Saturday, November 26, 2016

Memo to Warner Bros: Dont Be Stupid


I had written what I suppose was a humerous take on Suicide Squad (2016), but in retrospect it is just not a funny matter.

The film is a disaster and deserves to be held up as a world-class example of what not to do. For those of you who do not do this for a living, or who have not studied this craft, we are not talking about vague, aesthetic, mumbo jumbo here. We are talking about basic, straightforward, principles of art. Principles which you can of course violate if you are a genius and know exactly what you are doing. But if you are not a genius, and these people clearly are not, then you had better pay attention.

I am going to go over the details in just a moment, but before I do I want to put the knife in. The WB executives who managed this piece of shit do not deserve their job. Anyone can do better, or said differently, it would be difficult for someone who had been around this stuff for a while to do worse.

What is particularly sad about this train wreck is that there are some very good characterizations here. The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, the Enchantress are all excellent, IMHO. Its the story(ies) they were made to serve that suck.

Enchantress is such a babe and totally wasted in this movie

Some of the following are technically story structure faults and some of them are pure writing faults.

1. We have three movies here, or at least parts of three movies. One is a movie in flashback form of the Joker and Harley Quinn, their romance and Harley's origin story. It could have been great, but it wasnt completed and besides it should not be told as a flashback. The second movie is the Amanda Waller / Suicide Squad story to defeat Enchantress. And the third is the Enchantress story, what happened to her, and her desire for revenge. The last story is the one that is least realized. The one of the Suicide Squad mission is the most hackneyed. Either story 1 or 3 would have been more interesting.

2. The introduction of the characters for movie 2, Suicide Squad, is hackneyed and unnecessary. The mug sheet, attributes of the character are unnecessary and look forced because they are forced. Making them dance around in fancy type does not help. Maybe this worked in comic book form, I dont know, but it doesnt work here.

3. Here are some examples of bad writing. First, if you are going to send these creeps out with a special forces team, then they are going to have to train together. No special forces team would consent to go on a mission otherwise. But our writers clearly know nothing about special forces. Second, if you are going to turn ordinary humans into blob heads, explain why. How much better to have turned them into something that made sense in the context of the Enchantress. How about ancient Aztec warrior slaves? That would have been interesting, you know pulling people's hearts out of their chest, that sort of thing. Third, if you are going to just blow up the Aztec Brother with a fucking bomb, then why not just saturation bomb the place. The AF has lots of fighter-bombers with 500 lb. bombs that would do a lot better than that stupid charge. Fourth, what exactly was the Enchantress trying to build? What does it do? How? Why? What is the junk in the sky? What purpose does it serve?

The answer is that it serves no purpose.  The writers dont have a clue what they are doing.

4. A personal pet peeve of mine is to have a crash of some vehicle and then have people walk away. No, you do not have a helicopter crash and then roll it over a bunch of times without everyone inside having broken ribs, or crushed vertebrae or worse.

Listen up!  A helicopter crashes and rolls over a bunch of times, then two things are true. First, it explodes. Second nobody walks away. Got that?

This movie is worse than just a bad movie, it is a waste of good talent and a good opportunity. The executives and filmmakers who perpetrated this disaster should be ashamed of themselves.

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