Sam Strange Remembers: SUICIDE SQUAD

Watch out! Things get twisted!

With all the wacky comic book movies coming out these days, now seems like the best time ever to drop one filled with a bunch of weird carny characters no one has heard of and just sit back and watch the world arbitrarily treat them like a big deal. So I came up with the idea for Suicide Squad, a movie made on purpose in which known entities like Batman, the Joker, and the Flash only make cameos in favor of a guy whose face is a tattoo and a dude whose specialty is owning ropes.

With a cast this big, it’s very important each character gets a proper introduction. So we start off meeting Deadshot, an assassin who is very good at not missing things. Except his daughter. He misses her almost the entire movie.

Next we meet Harley Quinn, an insane stripper who could be the greatest villain in Gotham if she weren’t being held back by her twerpy clown boyfriend who promises to start paying his half of the rent once his hip-hop career finally takes off.

After that, we meet Deadshot. He’s an assassin whose run of bad guy luck ends when he’s arrested by Batman. And finally, we meet Harley Quinn, a twisted nutcase who was top of the underworld until she’s arrested by Batman.

The world of Suicide Squad is one that needs to be protected from all the crazy meta humans that have not come out of the woodwork since Superman arrived. For a while, it was no big deal because Superman was around to not ever fight them. But now Superman’s dead, and except for Batman, the Flash, and Wonder Woman, there’s no one out there to stand in their way. This is especially urgent given that they are all incarcerated and off the streets. 

It all makes high-ranking government employee Amanda Waller very nervous. So she hatches a plan to put all the meta humans on a team and force them to cause damage so cooler heroes have a reason to show up and do stuff. She explains this plan to a couple other high-ranking government employees. They like it, and she thanks them for their input before shooting both in the face and walking out without paying her check.

To keep control this crew, Waller needs a non-meta human army guy. To keep control of him, she needs him to fall in love with an archeologist, have that archaeologist get possessed by a 6000-year-old witch, take that witch’s heart, and stab it with a coffee stirrer any time she gets out of line, a job so simple she leaves it to interns, like four of which are named Robin just in case this movie does well.

Now she just has to convince the higher-ups to approve her team plan. She does so by making the witch float around a conference room and do neat tricks. For instance, the witch pulls a quarter out of one guy’s ear. She performs an eerily perfect ventriloquism act. At one point she possess everyone and makes them recreate the “Day-O” scene from Beetlejuice. Obviously they are all very excited and sign off on Waller’s plan, after which she shoots them all in the face.

So now it’s time to get the crew together (to the sounds of Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out”) and put explosives in their necks (to the sounds of Fiona Apple’s “Hey Guyz, We’re Gonna Blow Up Yer Headz If You Make a Break 4 It or Otherwise Give Us Any Shit”).  First there’s Deadshot. He’s like really good at shooting things. Then there’s Harley Quinn. She’s nuts; you definitely don’t want to mess with her.

That doesn’t really seem like enough, so they hurry up and get some more. Soon there’s also an alligator guy. His superpower is looking like an alligator. Then there’s boomerang guy. His superpower is being able to throw boomerangs, which is hard. Then you have this guy who’s really good with ropes. And finally, there’s a dude who can control fire. He’s really the only actual meta human on the team; he could kill everyone around him in the blink of an eye if he wanted to, so I made him a conscientious objector.

While all this is going on, that witch lady breaks her brother out of genie jail and decides to end the world by building a machine that will wipe out humanity. Instead of making an iPhone that gives you ear cancer, however, she opts to make a swirling cloud that lights up and sings country tunes when you push a button on its belly.

Meanwhile, the Suicide Squad has nothing to fight. In a panic, Waller tells them to go to a particular address and rescue a kidnapped person of great importance. So they go. But because they’re all so naughty, they can’t help but wreck their helicopter for the fun of it. This pisses the skinny army guy off, so he blows up Rope Guy’s head. They all sort of shrug. “We didn’t really know that dude anyway. He kinda just showed up at the last minute.”

As they walk to their destination, it seems increasingly obvious that some major shit is going down a few blocks away. There’s a huge cloud of whirling nonsense above this building and all the people are getting turned into Power Ranger bad guys. They want to go check it out, but the skinny army guy won’t let them. So they stick to the mission, which is literally just them walking into a building, taking the elevator up to the top floor, and sitting outside a room while skinny army dude rescues the person all by himself. Turns out, it’s just Amanda Waller watching TV with a bunch of coworkers. Her hope was that Wonder Woman or someone would jump in and do something with all these villains walking down the street, but no luck. So she shoots her coworkers in the face and leaves the room.

The Suicide Squad is confused because there was no one to rescue. Amanda Waller is embarrassed because it looks like her plan sucked after all. Luckily, she sees the swirling cloud next door and pretends they just got the address wrong like a bunch of idiots. She even blows off Boomerang Guy’s head to show her displeasure (he’s pretty fun though, so it grows back offscreen).

Now everyone goes to the swirling cloud building. Well, first they get a drink and tell each other sad stories. Then they fight the baked potato people. And then they go to the building to rescue the architect lady from within the crazy witch lady. Which may or may not even be a thing.

They aren’t stupid though. She seems pretty tough so they first hit her with the fire guy. He’s not into it, but between Crocodile Guy’s strength and Deadshot’s inability to miss things, they find it pretty easy to pick him up and throw him at her like a grenade. He blows up big, even transforming into his final form - a giant peacock with excellent kicking abilities - but it is not enough. So, having failed with their biggest weapon, they try to see how bullets, baseball bats, and boomerangs do. Oh, and there’s suddenly a lady with a cartoon sword that looks like Eminem and sings “My Name Is”. She jumps in there, too.

Even with all these weapons that were obviously subpar to a giant flaming Latino peacock, they do not put a dent in the witch lady. So they instead have a brief dance party to the sounds of The Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child” before holding hands in friendship and defeating the witch lady with the power of altruism and positivity. She blows up, but they pile up her exploded body goop and underneath it find the archeologist lady, alive and well. Skinny army guy pretends to rejoice but secretly already forgot what she looked like.

And with that, everything is hunky dory. The Suicide Squad goes back to jail, only this time they have TVs. So that’s a step up. Amanda Waller pats herself on the back for turning a good idea that went bad into a wash, the best any government employee can hope for. She's still a tiny bit bummed none of those cool superheroes showed up, though.

It turns out the joke’s on her, however, as Wonder Woman herself steps from the shadows and cuts off her head for all those people she shot in the face. Suddenly the Crypt Keeper appears and makes some puns about her "Screaming headache" and it turns out you were all watching a particularly ambitious episode of Tales from the Crypt this whole time.

(three stars)