[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n the surface, David Ayer’s anti-hero picture appears as a much-needed boost of energy and enthusiasm into the DC Cinematic Universe. Far from the gloom and heavy themes of Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad aims to be more alternative, bombastic, colorful and fun. But does it achieve such levels of stylish levity? Yes and no.
If you’re not familiar with the premise or characters of Suicide Squad, this picture spends plenty of time giving introductions; perhaps too much time. Shadowy government figure Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) hatches a scheme to use villains as secret agents to do their covert bidding. The villains will cooperate for time off their sentences and receive an explosion to the neck via injected nanites if they disobey. It sounds needlessly dangerous and overly expensive, but the government seems cool with it after a little display of the villains’ powers that for some reason raises no ethical concerns.
Her roster includes a long list of varying villains, from crack shots to deranged killers to super powered weirdoes. Deadshot (Will Smith) is a single father struggling to maintain custody of his kid while taking on expert assassination jobs for the money. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is a psychiatrist turned giggling psychopath after the Joker messed with her mind. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) is a former gangster with fire abilities that voluntarily turned himself in for being too dangerous.
And also there’s Killer Kroc, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Rick Flag, Katana and Slipknot. Whoops, did I skip past those last few without explaining their backstory and character? Don’t worry; the movie makes this same mistake as well. It spends so much time building up these characters only to randomly and quickly plop down a few more, leaving me questioning why such setup was even needed.
Suicide Squad was written and directed by David Ayer who I found to be a great choice given his experience on Fury and End of Watch with making movies about evil characters we have to follow. Tasked with bringing together a collection of lesser-known DC Comics villains, my hopes for Ayer were high and slightly dashed. While dealing with a strong cast that works surprisingly well, the whole villain angle doesn’t feel fully utilized. The characters have to commit a petty crime every now and then, reiterating that they’re bad as if to remind us that they’re the villains. Yes, I know this is a group of evil people. Did the movie forget that as well?
It doesn’t help that the plot offers little for them to do. In typical superhero movie fashion, there’s a “swirling ring of trash in the sky” that they have to stop. There’s a horde of magical zombies that our protagonists can shoot, slice and dice by the dozen. And the main baddie has magical powers that are more standard than impressive, wielded by an unintentionally hilarious Cara Delevingne that shimmies with magic smoke and a goofy costume.
The strongest feature of the picture is by far the cast. Smith has that always-likable charm, Robbie has bubbly enthusiasm and Viola Davis is perfect as a no-nonsense woman who doesn’t take any crap from the team she has assembled. Even Jai Courtney of all actors has some surprisingly decent charisma for a man who mostly takes vanilla action roles.
Read more to hear about Jared Leto’s performance as the Joker:
Director Patty Jenkins Confirmed for Wonder Woman Sequel – YES!
Patty Jenkins Is Back!
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f there’s one thing Hollywood knows how to do, it’s taking something that works and sticking with it. Usually, that just means we get beat over the head with sequels until a franchise is run into the ground. However, sometimes, we actually get more of what we want. Case in point: Patty Jenkins will be returning to direct the Wonder Woman sequel.
Variety reported that Patty Jenkins has officially sealed the deal for the new project. Considering how much she was praised for her work on Wonder Woman (2017), it’s no wonder. The superhero film was highly anticipated due to the fact that it was the first big Marvel or DC pic to focus on a female lead. The fact that it was also helmed by a female director was an added bonus.
DC Comics films hadn’t been doing so hot with the critics, so there was a lot riding on this. Luckily, Patty Jenkins delivered. Wonder Woman earned $813 million at the worldwide box office. It also received a 92% “certified fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes.
Wonder Woman Returns
Naturally, Patty Jenkins isn’t the only fantastic female to be returning. Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman herself, is also signed on for the project. Gadot was likewise praised for her work on the new movie. She was charismatic, loving, strong, graceful and accepting.
Unfortunately, we have to wait a while to see the new movie. Wonder Woman 2 is scheduled for release on December 13, 2019. On the bright side, Gadot’s Wonder Woman is set to appear in Justice League, which has an earlier release date of November 17, 2017.
Will you be checking out Wonder Woman 2 as soon as it’s out? We are already marking our calendars!
‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins Is the Real Superhero
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s official: Wonder Woman is a smash hit. From the day the critic reviews came in to the current box office status, the first female-fronted superhero flick from Marvel or DC is making a big splash. Not only is Wonder Woman an exceptionally fun blockbuster, it’s also paving the way for women in the superhero genre. In fact, it’s the highest grossing opening by a female director EVER.
Patty Jenkins took the reins on the first DC Comics success story. Jenkins had only one previous feature under her belt prior to Wonder Woman (not including a handful of TV movies). However, her one feature was Monster, starring Charlize Theron, so it was a good one to have on her resume.
Now Wonder Woman has cemented Jenkins’ status as a director to be reckoned with. It opened this weekend to a stellar $100.5 million. That means it passed up the previous record holder, Fifty Shades of Grey, which opened to $85.1 million.
Given all the praise the new movie is receiving, chances are it’s going to make even more people curious about seeing it. More people equals more money, so Wonder Woman is right on track to continue climbing.
Movie Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ Finally Brings Heroism to the DCEU
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter the uneven and garish tones of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the first attempt at a Wonder Woman movie, especially after the dismally unfocused failure of a modern TV pilot. But I guess once you’ve crucified Superman and turned the Joker into a Juggalo, there’s nowhere to go but up (I hoped). And while Wonder Woman hasn’t exactly launched DC Comics into the cinematic stratosphere, it has enough spirit to revive my enthusiasm for the future of DC superhero movies in a single bound.
Before she was slinking in the shadows in Batman v Superman, Diana (Gal Gadot) was an Amazon woman on the hidden island of Themyscira. Tucked away from mortal men behind some foggy force field, her mother is determined to keep her safe from the hearts of mankind, but she’s much too adventurous to pass up the opportunity to explore.
Her infatuation turns into a moral desire for a hero’s calling when the British spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) stumbles onto her island. He must be a brilliant spy for the United Kingdom, given his flawless American accent. After he crashes his plane into the waters of Themyscira, Diana soon learns of World War I and how many lives are on the line. She figures that if she can just defeat that pesky Ares, the God of War that filled mankind with violence, she can put an end to the conflict with her god-killer of a sword.
With such talk of gods during World War I, I fully expected the movie to be an overly dour experience. Batman v Superman had already spoken of gods with such doom and gloom and it sounds rather grim that Wonder Woman has to slaughter a god among men. Director Patty Jenkins thankfully realizes how silly it is that Wonder Woman has to fight Ares to never make the scenario darker than it should be. Defeating such a villain requires a convoluted logic about showing love and compassion, while still trying to find a means to Wonder Woman’s hacking and slashing. Even sillier is the supporting female mad scientist who looks like the Phantom of the Opera and carries the name Doctor Poison! You can probably guess what type of gas she’s developing for the Germans.
But the key to Wonder Woman’s success is that it never gets too goofy with all these adventurous elements. Gadot and Pine have some amazing chemistry between each other when they enter the war. While Gadot tries to comprehend the complicated nature of politics and diplomacy, Pine attempts to make sure the Amazon warrior doesn’t go strutting around the streets of London with a sword and shield. These scenes could have turned into sitcom material from a different movie, especially with a comedic soundtrack to signal hijinks, but they never veer wildly off course from the mission at hand. You don’t want to get too silly when you have to stop that evil Doctor Poison when she’s developing super mustard gas, as well as a superhuman god drug as a side project.
Naturally, for being during wartime, the movie offers plenty of action scenes where Gal Gadot will literally spring into action on the battlefield. Machine gun fire holding back a defensive line? That’s no sweat for Wonder Woman’s shield. With her super strength and speed, she can easily go from zipping across the front line to flipping a tank with her hands. These scenes are all staged in a manner where the audience is never lost in what is going on in the action, making great use of slow motion when it’s needed. You can see everything in these scenes, including how cartoonish the CGI looks when Wonder Woman climbs buildings and leaps across rooftops. A little motion blurring could do wonders for her CGI body and make her bounds across German rooftops a little more human and less uncanny valley.
Read more for the rest of the Wonder Woman movie review:
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