The Suicide Squad

Vampire Owl: Do you remember watching the last Suicide Squad?

Vampire Bat: That was rather too long ago to remember.

Vampire Owl: There is never too long ago with superheroes.

Vampire Bat: These are the supervillains though.

Vampire Owl: We are now living at times when there is not much of a difference between the two. The borders have been blurred.

Vampire Bat: I would have some exceptions with these particular people though.

Vampire Owl: They are not really the ones we would like to have in the vampire realm.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that there cannot be a Vampire Suicide Squad with freaks.

Vampire Owl: An immortal squad for suicide? That cannot be.

Vampire Bat: Well, immortality can be ended with a well-planned suicide if you are good enough to do that.

[Gets a chicken cutlet and three glasses of chocolate shake].

What is the movie about? :: Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) gets a team known as Task Force X, also called The Suicide Squad – consists of prison inmates who agree to carry out extremely dangerous and often near impossible missions for her in exchange for lighter sentences. As they come up against their first mission, there are two teams, and from the first one, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is the only inmate who survies along with Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) who was leading the team. The second team is able to sneak in between, under the leadership of Bloodsport (Idris Elba), and supported by Peacemaker (John Cena), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior). They are now at a small South American island nation of Corto Maltese which had its autocratic government overthrown by an anti-American one. They have to destroy a Nazi-age laboratory which still holds a secretive experiment known as Project Starfish. It is supposed to be extra-terrestrial in nature.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: While Bloodsport and Peacemaker are expert marksmen, Ratcatcher controls rats. King Shark seems to be the strongest among them while Polka-Dot Man seems to be more of a distraction than anything else. King Shark almost eats Ratcatcher before being stopped by her pet rat, while Bloodsport and Peacemaker cannot get along at all, going on competing with each other instead of concentrating on the mission. Polka-Dot Man seems to be all lost in between. They find Flag among the rebel soldiers and Sol Soria (Alice Braga) who leads the soldiers agrees to assist them, so that their country could be free from military control, and also as part of vengeance. Harley Quinn who is caught by the government soldiers is taken to the palace, and she understands the new regime’s plan to destroy the other nations using Project Starfish. The team has to find The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) who is in charge of the operation before the situation gets any worse.

The defence of The Suicide Squad :: The colours and shades that we see in The Suicide Squad are beautiful, and it seems to be a quality which it has inherited from its predecessor. You can always keep your eyes on the screen, and be happy with what is seen on the background with settings that keep one interested. The visuals are all good, with the world looking beautiful. There are some fine action sequences in the final moments of the movie, and the use of humour works at times – the same is done best by Harley Quinn herself. The use of rats contribute nicely to make a visual spectacle, and the lights during the darkness nicely contribute to making the world better. The fights in the movie can be seen an worth one’s time. The action had also started much early, and there is not much time wasted with that. There is also scope for some fine sequels and spin-offs left in the end too. The stylish part stays strong too.

The claws of flaw :: The movie required a better human villain to keep things strong, but that cannot be seen around here. The villainy among the main characters also fall flat with not much being done with it. There was always something special to be done with a film like this, and better heroes could also make way here. The blood and gore is very much unlike the usual superhero films, but with its big extra-terrestrial antagonist, it chooses to go dumb in the looks and not scary, which is also strange. There is also no shortage of usual repetitions around here. With a fine premise, it losses so many opportunities which were there to be taken. The big iconic character, Harley Quinn, is also not used to the best advantage, as we know that she has always deserved more. Some of the humour here also feels dumb enough – the dark humour doesn’t work that effectively. This required to maintain its quality at all times, but we see that it has some regular ups and downs.

