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Suicide Squad (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 123 minutes.

Not for children.

Back in the day people read books. There were books like “Gone with the Wind” and “Rebecca” and “From Here to Eternity” by authors like Margaret Mitchell and Daphne du Maurier and James Jones and they were long, 1,037 pages in ‘Wind and 900 pages in ‘Eternity, and people read them and Hollywood listened and bought them and made movies out of them with genuine actors, stars like Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier and Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift and Deborah Kerr and Frank Sinatra, and people came and watched the movies and they made money.

Then people discovered smart phones and they spent their days looking at their smart phones and they stopped reading books because their attention spans were the length of a gnat’s eyelash, and Hollywood switched from making movies out of books. Instead of reading books, people read comic books where about all they had to do was look at pictures, and Hollywood listened and bought the rights to the comic books and made movies out of them. But they didn’t need real actors because there’s very little dialogue in a comic book, just a bubble above a character with a short statement. But there was a lot of action in comic books so Hollywood made “action movies” that didn’t require acting, but were loaded up with special effects and silly characters like Superman and Batman and Spiderman, et. al.

Fortunately for Hollywood, they didn’t have to hire a bunch of script writers because the story was always the same. Movie after movie after movie came out filled with comic book characters with a ridiculous fight every 10 minutes and none of the comic book characters could die so it made the people happy and they didn’t have to think and they flocked to these movies by the millions and Hollywood made money and the people who didn’t have to think went away happy because they hadn’t had to exert any effort thinking during the movie. And because it’s the same plot of every other movie like this, they don’t have to remember anything.

That’s what Suicide Squad is. Actually, it’s a tepid remake of The Dirty Dozen (1967). The difference is that The Dirty Dozen was made out of a real book the people read and loved and Hollywood bought it and made a movie filled with good actors like Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson and George Kennedy and Robert Ryan and Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland and people came to it and loved the movie.

Suicide Squad is populated by a bunch of people nobody’s ever heard of. Oh, they’ve got some well-known names like Will Smith in there and Margot Robbie (who actually acts and gives a good performance, the only positive thing in the movie) and Viola Davis, who deserves a better role than this. This movie fits the formula perfectly with a fight every 10 or 15 minutes each of which defies all logic and reason.

The first hour is spent introducing all the characters and all the horrible things they’ve done. The second hour is them bonding with one another and banding together ŕ la The Dirty Dozen to defeat a horrible opponent with some of the silliest fights ever filmed.

This is a movie for Millennials who spend their time playing the new Pokémon game walking around with their noses stuck in their smart phones.

Nothing’s perfect, or I would call this a perfect waste of time. I don’t like being trite, but if you have seen one of these, you have seen them all.

For another view, however, a Millennial told me after I described the film to her that she was looking forward to seeing it because, "sometimes people just want to be entertained without thinking."