Who ya gonna call when the shit hits the fan? Why, a bunch of Super Powered Psychopaths, that’s who!

harley

The Suicide Squad made their first appearance in the Brave and the Bold #25 way back in 1959:

Godzilla appears to be attacking Dagwood's wife Blondie, a soldier, and a night-cleaner from your local bank.

Pretty sure that’s Dagwood’s wife Blondie on the left. WTF is she doing there?

Back then the team were good guys, formed to fight “monstrous menaces” as a replacement for the Justice Society of America, whose members had mostly retired after unjustly being called a bunch of Commies during the McCarthy Era (Fuckin’ Yanks, gotta love em). This first issue could set you back as much as $1200…since the film came out. Three years ago the same copy was $100. Just goes to show you how much people give a fuck before Hollywood steps in. The Suicide Squad went on a variety of adventures to the tune of just six issues, and then the idea was tossed in the bin to make room for the more popular DC characters.

Fast-forward to 1987, and the Suicide Squad was revived with the version we know today: a team of Bad-Guys roped into doing Good-Guy stuff.

Suicide_Squad_Vol_1_1

Various teams of scoundrels were arranged by the mysterious Amanda Waller to tackle the missions deemed to dangerous for ordinary soldiers, and too shifty to get the regular Super Heroes involved. Highly skilled ** were sent on deeply secretive assignments into enemy territory.

Covert Ops: coz nothing says inconspicuous like an 8 foot Shark Man.

Covert Ops: coz nothing says inconspicuous like an 8 foot Shark Man.

Throughout the history of the comic books, various ‘incentives’ were offered to the squad. “We wont detonate the bombs planted in your fucking necks if you do what we say” – was a pretty good motivational speech. Other times, reductions in jail sentences were put on the table.

Yeah. Sure. This guy looks like he's ready to re-enter society.

Yeah. Sure. This guy looks like he’s ready to re-enter society.

So what kind of mission would require a Suicide Squad? Infiltrating a Middle Eastern Fortress. Breaking prisoners out of a Russian Prison. Assassinating senators, Deposing Dictators, eliminating a board of directors in Dubai. Dicey shit, and you can see why they can’t just ring up the Justice League for an assist. Bad shit would often happen to the team-mates, with not every Squad-member making it back in one piece. The leader of the Squad, Rick Flagg, was once left to die on a Dinosaur infested island, and escaped that only to end up in a Middle Eastern Prison for four years – talk about a rough trot!

Throughout the course of it’s history, over 200 villains (and a good chunk of Heroes) would shuffle through the Suicide Squad’s ranks.

Bane. Now here's a Motherfucker you want on your side in a scrap.

Bane. Now here’s a Motherfucker you want on your side in a scrap.

The fuck is up with this chick? Whatever, the Suicide Squad doesn't discriminate . Welcome to the team!

The fuck is up with this chick? Whatever, the Suicide Squad doesn’t discriminate. Welcome to the team!

That chick with the busted up face is the villain known as Twister – and coincidentally that’s how my face looks when I wake up from a Hindley Street bender. Gosh, we could sit here and chat about the Suicide Squad’s roster all day long – but for the sake of expediency, let’s switch our gaze to the world of DC films, in particular the Justice League project of 2007. Warner Bros had the prudent idea of releasing an ensemble eSuper Hero team up before drip feeding the individual Hero films. A move that would have seen them beat rival company Marvel’s The Avengers to the punch by a good four years. George “Mad Max” Miller was slated to direct, and fuck I would have loved to see his versions of the classic DC line up. Sadly, due to quite boorish reasons (tax rebates!) the project was put on ice indefinitely, as Warner Bros went back to concentrating on their sure-fire cash cow, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

A handful of years later, Warner had their next great idea: Super Villain team up! Sure Marvel had the better heroes and were winning that race at the cinemas, but DC hands down had the better rogue’s gallery of bad guys. The Suicide Squad film was born, and soon followed a colourfully wacky trailer to introduce the movie to the world.

suicide trailer

Fans adored the trailer, expressing gratitude and relief that Warner Bros had shifted away from the unnecessarily grim world they had built with the dire Batman V Superman. Warner Bros responded by…panicking. You see, the fun frolicking vibe of the trailer sold a completely different tone to the film Warner had actually created. Their Suicide Squad was drenched in the same ‘Grimdark’ bullshit that permeated the Batman V Superman tripe that was so heavily reviled.

And so mere months before the film’s release, Warner scheduled a series of emergency re-shoots and extra scenes. The mission statement was simple: inject more colour and humour into the film. Make the movie FUN. They doubled down by releasing a series of increasingly kooky posters (a set I love/hate in equal measure):

Sui Posters

They should have saved themselves the effort, as the resulting film was a complete fucking mess. The movie kicks off by introducing us to the massive catalogue of characters, each accompanied by poorly chosen needle drop songs (including such ‘on the nose’ decisions as dropping Sympathy For the Devil on us). For some reason, Deadshot (Will Smith’s character) has three separate introductions. At the editing stage they deemed it pertinent to dump a bunch of jarring title cards with migraine inducing colours and shitty attempts at humour included. The main villain is a CGI shithead that looks like he strolled in from a 1995 CD-ROM game. Character development is thrown to the curb as the Squad makes decisions and actions with no set up – at one point Captain Boomerang quits the team and disappears…he’s seen strolling with them in slow motion in the very next scene. The film feels like Chinese Video Pirates took a 12 episode TV show and hacked into a singular film. That, or the whole affair was written by a 14 year old, filmed by a 12 year old and edited by a ten year old. Fuck this film.

Before I started writing this review, I smashed out this pic of the 12 main characters as a dozen eggs:

Suicide

The plan was to rate each of the characters with a fresh or rotten rating (they’re not all terrible – Harley Quin, Dead Shot and Diablo are actually pretty good). But then I realised that would be more effort than the Producers actually put into the film itself. So fuck off.

Critics savaged the film, leaving it with a current approval rating of 26%. Not that Warner Bros were too concerned – the premise (and for what it’s worth, the idea is pretty solid) reeled in the viewers, to the tune of $745 million world wide. That all but guarantees a sequel (tentatively plopped into a 2019 release slot).

Christ, a squad of Super Villains tasked with saving the world is pretty ripe for Cinema Magic – so fingers crossed they don’t shit the bed with the next installment.Of course, if they promote the film as ‘2ICIDE SQUAD‘, I’ll just burn the cinema to the fucking ground.

 

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