Performers of the soul :: Throughout the movie, one can surely see Margot Robbie dominating the proceedings again as Harley Quinn. There are moments which seems to be about her only, even though nothing matches what he did in the earlier Suicide Squad – the absence of Joker will always be the big missing point. The one tale that catches our attention the most is that of Daniela Melchior, who dominates the proceedings in a beautifully passive way. She is the one who deserves a possible spin-off among all the characters around here, something bigger and smarter than Birds of Prey. This is one character to which we are also emotionally attached, and this attachment is to stay, as long as the last rat is alive on this planet. There is a certain amount of cuteness in the psychotic beauty that is attached to everything about her. Idris Elba’s character is rock solid, while John Cena’s is just ridiculous. There is no strong villain among the performers either, even though there were so many signs in the earlier stages of the movie.

How it finishes :: The Suicide Squad is a journey down from the original Suicide Squad, which was poetic, and fun from the beginning to the end, and had a human antagonist worth fighting against, unlike what we have now. Even the characters or similar characters reflecting the first movie are not that good here, whether with the costumes or with the action. Yet, this movie also holds its ground, and manages to be better than DC’s superheroes coming together. When the team of villains do better than Justice League every time, one cannot wonder about the fact that the world is going with evil over goodness. The evil that we have seen in this world through the ages will only get worse, that is for sure. The Suicide Squad is a reminder of the same, and it makes another interesting film. Until DC gets the better superhero movies like Aquaman back here, you can always watch Minnal Murali, the first Malayalam superhero movie on Netflix, which gets the origins better than most of the others in style.

Release date: 24th December 2021 (Amazon); 5th August 2021 (USA)
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Daniela Melchior, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Suicide Squad

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What is the movie about? :: During the events that follow Superman’s (Henry Cavill) death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, CIA’s Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles Task Force X, a team consisting of dangerous criminals. The team was to consist of a highly skilled hitman who is never supposed to miss with his gun in the hands – Deadshot (Will Smith), a former psychiatrist who has a lot of madness inside her which she isn’t afraid to show to the world creating chaos – Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), a pyrokinetic gangster who refuses to be evil anymore after a disaster – El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a thief who is exceptionally skilled in using boomerang – Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a genetically mutated crocodile-like human supposed to have cannibalistic tendencies along with his superior strength – Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and a mercenary with high level grappling and scaling skills with a lot of combat practice – Slipknot (Adam Beach).

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Amanda intends to use them for the defence of the nation, as the big void which was left by the superhero’s death is sure to make it easy for the dangerous and twisted criminals and metahumans to strike terror upon the heart of common man, and the usual military and police might not be able to stop them. The new expendable assets are placed under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Each member has a nano bomb inside their necks, which could be activated to explode, so as to make sure that none of these criminals try to do anything smart of make an attempt to escape. Another one whom Amanda intend to recruit is Rick Flag’s girlfriend and archeologist Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne) whose other form is Enchantress, an ancient goddess and witch who has taken over her body, and appears at times.

So, what all trouble awaits our people? :: Enchantress is not someone who will take this dishonour of her godly self lightly, as she turns on Amanda for imprisoning her, and with the help of her brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine), unleashes terror. The ancient evil finds herself ready to destroy everything that humans holds dear in return for their disrespectful treatment of her. With their vast magical abilities, the brother and sister duo takes control of a subway station and transforms humans into monsters listening only to their command. But Enchantress is just one of their problems as there is someone else after them – The Joker (Jared Leto) who is coming to get Harley Quinn. The situation only gets worse when the team members get the reality about what all are being hidden from them. But they form the last hope for humanity in a world without Superman – what will they choose to do with the world having done nothing for them?

The defence of Suicide Squad :: We can consider this movie more as some kind of poetry in motion, with lots of music being used here and there, and the way in which the action progresses is also nothing less than poetic – you will see a lot of it with the Harley Quinn – Joker sequences which come as flashback scenes. The movie had to introduce so many characters at once, and this one has managed to do that – something which a lot of movies will fail to do, and some of them won’t even try, and in that case, Suicide Squad is a clear winner with its attempts. There are smart dialogues and fine action sequences, with those special effects doing the job really well. Unlike the fake characters in the overrated Guardians of the Galaxy, there is no pretending going on here either – we know who all these people, and they make us believe. Well, you don’t need to pretend that you didn’t like this one just because a number of critics said so!

