Sure, I could’ve been a better blogger and rushed to type my thoughts after being flabbergasted (at IMAX size, no less) by James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad while it was still cool on opening weekend and before everyone decided it was “over” because it didn’t make $400 million at the box office, as if the HBO Max day-and-date release was never a mitigating factor. What else is there to say about a film so nakedly audacious about its primary objectives, so cocky about its body count in all the trailers and interviews, and so thorough in exceeding its dark-humored, extreme expectations? Besides adding that, yes, I too said “wow” and “YUCK” more times than I could count?
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time of year again! Anne and I spent this weekend at Wizard World Chicago in scenic Rosemont, IL, where we generally had a blast surrounded by fellow fans of comics and genre TV/movies even though parts of it resemble hard work and our feet feel battle-damaged after three days of endless walking, standing, lining up, shuffling forward in cattle-call formation, and scurrying toward exciting people and things.
In the first of our mandatory cosplay galleries, from the heart of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center we focus on the ubiquitous citizens of the DC Comics Universe — most, but not all, from the adjunct DC Cinematic Universe, including a special spotlight on a fun, silent skit we saw go down Sunday afternoon in the main lobby, in which Our Heroes from that recent #1 film meet an unstoppable force from another comic-book universe.
Midlife Crisis Crossover calls David Ayer’s Suicide Squad the best DC Comics film since The Dark Knight!
To be candid, that’s not too much of a compliment if you reconsider the competition. I suppose it’s a close race with The Losers, but I think of that more as a DC/Vertigo movie even though the original Losers were an old-time DC property. Suicide Squad has quite a few flaws in need of fixing — or, quite possibly, unfixing if you believe the press — but the overall studio-approved package contains a lot of well-crafted elements, some inspired performances, and a pretty faithful approximation of the 1980s Squad of my teenage years.
Some movie posters want to sell you happy fun times using all the colors of the rainbow. In terrible times like these, not everyone wants to embrace the dark side. Sometimes even our creepiest antiheroes are redrawn to radiate with kaleidoscopic pop-art joy in hopes of convincing tourists and natives alike that our next trips to the theater will leave us smiling and cheering while murderers and other malcontents save the day. Apparently that’s why the Suicide Squad now stands tall above Times Square looking as far removed from murky Zack Snyder dystopia as possible.
Meanwhile in other universes, other antiheroes couldn’t care less whether you smile or shudder.