Who the F*** Are the Suicide Squad?!?! (Part 3 of 3)

Featured image

“Grrrr!!!!”

So it’s finally come to this. The last four members of the Suicide Squad (Or, as it’s officially known, Task Force X), three of whom are probably going to be the main focus of the movie (Because shoving more than three origin stories into one movie might be kinda impossible).

For those of you who missed them, Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here, respectively. Let’s go ahead and get going with the biggest stereotype on the team…

George Harkness/Captain Boomerang

What the hell is wrong with his hair?

First appearance: Flash #117 (December 1960)

Created by: John Broome, Carmine Infantino

Portrayed by: Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and SandUnbroken, Jack Reacher)

Other portrayals: Donal Gibson (DC Animated Universe), John DiMaggio (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Nick Tarabay (Arrow), James Patrick Stewart (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox), Greg Ellis (Batman: Assault on Arkham)

Trying to find bright spots in Jai Courtney’s filmography is… Well, it’s something.

But-but who can forget his unforgettable turn in I, Frankenstein???

Anyways, George “Digger” Harkness was born in Kurrumburra, Australia, the illegitimate son of an American toymaker and an Australian woman. Harkness’ life in the wilds of small-town Australia was complete and utter shit, as he was growing up poor, and under the thumb of his abusive stepfather. Harkness turned to crime, committing robberies with the help of his trusty boomerang, a traditional Australian weapon that he had grown extremely proficient with, because what the fuck else are you supposed to do when you’re a teenager growing up in the Australian Bush?

Besides die horribly, I mean?

When a robbery goes horribly wrong, his stepfather kicks him out of the house, so his mom sends him to America to start over… And when he gets to the States, he immediately begins a career as a criminal, coming into conflict with the Rogues, a group of supervillains dedicated to taking down the Flash, and eventually the Suicide Squad.

While he is likely the least completely in sane of most iterations of the Squad, he shouldn’t be mistaken for a good person. He has little to no regard for human life (At one point leading his teammate, Mindboggler, to her death, solely because of petty differences), is just about completely amoral, and, if that wasn’t enough, he’s fond of sexual harassment, and is also overtly racist, making him one “That’s not a knife, this is a knife!” away from being the evilest possible version of Crocodile Dundee.

Hopefully, Jai Courtney is a better actor when he’s using his natural Australian dialect. I mean, he’s a Hollywood actor, there must be talent and charisma buried somewhere under the mountainous lack of appeal, right?

I’m being awfully critical for someone who doesn’t have the courage to use his real name online, aren’t I? I dunno, he’s probably a super nice guy.

Floyd Lawton/Deadshot

It could just be that I’m overly critical of Will Smith, but I’m actually surprised that he took a role that requires him to wear a mask for a good portion of screen time.

First appearance: Batman #59 (June 1950)

Created by: David Vern Reed, Lew Sayre Schwartz

Portrayed by: Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of– Oh, fuck this, if you don’t know who Will Smith is, why are you even here?)

Other portrayals: Michael Rosenbaum (DC Animated Universe), Tom Kenny (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Bradley Stryker (Smallvile), Michael Rowe (Arrow), Jim Meskimen (Batman: Gotham Knight), Neal McDonough (Batman: Assault on Arkham), Chris Cox (Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Knight)

Unlike the majority of the Squaddies, Floyd Lawton had a fairly privileged upbringing, growing up with insanely wealthy parents and an older brother, Edward, whom he adored. While his parents also adored Edward, they neglected Floyd, treating him poorly, because you can’t have a member of the suicide squad without family issues, apparently. His dad, being a neglectful asshole, was cheating on his mom, so Mrs. Lawton, giving vindictiveness a whole new  ordered her sons to murder their dad. .While Floyd was appalled, and attempted to warn Mr. Lawton, Eddie was, disturbingly enough, all for it, locking Floyd in the bathroom and going off to do the deed.  By the time Floyd broke out of the room and grabbed his rifle, Eddie had already paralyzed his dad from the waist down. In the ensuing fit of rage, Floyd shot Eddie in the face. Psychologically disturbed by this incident (Duh), Floyd trained as a marksman, and became a master assassin, becoming a semi-frequent opponent of Batman’s, and a staple of the Suicide Squad.

While not as batshit insane or downright monstrous as the others, Deadshot is still fairly crazy, having an extremely short fuse, an indifference to the lives of the people he harms, and an intense hatred of Batman solely for being one of the few people to make him miss a shot.

