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Suicide Squad - We're the bad guys

By Bert Ehrmann

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Fort Wayne Reader

2016-08-07


Eventually, all comic book creators start telling stories focused on the bad guys. They just can’t help it. There’s only so many stories they can tell about the superheroes before the writers start looking in other places for plots and invariably wind up on the villains. And this makes sense — to stand the test of time good super villains have to be at least as interesting as the heroes. Joker is as interesting as Batman and Magneto to Wolverine. So why not focus stories on the bad guys? And that’s essentially what the upcoming Suicide Squad movie is — a story about the bad guys.

Here, the Suicide Squad is composed of a group of villains like marksman Deadshot (Will Smith), Joker protege Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and living monster Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to name a few. In the past all these characters were caught and thrown into prison for their crimes and now are made an offer “they can’t refuse.” Join up with this super-villain squad to try and stop a greater evil and have their sentences reduced or rot in prison forever.
But these missions are very dangerous — so dangerous that some of these villains aren’t expected to survive. Hence the name; Suicide Squad.

If you’re thinking that Suicide Squad sounds a lot like the movie Dirty Dozen, well, you’re not far off the mark. Other than some of the characters possessing superpowers, Dirty Dozen is essentially what Suicide Squad is.

What’s ironic here is that while I’d assume that most of the movie going public already knows who characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman are before they go and see a movie about them, I doubt many know who Suicide Squad members like Enchantress, Katana or El Diablo are. Which makes me wonder why DC would take such a huge gamble on releasing a Suicide Squad movie as their third film out in their superhero franchise? To put that into perspective, the third Marvel Studios film was the relatively safe-looking Iron Man 2.
But ironies on ironies — it looks like DC might actually have a hit on their hands with the once risky looking Suicide Squad that’s seems to be a movie audiences are excited to see.

The first movie in this new DC franchise was Man of Steel (2013) then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from earlier this year. While these movies did make money at the box office — so far they’ve earned a combined total of something like $1.6 billion — neither of them have really caught on with the fans.

Man of Steel was greeted with a lot of questions like, “what’s next?” and “why was that so dark?” While, at best, Batman v Superman was greeted with a collective “meh” and at worst downright derision.

I can’t imagine that when the creators of these two movies set out to make their versions of two of the most popular comic book characters of all time they figured this would be the reaction they’d get. Which must be disheartening. That is until you take into account the upcoming Suicide Squad.

This film, that stars a few known actors like Will Smith and Jared Leto, but is full of completely unknown characters like Captain Boomerang and Slipknot is actually a movie people want, and are excited to see gauging fan reaction to the marketing for the movie. So excited that reportedly DC’s already put a movie about Harley Quinn on the fast track.

Why are audiences excited about Suicide Squad before the release when they mostly yawned at Batman v Superman before that movie came out? I think it’s because Suicide Squad looks to be a lot of FUN whereas the trailers for Batman v Superman made that movie look like a long, dull, boring DRAG. I think audiences are excited about Suicide Squad because it looks like something they’d have a good time going to see whereas after seeing Batman v Superman it looked like something they’d need to visit their analyst afterwards.

I don’t think people care who the characters in the movie are — just as long as it looks like actually getting out and going to the movie’s going to be a good time.

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