Positives and negatives :: There is no doubt that people will have many reasons to like as well as dislike this movie, and there will be occasions when both will be the same – certain beauty of some parts of this movie will be what some people won’t like, and vice versa; it is how this movie works personally. There are also some characters that go away without being noticed, and even with a full squad, some of them are just not completely there. We surely needed more of the Joker, but it is not there – he is not the villain as some people might have thought, as the Enchantress takes up that position. Also in comparison, one might not find this version of the man to be making that much impact as they wanted him to. Opposite to what some people had said, this is actually a better movie than the hype which was Guardians of the Galaxy, as we get to connect to the bad guys as people in this flick, unlike the fakes which we had there – and the fun here is more real, and so is the danger.

Performers of the soul :: The best of performances begin with Margot Robbie as the crazy female villain who brings a grand effect to us. There is something about each action of the character, and this one is a full entertainer as long as she is there. There is a certain kind of dark poetry related to her, and some of it can be seen also in the Enchantress played by Cara Delevingne who brings one of the better female villains around – there is something about her from the very first time she is introduced, and whether as the witch-goddess or as the archeologist, she looks too good. Will Smith also scores at his moments, as the hitman who makes us emotionally connected to the character. Jay Hernandez has El Diablo going steady, while the rest of the bad guys just follow the path with these people getting to score more than the others, and as I said earlier, the Joker is underused.

How it finishes :: Suicide Squad is special because it is different, and even in that difference, this one is divergent in an excellent manner. Maybe people still wanted to have the same kind of superhero movies, but not with this one – it has decide to change things, and it is one’s choice to like it or go for the “usual superhero saving the day after destroying a whole city and killing so many people around” kind of thing. Even with the so called criminals teaming up, the number of common people killed in this movie is not much – not that much of top level evil in the bad guys, as you can see. This would make a perfect video game too, with these interesting characters around – but if there is a computer game existing for a movie, won’t the pseudo-intellectuals reviewing the movies make this one look even worse with their reviews? Lets hope that movies like Suicide Squad will be saved from such people! At the same time, I hope that you have enough divergence and a little bit of madness in you good enough to understand this movie.

Release date: 5th August 2016
Running time: 123 minutes
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, Alain Chanoine, David Harbour, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Corina Calderon, Ben Affleck (cameo), Ezra Miller (Cameo), David Ayer (cameo), Jason Momoa (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

RoboCop

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A hybrid in black :: A long time after the release of the 1987 version, here is a reboot which was much talked about. There are times when remakes and reboots do work, like in the case of Dredd, Batman Begins, The Amazing Spider-Man and Man of Steel, but there are times when they don’t. RoboCop might have also wondered about the same, and no wonder they wanted to make this hero black too, and remains so through most of the movie. It has released here two days after the original release in the United States and seems to have attracted less audience even as the title character is rather famous among the masses and the posters are pretty much impressive. The original movie re-telecasted on television might have brought better audience, even as this one might have just managed to keep itself together, but not throughout the whole movie, that is for sure. As the original movie was rather ahead of its times, one would wonder where this one will stand as bigger robots have come and gone in the form of Transformers and Pacific Rim.

What is it about? :: The world has gone on to 2028. OmniCorp is the organization that supplies mechanized soldiers to the United States Army which are used abroad. They wish to use the same inside the United States, but the same doesn’t happen due to Dreyfus Act which prevents it. The CEO of the organization asks a leading scientist to create a soldier who is a combination of man and machine, so that the public will like him and support more machines. As they look for a human who can be merged with the machine, one of the cops Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured by a bomb blast. As his wife, Clara (Abbie Cornish) approves the same to see him live, he is chosen as the RoboCop. The control of the human side is kept to the minimum so that his decisions are more accurate and without being shadowed by human emotions which could weaken his reliability. The question remains if the man or the machine wins in the end, and whether he can have revenge on the people who tried to kill him as well as those who wishes to control him.