… Yeah, kinda.

He also has an intense death wish, and it is suggested that the sole reason that he is a member of the Squad is because he secretly hopes that he will die as a result of a mission. And who says DC is dark?

Not me! That’s for fucking sure!!!

Lastly, if you’re one of those people who has an issue with Will Smith playing a character that is traditionally Caucasian, you need to seriously consider removing yourself from the gene pool for the good of humanity.

Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn

Get it? Her name, I mean? It’s okay, take your time, I’ve got all day.

First appearance: “Joker’s Favour” (Batman: The Animated Series)

Created by: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm

Portrayed by: Margot Robbie (Pan Am, The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus)

Other portrayals: Mia Sara (Birds of Prey), Hynden Walch (The Batman, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman: Assault on Arkham) Meghan Strange (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Tara Strong (Arrow, Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight, Injustice: Gods Among Us), Arleen Sorkin (DC Animated Universe, Batman: Arkham Asylum)

The most effective poster girl for Hybristophilia since Bonnie Parker, Harley Quinn is a special case in that she didn’t actually debut in the comics. In fact, she debuted on the fantastic cartoon from the Nineties as Joker’s bubbly sidekick, and skyrocketed to prominence since then, for, uh, reasons.

Harley Quinn Vol 2 9 Textless

Ahem.

Born Harleen Quinzel in the city of Brooklyn (Her accent is as much a part of her character as insanity and a black-and-red colour motif, Harley excelled in her education, getting a job as a psychologist at Arkham Asylum in Gotham City, which is a place where most Batman villains go in between prison breaks. Why anybody would willingly move to Gotham City in the first place is belong me, but whatever.

Fascinated with psychopaths, she was naturally drawn to the biggest psycho of them all, the Joker. Convinced that he had been misdiagnosed by the other shrinks, Harley continually visited him, trying to get inside his brain and learn what makes him tick.

Always a good idea, obviously.

While Dr. Quinzel was smart, she wasn’t as smart as the Joker. Manipulating her with a couple of well-placed sob stories, she eventually felt so sorry for him that she fell hopelessly in love with him.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

Believing that they were meant to be together, Quinzel adopted a jester-like persona and helped bust Joker out of prison. Overjoyed, the Joker took her to Ace Chemicals, the place where he became the Joker, and shoved her into one of the same vats of unnamed chemicals that he fell into. The chemicals have a similar effect on her as well, colouring her hair, bleaching her skin, and driving her completely bananas. Becoming Joker’s sidekick, the reborn Quinzel adopted the moniker of Harley Quinn, and took her place by Joker’s side.

Get it? Like “harlequin”. Genius, I know.

Becoming Joker’s on-and-off girlfriend and sidekick, the newly christened Harley Quinn’s life became a cycle of ultraviolence and abuse, happily plotting and murdering with her “Puddin'” or “Mistah J” one day, while getting mentally abused and smacked around by him the next, even getting shoved out of a building by her homicidal boy toy at one point for trying to kill Batman without him.

Lately though, she’s established a separate identity from Mistah J, leaving him and becoming a little more morally ambiguous than straight-up evil since joining the Suicide Squad, though she’s still prone to the occasional murder spree.

She likes animals, weirdly enough.

Fun fact: Harley Quinn’s big-screen debut was originally supposed to come in the sequel to the infamous Batman & RobinBatman Triumphant. She was going to be the co-villain along with Scarecrow. This version of the character was written as being the daughter of Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman, who would’ve had cameos in Batman’s flashbacks (As a result of Scarecrow’s neurotoxin). After Batman & Robin ruined the franchise (At least until Batman Begins), Triumphant was cancelled.

That’s not all though: Do you know who was rumoured to be playing such a psychologically complex character?

Motherfucking Madonna.

Ha. No.

Amanda Waller

Oprah was originally in negotiations to play her, supposedly. Take that how you will, I guess.

First appearance: Legends #1 (November 1986)

Created by: John Ostrander, Len Wein, John Byrne

Portrayed by: Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help, How to Get Away With Murder)

Other portrayals: C.C.H. Pounder (DC Animated Universe, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: Arkham Origins), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Young Justice), Pam Grier (Smallville), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow), Penny Johnson Jerald (Justice League: Gods of Monsters), Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)

If this series of mine has taught you one thing, it’s that, aside from Katana and Rick Flag, the Suicide Squad are awful people. Murderers, psychopaths, even a cannibal that looks like a giant crocodile. And yet, the worst person out of them all may be their leader, a non-superpowered, physically unthreatening civilian named Amanda Waller.

