When the original Suicide Squad film came out in 2016, I wouldn’t say that I had high hopes exactly but I was looking forward to seeing it. After all, Harley Quinn is one of my favourite DC characters and I thought it would a refreshing change from the usual DC films that had come before it. At the time, I didn’t completely hate it. I mean, I didn’t really enjoy it but I thought bits of it were fine. I watched it again after watching the new one and I regret my initial laidback feeling. It’s just embarrassing and I have no idea what Cara Delevingne was doing the whole time. So much cringe. Blame can’t really be placed at director David Ayer’s door. It’s clear that the studio messed with the film to and absolutely butchered it. Something that has been confirmed recently when pages of the original script were leaked. Not that I want to delve into that right now. What we should talk about is whether my slight change of heart has more to do with how awful Suicide Squad is or with how great the new one is?
We all know that very little positive stuff came out of 2016’s Suicide Squad. In fact, the only really memorable thing was Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. She was exactly the character we needed and Robbie brought real heart to the Joker’s slightly mad paramour. Yes, she also gave basic white girls a new go-to sexy Halloween costume but hey ho. Who am I to judge? It was just great that Harley was getting the treatment she deserved. As a female comic book fan, I’m obviously a Harley fan. She’s been an interesting part of the Batman storylines, had some great team-ups with Ivy and co, and her own comic book is fantastic. She could easily have been ruined by the same people who allowed Zack fuckin Snyder to ruin Superman and almost ruin Batman. But she wasn’t and she was beloved enough to be given her own film… sort of. Female superheroes are slowly becoming more prominent so it’s refreshing to see a fully female comic book film that seems natural. You know, not like the embarrassing scene in Endgame that was awkward and smug. You may remember that this film was on my list of 2020 films I was looking forward to this year and it was finally time to see it.
I had to Google John Lithgow after watching Jay Roach’s film depicting the story about the women who exposed Fox News’ CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Why did I Google him? Because it’s been a long time that I haven’t seen him in a fat suit. What with him playing Winston Churchill in The Crown and then playing Ailes, John Lithgow must have spent a lot of time in a make-up trailer. Bombshell has been nominated for Best Hair and Make-Up. It’s not an award that I usually pay much attention to because who am I to say what is good or not? But Bombshell is in another world. Not only did I legitimately think that John Lithgow had piled on loads of weight but Charlize Theron does not look like Charlize Theron. If she didn’t have such a distinctive and sultry voice, I’d never have known it was her. Who are these make-up magicians? Given them a fucking Oscar and be done with it.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a Quentin Tarantino fanboy. Actually, no that’s not true. I love a bit of Tarantino but I do think he is a bit overhyped. Pulp Fiction is a great film but is it really one of the greatest films ever made? I don’t think so. Is it one of the most overrated films ever made? Quite possibly. Yes, it inspired a generation of filmmakers and spawned countless copycats. The problem is, in the cold hard light of day, Pulp Fiction just feels kind of juvenile. It’s one of those too cool for its own good kind films that everyone sensationalises. In Mean Girls terms, Pulp Fiction is Regina George. Pulp Fiction is possibly one of Tarantino’s most indulgent films. He, like Spielberg, is very good at standout scenes but, below the surface, it’s kind superficial. So, I’m always a bit wary of Tarantino. But, I have enjoyed his films more and more as the years go by. And I was excited to see what he would do with this film. It’s such an iconic time in history and Tarantino taking on the story of Sharon Tate’s murder was always going to be interesting.
I’ve put off trying to write this review until the last-minute because I genuinely don’t know how to feel about this film. I knew that I wanted to see it because I think Margot Robbie is a great actress and I’d probably totally adore Allison Janney in anything. But, being a British person who has never been very interested figure skating and was only 6 when Tonya Harding was stripped of her title, I also wasn’t exactly knowledgeable about the story. I mean, I knew the basics of Harding’s story but it’s not as if I’d ever had any reason to go an delve deeper into her backstory. So, as much as I wanted to see this film I wasn’t sure I’d be the right person to appreciate it fully. Still, Mark Kermode was raving about it about a month ago and we’ve been on the same wavelength for a while now. I felt like it was the least I could to do to give the whole thing a try.