m sick of fucking skyholes). The only redemptive part of this film is they don’t have a fight on a bridge or a train. But still. It’s another fucking skyhole.
This film felt like going round to a rich kid’s house who’s got a fantastic new console and the latest triple AAA release and spending two hours watching him play the game while you watch the fucking clock. Quicktime moments aplenty as this on rails platformer overdoses on gummy bears and glow sticks, throws them up, picks it up and throws it in your face.
Batman barely registers and The Joker adds nothing to the film. Nothing! I think he looks good and at first I thought he was terrible, on reflection that’s unfair as he does nothing to be terrible with.
By the time we get to the end people are assuming special abilities like Mario picking up a power pill as suddenly they go full on power rangers and shit super powers out their hot pants.
I give this film two stars for some of the lines, most of which you have seen in the trailer, and frankly for taking chances. They don’t pay off but its bold strokes. The D.O.P and casting have done a tremendous job but this is not so much a polished turd as one with rainbow sprinkles hidden on a Wurlitzer and you don’t know when it might hit you.
Since I saw the film many people have come out to defend it. I myself have some sympathy as I really enjoyed BvS. I don’t think this works though and the notion that it’s for the fans? Well I’m a fan, a fan of comic books and good films. This is neither. Avoid the big screen and wait for the stream.
** 2 stars