Buzz, Buzz. Do you hear that sound? This week, FOG’s Summer Movie Buzz takes a deep dive into the next theatrical release from DC Comics: Suicide Squad, which arrives in theaters August 5th.
Supervillains accept a secret government mission that will likely result in their deaths.
Suicide Squad will be the third offering from the DC Cinematic Universe.
To say that this film needs to be great is an understatement considering the mixed reaction of 2013 Man of Steel and the very negative response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While DC had put all of their creative eggs in the basket of director Zack Snyder, the recent restructuring behind the scenes at Warner Bros. has changed all of that.
The new DC Films unit headed by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg will allow for more creativity and a cohesive direction within its shared cinematic universe. It’s like two Kevin Feige’s for the price of one. Berg has a reputation to get things done while Johns knows these characters better than most.
Suicide Squad was filmed before the DC Film’s division was created, but David Ayer (End of Watch) is captaining the ship this time around. Ayer told Yahoo Movies that he pushed the cast members very hard during rehearsals for the sake of realism.
“I also had them fight. I had them fight each other. You learn a lot about who a person really is when you punch them in the face. It gets rid of a lot of the actor stuff.”
A statement like this expresses how badly the all-star cast wanted to work with the director since an actor having to legitimately fight their peers would have super-agent Ari Gold on the scene with a tactless verbal assault.
There is a lot that needs to be accomplished here considering the cast, characters, and narrative in the film. We’re dealing with villains here. Not anti-heroes but actual villains who have a long resume of murder, chaos, and carnage. Sure, there will be a slight twist in the good guy realm, however, the core essential values of what makes characters like Deadshot unique can’t be completely altered if we’re going to believe them to be the villains of future stories.
Perhaps Jared Leto and Margot Robbie have the hardest job of them all.
Jared Leto is the next actor to bring The Joker to life.
Since every major incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime from Cesar Romero through Heath Ledger turned the role into something special, the pressure is on like never before for the Oscar winner to succeed. For some, this version is already fighting an uphill battle of acceptance due to the atypical punk rock motif, grilled teeth, and tattoos… oh, the tattoos.
“Paging Dr. Harleen Quinzel”
Margot Robbie in the role Harley Quinn is something fans have waited a long time for. Quinn’s popularity as the psychiatrist turned insane lunatic has skyrocketed over the last several years. Just walk into any comic book store or convention to see the Quinnsanity. True devotees will analyze Robbie’s performance with a fine tooth comb to determine if she is worthy of the mantle she is undertaking.
Now we get to Will Smith who will play Deadshot in this villainous ensemble.
While Smith was good in Focus and put on an Oscar caliber performance in Concussion, neither movie generated major box office bank. Big Willie Style needs to start making it rain Brinks trucks again. If he can put his reportedly big ego in check, Suicide Squad could be Smith’s ticket back to opening weekend glory. Smith is a great actor and seeing him in future DC films as the main antagonist could be a viewer’s delight…if all goes according to plan.
Just like Batman v. Superman tried to accomplish with its heroes, a whole crew of baddies is being introduced in one big hodgepodge so we care enough to see them in expanded roles going forward. Lex Luthor, The Joker and Harley Quinn are household names, however, rogues such as Captain Boomerang, Katana, Killer Croc, Enchantress, and Amanda Waller need to make a good first impression.
The right actors appear to be in place to make this a reality, especially with Viola Davis as political cutthroat Waller, but why cast Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang? I’m in the boat that Hollywood needs to stop trying to make Jai Courtney happen.
You never know, though, he might surprise me this time around.
If you’ve never heard the name Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, all you need to do is watch any episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed prison show Oz and not just watch, but experience the chaos of Adewale’s heroin fueled Simon Adebisi to realize that the role of Killer Croc fits him like a glove.
Model turned actress Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns) is on a lot of studios hot list to cast her in various projects. She’s been serviceable in her on screen performances and I trust in David Ayer that he saw something in the young starlet that makes her just right for the role.
Japanese-American newcomer Karen Fukuhara will assume the role of Katana, who will both make their feature film debut. Since Suicide Squad is currently Fukuhara’s sole acting credit, it’s impossible to say whether she will be good or not. She is a martial arts champion, which seems to match up with the character’s expert samurai warrior background. It will be interesting to see how the narrative utilizes Katana’s mystical sword, the Soultaker, which captures the ability of every person she kills with it, even her deceased husband.
What about Scott Eastwood? Well, not even IMDB knows who he is playing in the film. Rumors have been running rampant as to who Eastwood will play, with the most interesting one suggesting that he will be Agent 37 aka Dick Grayson.
I have no complaints with what little I’ve seen of Eastwood’s on screen work, but the possibility of Batman’s former protégé being in the film makes things even more intriguing. Zack Snyder revealed that it was Jason Todd, the second Robin, whose costume was spray painted by The Joker in Batman v. Superman. Batman is a grizzled veteran this time around so Task Force X could be where Grayson wound up.
Speaking of Task Force X, Joel Kinnaman will play the non-villain, badass leader of the unsanctioned black ops group, Rick Flag. Kinnaman is a good actor who has turned in some great performances, most recently being this season on House of Cards. He’s been in his fair share of movies, but hasn’t landed the one profile raising role. While being known as “that guy” from The Killing is pretty cool, Kinnaman wants that household notoriety and being an integral part of a successful comic book movie these days will do just that.
Is there anything else I’m forgetting? Oh yeah. Batman is in the movie. The trailers show him gripping the roof of The Joker’s purple Lamborghini on the streets of Toronto.
Ben Affleck probably won’t see much screen time here, but his presence will only augment the film along with a talented cast, an intense but grounded filmmaker and characters that fans have been waiting to see return and realized will hopefully make Suicide Squad the charm of DC Comics third theatrical outing.