The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad ★★½

We're all 100% going through the motions at this point. Making this movie, making it 'edgy,' having it 'subvert the genre,' then us watching it *desperate* to want to like some big dumb fun thing and hoping it breathes some life back into the genre -- all of it feels fake and hyperselfconcious and ten years too late.

That's no fault of *this movie* -- the movie itself does everything about as well as can possibly be done, and I honestly have no idea how I would've done anything differently. But there's no novelty to inverting superhero cliches anymore. Guardians of the Galaxy already did that. Thor: Ragnarok already did that. At this point, the cliche *inversions* are cliches themselves -- someone getting cut off in the middle of a heroic speech, someone dying surprisingly early, a big grand gesture with big grand music that falls flat, etc. At this point, we're more trained to expect the inversion of the cliches than the cliches. Marvel has already been doing that for the last, like, twelve movies, including several BY James Gunn.

The Harley prison scene was exactly the Yondu arrow scene from Guardians of the Galaxy 2. If that scene happened in a Guardians 3 (with PG-13 violence), none of us would give a shit, cause we've seen it before. But boy are we gonna try real hard to squint and find it novel this time because we really really want to not be cynical about every new superhero movie. Plus this time there's lots of blood and F-words! But it's not parodying anything at this point. Every superhero movie has toyed with expectations for a decade now, we have no expectations left to be subverted. There's just nothing left to parody in this genre, it's all been picked clean. Every big battle scene felt like every big Marvel battle, just bloodier. And when every scene involves the same cartoon hyperviolence over and over, you get desensitized to that pretty quick too.

I really wanted to like this movie too. I could feel myself mid-film trying to talk myself into it, and imagined future conversations where I praise it with a little too much oomph to prove than I'm not some joyless filmguy-brained snob who's too cool for superhero movies. But the longer it went on, the more I couldn't fight the truth in my shriveled heart. There's just nothing left to do here, people. When the cool, no-holds-barred, R-rated, 'piss on everything sacred' version of the genre feels as rote and predictable as everything else in the genre, it's time to take a big long break. Look into your hearts, you all know this to be true.

If being sick of superhero movies makes me lame, then I guess I'm just a big lame.

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