By NICOLE & MATT ROBINSON
Matt: So many missed opportunities.
N: Just. Wow. It was pretty bad.
M: It wasn’t good. Even though it had its moments, it wasn’t good.
N: I feel like there’s a lot to unpack here, because there’s just so much wrong with this movie. And yet, there were at least a few things that we liked. That almost made it a shame this movie was so freaking bad. Do you want to start with the good, or the bad?
M: The acting is surprisingly solid. Will Smith does a fantastic job with the material he was provided. Almost all of the actors elevated the writing to slightly above abysmal level.
N: Even though I think Will Smith’s Deadshot was the main protagonist of the movie, the marketing campaign focused almost solely on Margot Robbie as the one to watch. I have to admit she was a big part of the reason I was excited to even see it. She didn’t disappoint. Robbie was a great Harley Quinn, and she played off Will Smith’s character in such a way that gave the movie the only depth it had.
M: The two of them had legitimate chemistry throughout, even more so than she had with the Joker. The Joker could have been cut from this movie totally, and the movie wouldn’t have been any different. Totally a forced decision.
N: It’s interesting because they led the marketing campaign very early on with shots of Jared Leto’s Joker and the reaction was not good. Let’s face facts, it was always going to be difficult for him to go up against Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance. To me it seemed – and from reading interviews Leto has done since the movie debuted – that they cut back the Joker’s role significantly to deal with this backlash and to push Margot Robbie forward. The result was an incoherent mess. I wasn’t sure at all why he was there or even what sort of Joker he was trying to play. It certainly wasn’t sinister or terrifying.
M: I actually didn’t even think Jared Leto was that bad! Again, it was everything else that was the problem with his character. The Joker was written poorly, directed poorly, and visually designed poorly. They turned this dark, perfect villain into a gold-chain and grill wearing gang banger. The whole movie was missing an element of darkness that should have been there. And, I think there’s a reason they didn’t release the plot ahead of time. Because I still don’t know what it is.
N: Right? What was it about? There was really nothing very suspenseful about the movie, and that was because I never knew what was going on. I kept thinking that I’d figured out the thread, that maybe this movie wasn’t really going to be as bad as it seemed, but then there’d be a scene that made no sense. Or a plot that both came and went – out of and into thin air.
M: That’s what I mean about missed opportunities. Every once in a while it had a moment, but David Ayers (writer/director) never capitalized on them, never fleshed them out. It was as if the movie was written by a drunken fan-boy.
N: I think a lot of that had to do with the poor editing as well. Which was incredibly apparent. Every moment was a beat or two too late. The timing was always off. And, again, things just didn’t make sense!
M: And the slow motion. Oh my god, the dramatic slow motion.
N: Which only works if we’ve come to care about the characters. Otherwise, it comes off as forced. A contrived way to make us feel as if what’s going is important. But we will not be fooled!
M: The more I think about it, the worse it gets.
N: Again, wow.
M: At least the fight scenes were good. Right?
N: They were. The fight scenes were choreographed and shot very well. These scenes were helped by an incredible classic 70’s soundtrack, which is actually what helped the movie gain momentum in the beginning. I won’t forget that first trailer, set to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. That soundtrack was incredible. So just to sum up – we liked Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and the soundtrack. Oh, and Viola Davis. And that was all.
M: Acting good. Movie bad. I want to give this movie a D+, but the acting really raises it to a C-.
N: I think I’d have to agree with you. I keep going back to a scene with Harley Quinn and Deadshot, later on in the movie, when she’s upset about something but is also trying to cover it up with her crazy demeanor, and Deadshot sees through it. Margot Robbie’s range in that scene is incredible. She made me feel things about things I previously felt nothing about through the course of this “story.” It’s hard to mark that down as total fail. C-.