3.5/10 Yet another example as to why you should NOT trust Rotten Tomatoes, the current 91% critic consensus is laughable and makes this critically one of the most overrated movies of 2021 by a longshot. This movie is chalk full of problems yet somehow gets a free pass from critics and many fans as well who are apparently wearing their superhero fanboy goggles for the two-hour duration of the movie. One of the biggest glaring issues that writer/director James Gunn faces is the “humor” that the movie attempts. Gunn mistakes vulgarity with hilarity as he seems to think that saying dirty words and briefly showing a penis will equate to side splitting laughter. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. None of the humor works here as it painfully tries so hard to. Like watching a stand-up comedian who isn’t funny, we get an awkward feeling more than an enjoyable one. Gunn said in a recent interview that he finds most modern superhero movies to be boring and therefore doesn’t like the vast majority of them. While “The Suicide Squad” is not boring, it does copy some boring cliché/tropes from other superhero movies. For a movie trying to stand out so hard, we get not one but two cliché shots of our superheroes walking in a straight line in slow motion which has been done to death at this point. We also get recycled characters. In 2016’s “Suicide Squad” Will Smith’s Deadshot was a black man who is known for his marksmanship and gets pulled into the mission to help out his daughter. In this movie Idris Elba’s Bloodsport is the exact same character which felt extremely lazy. King Shark also felt like a combination of Killer Croc from the first movie as well as Groot from Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. Returning characters Rick Flag and Amanda Waller didn’t even stay consistent with their characters from the previous movie to this one. Flag was always deadly serious yet is turned comedic here (similar to what Taika Waititi unceremoniously did to Thor’s character from “Thor: The Dark World” into “Thor: Ragnarok”) and we get no mention of his love interest, June Moone, who was his entire motivation in the last movie. When it comes to Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, she went from a cool, controlled badass who doesn’t think twice about murdering her own staff to a short tempered, out of control woman who lets her staff rise up against her with no consequences. Finally, after three movies featuring Harley Quinn, despite the excellent Margot Robbie’s 100% dedication, the character is extremely grating and annoying to be around. She isn’t funny and her crazy shtick gets old fast. She gets a romantic subplot in this movie that tonally feels way off and feels like it belongs in another movie altogether. One of her fight scenes sees her with two M-16s and as someone with lots of M-16 experience, I can personally attest to the fact that two magazines do not in fact carry hundreds of bullets and fire accurately like a machine gun. The only character I really enjoyed in the entire movie was Ratcatcher II, played by the talented Daniela Melchior, whose career I look forward to following. In an early scene where our “heroes” murder tons of people in a camp, characters were getting shot and blown up only feet away from each other yet somehow didn’t hear or notice what was going on right next to them which was extremely stupid. Compared to Gunn’s MCU films, this movie lacks the emotional weight of both Guardians films and the punk rock heavy soundtrack (paired with an awful end credits song) doesn’t mesh well with the content here, making his soundtrack fall way short of his Guardians films. Disney and Kevin Feige have a good amount of oversight for each MCU film whereas Warner Brothers gave Gunn complete creative freedom on this project. I firmly believe that Gunn does a much better job with some studio insight and other creative voices in the room keeping some of his impulses in check vs. when he has free reign to do what he wants and comes up with diminishing results. The movie’s villain who is a big deal in the DC comic world and is supposed to be extremely intelligent not only doesn’t come across as smart in this movie but we don’t get to know him or his motivations at all and he is disposed of quickly and easily, making for an extremely disappointing villain. I know I will take heat for this but I actually firmly believe that David Ayer’s 2016 “Suicide Squad” is a better movie than this and that is even with all of the studio interference from Warner Brothers. If they were to #ReleaseTheAyerCut, I think more people would agree with me that his version is superior to this one. As for what did work, the visuals were extremely well done (although Harley Quinn’s fight scene was ridiculous, I loved the animated flowers) and the scale of destruction was pretty epic. Embracing the R rating provided some fun violence and gore which was over the top but lots of fun to witness. I enjoyed the ballsy opening of killing lots of characters off and how even popular characters were never safe. John Murphy’s score was well done and made up for the soundtrack feeling so off. Despite coming in at over two hours long, the movie was entertaining and well paced, with something always going on. Despite the few positives, the lackluster script with cliché plot points, forgettable/repeated characters, a boring villain, no strong humor and Gunn’s ego getting the best of him, I look forward to the more controlled return to MCU film making with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and count this as one of the most disappointing, overrated superhero movies in recent memory.

#StarfishTroopers / #TheRatPack / #DoctorWhoIsThisVillain? / #PeaceFaker / #RickFlagHalfMast / #WWEBlah

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