Born in Chicago, Waller married young and had a large family with her husband. All was well until their son, a basketball prodigy, was murdered in a mugging, and their daughter was raped and killed in an alleyway on her way home from church. Her husband set out to find the rapist, and both men were killed in the process. Understandably hardened by this experience , Waller devoted herself to her studies, earning a political science degree and earning a job in politics. Working her way to the highest levels of the US government thanks to her ruthlessness and cruelty, Waller discovered the files of the very first Suicide Squad (The one that Rick Flag’s dad was a part of) and convinced the president to re-open the program. Waller essentially took control of Belle Reve Prison, and spirited away the more dangerous supervillains for use in the program. Fixing them with remote-controlled detonation devices to prevent rebellion, she forced the Squaddies to carry out black ops missions for the US government, assassinations and the sort, and in return, they would earn reduced sentences.

Will this origin be the same in the movie? Almost certainly not, but hey, this isn’t an exact science, this is just meant as kind of a background for the characters.

Speaking of them, there’s still a few actors (Scott Eastwood and Common among them) whose characters haven’t been announced, and at that time, I’ll do another profile for their characters, but until then,uh, (Insert appropriate quote from the trailer).

I know y’all are clamouring for that King Shark profile.

To be continued… Probably…

Terminator Genisys (Movie Review)

There is NO REASON for “Genesis” to be spelt like that!!! It’s fucking bullshit!!!

Hey, if James Cameron approved it, it must be good, right?

Right?!?!

Sigh….Let’s just get through this.

 Terminator Genisys

Directed by: Alan Taylor

Produced by: David Ellison, Dana Goldberg

Written by: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier

Genres: Science fiction, action

Starring: Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Lee Byung-hun, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith

Music by: Lorne Balfe

Plot: A retcon of sorts of the original series, Genisys (Ugh) kicks off right at the beginning of the Terminator series, with Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) getting sent back in time to 1987 by John Connor (Jason Clarke) in order to save the human race by protecting John’s mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke) from a Terminator (Poorly CGI’d Arnold Schwarzenegger). Once he gets back to the era when Los Lobos ruled the earth though, he learns that things have gone completely nutty. Sarah has been hunted by a goddamn T-1000 (Lee Byung-hun) for fourteen years, and has been protected by her own pet Terminator (Actual, live-action Schwarzenegger). What twists and turns await Kyle and Sarah in this bizarre reality?

Well, I won’t tell you, but I will tell you this: They certainly would’ve been a lot more impactful if I hadn’t had the big twist drilled violently into my head by the fucking trailers. God, the marketing team really dropped the ball.

In my opinion, the Terminator franchise should’ve ended with the second one (Unpopular opinion, I know). The Terminator is still an amazing movie, and Judgement Day is legitimately one of my favourite movies of all time. Rise of the Machines and Salvation, on the other hand, make no sense storywise (Skynet dies in T2, why are there still fucking Terminators???) and, quality-wise, the third and fourth movies left so little impact on me that I’m not sure how bad they actually are, which, I suppose, is kind of worse than just being a bad film.

Genisys, at least, is better and, yes, more memorable than T3 or TS. Does that make it a good movie, though?

Here’s your hint.

Getting right into the review, the one constant throughout this franchise, besides the constant need to manufacture some new disaster. illogical or not, in order to pump out a sequel, is the Governator (What a stupid nickname) himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Or whoever the hell this is supposed to be.

As much as people (Including myself) enjoy ragging on his limited acting ability (Though I’ve heard he’s good in Maggie, I dunno) I truly believe that his performances as the Terminator are legitimately great. It would be so easy to just be a stereotypical robot, but Arnie is downright terrifying in the first movie, and even seamlessly added comedic elements to his performance in Judgment Day, to terrific results.

Thankfully, despite it being twenty-one freaking years since his last genuinely good movie…

Well, “genuinely” might actually be pushing it.

… Arnold brings it to Genisys. He’s maybe not as intimidating as he used to be, considering he’s pushing seventy and is essentially playing Sarah Connor’s adoptive dad, but he still brings it in the action scenes (….Mostly), has some good comedic lines (Even if most of the comedy falls flat, what with the constant attempted shoehorning of repeat gags) and holds up his end of the bargain in terms of chemistry with Courtney and Clarke… Even if the latter two don’t hold up their end of the bargain.

Oh… We’ll get to you two later.