The defence of RoboCop :: So RoboCop rides on the fame of a movie which was more popular than even those movies which had big stars in 1987. Being Alexander James Murphy and newest model from OCP Crime Prevention Unit of Detroit Police Department, this guy has been a popular hero for quite a long time. The idea of a cyborg, half-man and half-machine was a crowd favourite. This movie works on that solid grounds, and therefore this movie does starts with certain good score. There are lots of action sequences in store for such a character, and this movie also has the same, but mostly about shooting people. Along with the cyborg, the other robots are also nicely done. The robot versus drones training fight remains the best shooting sequence in the movie. The movie tries again and again to bring more and more thoughts into the process, including humanity, machines and souls, and it makes more and more efforts to keep the emotional side powerful.

The claws of flaw :: The movie can’t really use this emotional side to its advantage, as it is so much caught between it’s confusion about the major character being a man or robot, and in the process, often forgets that the viewers are human, or mostly belonging to that particular species which is supposed to be intellectually superior. RoboCop tries to live on the hype of the original, and in the process, ends up being too less of an entity which can be something which belongs to this age. To add to it, some fight sequences are horribly uninteresting. Then Iran seems to be occupied by the United States and RoboCop is made in China. There is also a television programme which is rather boring for the common viewer. Whenever there is too much deviation from the core of a movie like this, which should have been action, there was to be struggle, and RoboCop is caught in that problem which it has brought upon itself with repetition of the “emotion” stuff, as it gets overdone.

How it works :: Joel Kinnaman does well as the protagonist of the movie. One has to appreciate his presence as the cyborg right from that moment he wakes up inside that suit which is himself. Abbie Cornish is also nice; and I have seen her only in Sucker Punch before. There are lots of good moments provided by the cast, and the movie certainly has its own style. RoboCop seems to be doing better than the 2012 remake of Dredd for now, but I would say that the latter is one of the best reboots ever, even as RoboCop will surely collect more money than the same. Both works on almost the same platform, in a futuristic world full of crime, but RoboCop has the advantage of its hybrid character, and it is what sells, no matter how better Dredd really is. Unlike the original movie, this one isn’t really clear, as it seems to wonder what it is going to convey to the audience. It could have used a lot of updates which any robot should have with that advancement in technology.

Soul exploration :: As RoboCop is the latest victim to Hollywood’s desire to remake movies, there is surely a lot more than what meets the eye. There is a certain amount of satire in it, about the millionaire corporate greed and the prejudice of media, even as they rarely strike hard enough. There is lot of weakness in the idea. The audience expectation of an action movie is fulfilled only on occasions, as the robot police doesn’t get into the field until the second half. There is a lot of slowness related to the first half due to this, but one can spend that time thinking about what is to come and which part of this new breed of police will take over. The movie repeats what one would have always thought about the original law enforcer cyborg, and somewhat adds to the questions which were already there. But the answers are rather not clear in this case. May be it is because the movie wonders about its genre, but it fails to make its point clear as it has another television show in the end which continues what it had been saying.

How it finishes :: RoboCop doesn’t finish that strong as expected from the trailer. There was almost no scene which evoked any good response from the audience in the theatre. It was as if everyone in there was dead; there is always something to cheer for in almost every Hollywood action movie, but not in this one. When it tries too much in order to touch the foreign policy of the United States, capitalism, imperialism, media lies, human tendency towards corruption, terrorism, violence, modern tenchnology with side-effects and all things possible, with no particular care for one, there is rather too much of mess in an action movie which people are expecting. May be it had stuck to one or two things and used more interesting action sequences, with a better link between the audience and the human side of the robot, this would have been better. For now, it is just another okay movie which manages to hold on.

Release date: 14th February 2014 (India); 12th February 2014 (USA)
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.