Here’s (Almost) Everything Major That Went Wrong with the Suicide Squad Movie

Suicide Squad is a box office success and to date has raked in $675 million worldwide (44.4% domestically) in just 32 days (4.4 weeks) since its release. The movie was entertaining (enough), earning a rating of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes’ “Tomatometer” and an audience score of 67%. For me it was a “solid” 6 out of 10 at best and I didn’t leave the cinema feeling like I wanted to go back to the box office and demand a refund; or as we’d say in Jamaican, “Mi waan back mi money!” 

Despite the movie’s financial success, here’s where…in my humble opinion, the movie went horribly wrong (hyperbole). Spoilers up ahead, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop right here. Or as Gandalf famously uttered, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

Suicide squad_01

1) No real backstory on the relationship and former life of Enchantress and her brother.
For the uninitiated, this presented a problem that made the story seem incomplete. They could’ve used at least a 2 or 3 minute sequence showing us how Enchantress and her brother were once worshipped akin to movies like The Mummy franchise. In fact, I’d have opened the film with Enchantress’ story and setup the film and by extension the audience, for what was to follow.

Suicide squad_05

2) Choppy/messy editing; the sequence was all wrong.
When the first trailer was released, I was super-relieved that the cinematography looked similar to Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise featuring Christian Bale, as opposed to the disappointing cinematography that was the Man of Steel movie. That aside, the editing was a complete mess. It felt like some last minute adjustments were made and the sequence felt completely off. It could explain the reason certain key scenes that we saw in the trailer never made it to the final theatrical release. This brings me to my next point.

3) Not enough Joker! 
What were they thinking? Like many of you, there were only three things I was looking forward to seeing. The first was Ben Affleck’s Batman’s cameo role. The second were the action sequences. And the third and last was Jared Leto’s interpretation of the infamous “The Joker” aka “Mister J”. After the guy spent a solid six months in preparation for the role, stayed in character on and off-screen while the movie filmed, and had enough movie reel on the cutting floor to make a 90 minute Joker film, we barely saw him on screen for all of 10 minutes (maybe 13). For me, Heath Ledgers’s cinematic interpretation of The Joker is still the best one yet!

4) Centering the story primarily on Deadshot (and not Enchantress or Harley).
I didn’t lose any sleep over the movie being focused on Deadshot’s story of the “deadbeat” father who wants to be a better parent to his daughter (the one good thing in his life). However, it was a bit of a letdown that the movie’s other key characters, namely Enchantress (main villain) and Harley weren’t given an equal footing to showcase their own stories.

5) A one-dimensional look at the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn.
When Harley Quinn was first introduced to the DC Comics Universe through the old 1990s Batman cartoon series, there was hardly ever a kind moment exchanged between her and The Joker. For the most part he was always annoyed and trying to evade her or literally pushing her around. The movie didn’t show them as the “star-crossed lovers” we know them to be. It pretty much just showed us a romance story.

SUICIDE SQUAD

6) Botched cameo with The Flash (way too fast; and yeah, I know he’s a speedster, but seriously that was a bit much).
You barely noticed Barry Allen was on screen! If you had looked down at your phone or stretched to reach your drink or even take a handful of popcorn all while looking away from the screen, you’d have missed The Flash’s cameo. It was that fast and fell short of the impact it could’ve had in getting us pumped for Justice League.

7) The Suicide Squad bonded way too easily.
All those big egos and individualism and yet they bond with ease. We could’ve used at least a few moments that showed they had either crossed paths or worked together in the past. All they really shared in this movie was one drink and a really depressing (and moving) story by El Diablo. Perhaps the most honest moment of the entire movie. [in my opinion]

8) Too much music in every single scene.
While the movie had a “killer” soundtrack, for the love of all things, did we really need to hear that much music so fast? Almost every scene change greeted us with a new track and sometimes it was a struggle to hear the dialogue that was drowned out by the “background” music. And after putting us through all that, we still didn’t once hear “The Ballroom Blitz” by Sweet featured in the last few trailers. [Maybe during the end credits]

The anti-hero film was directed and written by David Ayer (who maybe needed more time to do so properly), and starred an ensemble cast that featured Will Smith (Floyd Lawton/Deadshot), Jared Leto (The Joker), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), and Viola Davis (Amanda Waller).

Fun Fact: The Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X, is a name for two fictional organizations that appeared in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Let me know what you thought of the movie, because maybe I’m being too extreme and too harsh with my critique. Also, you should consider following my blog or stopping by regularly. Whichever works for you.

How to Make a Movie Poster Just as “golden” as an Oscar!

Vertigo movie_restoration
This iconic poster was designed by American Graphic Designer, Saul Bass.

Hollywood’s biggest night will take place on March 2nd and if you haven’t figured out what I’m referring to then you, my friend have been living under a rock (SPOILER ALERT: Oscars 2014)! The 86th Academy Awards will feature films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, and Captain Phillips, all nominated for ‘Best Picture’.

The best part of the movie industry outside of the movies themselves, have always been the creative design of the movie posters. Some of them are works of art that are etched in our minds for the rest of our lives and in some instances; they’re also hung from our walls (collector’s item). Some we’d like to forget and others were a guilty pleasure, like those old Kung Fu movie posters from the 1970s and 80s.

Many of my days were spent staring upwards at posters displayed on the sides of an old cinema in the town where I grew up. Some of the most iconic movie posters in my opinion and in no particular order (and some of you will agree with me on this) has been the following:

  • Vertigo (1958)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • Scarface (1983)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Inception (2010)

So what makes a great poster? Attention!! No, I wasn’t shouting just then… but attention is a key element to creating a successful poster. Your design must pull the reader/viewer/passer-by in; the rest of what is a famous sales formula (AIDA) includes: interest, desire, and ACTION (in keeping with the spirit of the movies)!!

Next it is important to note that design can communicate a lot by using a little. For this, iconography becomes crucial. Toss in a picture that is worth a thousand words and you literally will only need a few words to add to the overall design. Those “COMING SOON.” posters are perfect examples.

How do you create interest? Simple — create a movie poster that’s visually engaging. At this point you’re beginning to see that the success of earlier Hollywood movies was propelled by their complementary poster or series of posters. Ensure the design of your poster matches the theme and genre of the movie. Sounds obvious enough, but many a designer loses sight of their overall goal during their “creative process”; I know I have many a times.

By now you’re well on your way to creating desire or audience appeal. I’ve come to notice the reason I was also drawn to movie posters was because of the actors and actresses headlined. You’re trying to tell me that if you saw one of your favourite movie stars on a poster that you wouldn’t want to go see the film? For those of you who said “no” then I guess you saw the text “Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan” towards the bottom of the poster too.

In some instances, there have been movie campaigns that introduce a call to action that compels you to make a ticket purchase. I suppose at the end of it all, the best way to gauge the success of your movie poster is the movie’s performance at the box office. Clearly you contributed to winning over the audience.

Before those golden trophies are handed out to the best of the best tomorrow night, make sure you take the time to check out the posters for this year’s nominated films, you may just find a few iconic ones for 2013.

Here’s to the movies and to the designers that make them what they are!!

Fun challenge: Can you name all the directors of the movies with iconic posters listed above?

What’s your favourite movie poster(s)? Leave me a link in your reply; I wouldn’t mind seeing them as well.