But, with that out of the way, I just like giving credit where credit is due. While better than the third and fourth movies… Terminator Genisys is really bad. Not unwatchable, but… Yeah, still unmistakably bad.

The first warning that this was not going to be good was the fact that it was rated PG-13. I’m not saying that a Terminator movie has to be rated R to be good, but… It sure helps, doesn’t it? Terminator has always worked best as a scary, gritty sci-fi thriller and it’s hard to deliver on those fronts when you have a quota of blood and f-bombs that you can’t surpass. One would think they would’ve learned that with the last two movies, but on would be wrong.

And what’s with people’s asses getting blocked by shadow? Will kid’s retinas burn off if they glimpse CGI Schwarzenegger’s heavily muscled rear, or something?

This is all a poorly-veiled way of saying that I wanted Emilia Clarke nudity, by the way.

 So what if I’m shallow? We’ve established that. Sue me.

Genysis also falls into the trap of shoving in a bunch of callbacks to earlier films. Throughout the runtime, especially the first half, there are moments that are tailor-made to look exactly like scenes from the first two movies and, well, I guess it makes sense story-wise, and it’s not like callbacks are the worst thing ever, but these scenes are literally the EXACTLY the same. I don’t care if you’re ripping off Citizen Kane scene for scene, you CANNOT be that lazy. Even if you do make it similar, you can still do something new or creative with the locales and the dialogue (I think the only classic Terminator line that wasn’t rehashed is “Hasta la vista, baby”). Otherwise, you’re just being unimaginative, and fuck you for that.

Even the aspects of the film that should’ve improved from the last movies (The action and visual effects, specifically) show no noticeable improvement from T2, even. The action is completely forgettable, and seemingly built around Arnie’s inevitable semi-witty line, while the visual effects don’t look like they’ve come a long way from Judgment Day and sure, T2‘s special effects are terrific even today (Unlike the Arnie-Matronic in the first movie) but that doesn’t mean that we can’t improve on it, right? Isn’t that the whole point of a sequel (Or whatever the fuck this movie is supposed to be)? To build on the positives of the original?

Oh. Shit. Forgot who I was talking about for a second.

Since I’ve gone on enough about everything else, it’s time to get to bitching about the things that piss me off the most about the movie, the wasted characters of Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor. Sarah had a terrific arc in the first two movies, transforming from an understandably frightened sadsack into an intense, asskicking badass. In Genysis, she starts off as a badass and… Goes nowhere from there. The only other layer to her character that we get is that she’s unhappy with the fact that her life seems predestined, and wants to do whatever she wants. Wow, we’ve never seen THAT character archetype before!

Oh hi, most every Disney Princess ever!!!

And as great an actress as Emilia Clarke is, she really isn’t very good as Sarah Connor. It’s not like she isn’t trying, because she obviously is, it’s just not clicking. At least Sarah likes the Ramones. That’s gotta count for something, right?

“Take me to the airport and put me on a plane. Hurry hurry hurry. Before I go insane. I can’t control my fingers. I can’t control my brain, oh noohoohooohooohooo…”

For being a main character of the first movie, Kyle Reese is a surprisingly underappreciated character in the franchise. In terms of the popularity, he probably ranks under the T-800, T-1000, Sarah Connor, pre-complete and utter insanity Edward Furlong, and that punk stereotype that the T-800 murders at the beginning of the first movie.

When I heard that Bill Paxton was a punk, I translated that as Eric Bana in my mind. Weird, I know.

So, does Jai Courtney bring Kyle Reese back to the desired level of stardom? Your hint is at 2:40-2:45 in the video below. Also, spoilers for Se7en.

Kyle Reese is so fucking annoying in Genisys. Whenever he opens his mouth, it’s only to bitch and complain at Clarke and Schwarzenegger, yell frantically that Schwarzenegger can’t be trusted when that’s obviously not the case, and hit on Clarke. What a waste.

Speaking of waste, Clarke isn’t the only great, miscast or poorly utilized actor in Genisys. Jason Clarke is perfectly unspectacular as John Connor, Matt Smith appears for two seconds, Lee Byung-hun has nowhere near enough screen time and J.K. Simmons is completely wasted on a character that contributes nothing. What a spectacular comedown from Whiplash.

Fletcher is gonna be pissed.

Overall: It doesn’t usually bode well when Arnold Schwarzenegger gives the most emotional performance in your movie.

Rating: 4.5/10

Still a better actor than governor, though.