Oh dear. Suicide Squad (2016) Review

Its difficult to say anything that hasn’t already been said about Suicide Squad. While I think its a mediocre film, I do have a few positive things to say about it.

For starters the film is vastly superior to Man of Steel and Batman V Superman in terms of character development.

Deadshot, for example, is a hitman struggling to maintain his relationship with his daughter. He’s shown to be a conflicted character, wanting to survive the mission so he can redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter.

Now Deadshot won’t have you tearing up, but compared to the bland characters in the previous DC films he makes Suicide Squad quite engaging.

suicide squad pic

Harley Quinn is also an interesting character. She adores the Joker and wants to be with him again, even though its quite obvious their relationship is driven by obsession and madness. She’s a tragic individual and I wanted to see more of her story.

I should say I actually didn’t mind Jared Leto’s Joker.

I can understand people’s complaints about him being inaccurate to what he is in the comics but I appreciated that he was a less conventional interpretation. I thought him being a psychopathic gangster was a good, original take on the character.

The great problem with Suicide Squad is the structure.

Like Batman V Superman there are too many characters and backstories to make a clear, emotionally-engaging narrative.

Deadshot and Harley Quinn get the most development but their stories are overshadowed by six other characters and backstories.

If a couple of subplots were cut I think the film would’ve felt a lot more defined.

Despite the cluttered structure, Suicide Squad is the best cinematic effort from DC so far and suggests that perhaps we may see a DC film that’s on par with the Marvel films…some day.

I give Suicide Squad a worthy 5 out of 10.

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It Just Gets Better and Better! Sandman Season of Mists (1992) Review

Sandman Season of Mists is another great volume in the same vein as Doll’s House.

Centuries ago Morpheus fell in love with a woman called Nada. He sent her to hell for rejecting his offer of becoming his queen. During a meeting, the Endless argue that what he did was unfair.

Morpheus agrees and journeys to Hell to get Nada back. However, when he gets there he sees that Hell is changing and soon discovers that he has a larger, more delicate responsibility.

sandman 4 pic
Delicious.

One issue I had with the previous volumes was the presentation of Morpheus. I didn’t think he was very empathetic and never got challenged in any of the stories.

Season of Mists is better in this respect. Morpheus is emotionally involved in the arc, he wants to rescue his love and apologize to her.

Now I wasn’t shedding tears for Morpheus but I certainly empathised with him more than I did in the first three volumes.  

Another strength of Season of Mists is the world. We get to see a whole lot more of the Sandman universe.

We see all of the Endless; what they look like, what they represent.

We learn more about Hell; how old and vast is it, where the demons come from, the responsibilities of Lucifer.

One significant problem I had was the ending to Morpheus and Nada’s arc. I won’t spoil it but I will say that it was sudden and didn’t get as much development as I was anticipating.

Overall, the Sandman series has just been getting better and better. With a more empathetic protagonist and greater insights into it’s world, Season of Mists is another fantastic story arc.

I give Season of Mists a strong 8 out of 10.  

Pegg Gets It Right. Star Trek Beyond (2016) Review

Star Trek Beyond, in my view, is the best Trek film from the rebooted series so far.

It maintains a pretty good balance of character-driven scenes and thrilling action sequences, while wittily and subtly paying tribute to the original series.

Three years into their five-year mission, the Enterprise is attacked and the crew is forced to take refuge on an uncharted planet.They discover the attack was directed by Krall, an alien dictator searching for an ancient artifact to use as a part of a bioweapon.  With the majority of the crew held in Krall’s camp, Kirk, Spock and their small army must overthrow Krall before he can complete his bioweapon.

The story has a charming, Star Treky feel to it. Beyond is basically a new episode from the original series, with more development and budget.

Star Trek Beyond pic
So much right.

There’re no intergalactic wars or gigantic end-of-the-universe-battles, just a simple, small conflict between two fractions on a planet.

The restricted setting allows more room for character development, giving the new crew some fantastic scenes.

Kirk is smarter and more mature. He feels more of a captain and less of a student, which makes him easier to invest in.

Spock also receives some good adjustments. His relationship with Uhura gets less attention in the plot, letting Spock embark on a different, more personal arc.

This isn’t a spoiler but it is revealed that Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) has died. Throughout the film Spock worries about his species’ mortality. He considers leaving Starfleet to continue Ambassador Spock’s work on New Vulcan.

Unlike Star Trek Into Darkness, which just shoehorned iconic quotes from The Wrath of Khan, the referencing is handled a lot better. Very much like The Force Awakens, the references are used as conversational mentions of the film’s universe, races, worlds and technology.

The only problem with the film is the villain. I thought Krall was a bit dull. He has a good motive but he isn’t fleshed out enough to be more interesting or three-dimensional.

Despite the bland villain however Star Trek Beyond transcends the first two films in terms of story, character and referencing. It’s a clever and fun journey and I recommend it.

I give Star Trek Beyond a strong 8 out of 10.

UPDATE: I’ve got another video up, this one’s got Captain Sweden in it. I thought it was about time I did something with that character. You can see the new video right here and you see original here.