But the movie got such awful reviews -- though, tellingly, one who praised it was the aforementioned Mr. Ostrander. And his opinion is certainly relevant......
Having now finally seen it on home video, I can totally see why John was happy with the film. With the notable exception of Deadshot, who was thoroughly Will Smith'd, the characters are spot-on what they were in the comics. In particular, Viola Davis just nailed it as Amanda Waller, the one character in the Squad who was 100% John's creation. (A lot of the Squad were minor characters whom John gave more development than they'd ever received before -- most notably Deadshot.) In addition, they nailed the Joker-Harley Quinn dynamic, which was right out of Batman: The Animated Series (where Harley debuted -- she was only added to the comics later), and while Jared Leto can't hold a candle to the finest Joker portrayals out there (Mark Hamill remains, as always, the Platonic ideal, with Heath Ledger and Cesar Romero in the next tier -- Leto's just under the latter two), he's good in the role, and Margot Robbie is simply perfect, brilliantly channeling Arleen Sorkin's voice from B:TAS.
Having said all that, I can also see why the film was so roundly panned, because it just doesn't work. For starters, seeing how well the characters translate from the comic is great -- if you're familiar with the comic. If you're not, these are just barely defined characters.
However, the film has a much more fundamental problem: the plot is entirely wrong.
The Squad is a team of bad guys barely held together by Amanda Waller's menace and Rick Flag's tactical acumen. They're also a covert ops team. On no planet do they belong in a storyline that involves team bonding and saving the world from a world-destroying threat. I didn't buy the way the team came together (though the bar scene was fun), and I didn't buy that a bunch of low-rent criminals would be able to save the world from that big a threat. Also the threat was entirely self-inflicted -- it was a team member gone rogue, not an actual threat to national security that they stopped, which made no sense.
The movie started promising, but took a total left turn into the wrong kind of movie. This was a Justice League plot, not a Suicide Squad plot. Hell, the beats were depressingly similar to that of The Avengers, which is a better movie in every measurable sense.
Current Mood: disappointed
Current Music: "Love is Strong" by the Rolling Stones