Prediction: Suicide Squad will be better than Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice(BvS) and for a couple simple reasons. Tighter focus and David Ayer.
I trust Ayer as a filmmaker more than I do Zach Snyder. Each guy is dealing with the DC comics crew but one’s vision is shining a lot brighter than the other. Snyder has hit close to the bullseye with big bombastic cinema such as 300 and Man of Steel, but he’s never dealt fans an emotional thrill ride like Ayer’s End of Watch and Fury. Each have dished fans a turd or close to it(Snyder with Sucker Punch and Ayer with Sabotage), but what I trust and appreciate Ayer’s writing more than Snyder’s. At his worst, Ayer reverts back to his gritty LA corrupt cop landscape with Dark Blue, Harsh Times and Training Day. At his worst, Snyder is Michael Bay’s slightly more talented brother yet erratic.
Ayer, writer and director of Suicide Squad, has a better idea of what he is trying to do with this big summer release. Snyder, working with David S. Goyer’s script, is still chasing down Christopher Nolan while tracking down his own identity. SS feels like Ayer’s baby, while BvS feels arbitrary and adopted. One is authentic and the other could be Spider Man 3.
A lack of focus is seriously affecting BvS, because Snyder and Goyer are packing every single comic book character into the film and overstuffing it. Man of Steel 2 has turned into a DC broken heroes and villains gala. Suicide Squad has an identity and deftly mixes in a little Batman and Joker future setup while producing tons of spinoff possibilities. At first, BvS was two super popular heroes squaring off. Then, Lex Luthor was thrown into the middle. Then, Wonder Woman is also showing up. Aquaman is there too. Doomsday is going to show up and eventually be the big bad, and he came from General Zod’s DNA, manufactured by Luthor. Somebody else may show up.
Why do I know all this? The trailers told me. The seemingly endless supply of trailers. Ones that play during television shows, sporting events and theater showings. You can’t avoid them or look away. It’s too hard. It’s like walking into a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot and not peeking. With a movie sporting so many heads, less is more but that is impossible with Snyder. He goes big or he goes home.
He’s doing this team up film because Man of Steel had a mixed reaction. Everybody didn’t love it like they did other comic relaunch films. I sincerely believe this. Warner Brothers thought about this pairing and went with it over another solo Sups film. They are trying to keep up with Marvel and can’t afford another slumping effort. While I really like what I’ve seen of Ben Affleck’s Batman/Bruce Wayne, I doubt the rest of the film.
On the other end, Suicide Squad looks like a punk rock concert in the 1970’s. Wicked cool, assured, and delivered with a succinct unknown flavor. The two trailers have dished out the plot, some action scenes but haven’t spilled the entire canister of juicy details. How Batman and Joker connect. How this story ties to the bigger picture. How the pack of villains will turn on each other but how? Where will the film leave Jared Leto’s Joker? So much is left to the imagination. I always trust a graphic novel over a comic book pairing. One film seems forced and the other feels easy going.
Will Smith’s Deadshot. Maggie Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg. Scott Eastwood, Adam Beach and others are playing these hypnotic interesting characters that non hardcore fans know little about. The less we know the more interesting it sets up the film to be.
The plot is also killer. A bunch of bad guys being dispatched on a suicide mission to save the world, or basically apocalyptic Chicago. Doesn’t that sound more interesting than a mortal Dark Knight fighting an alien before they join forces and maybe form the Justice League. I have hope for BvS but I don’t feel like I need to worry about Suicide Squad.
Both films tie into the DC comics plan. One seems to have a handle on what it’s doing. One is showing all the cards way too early. One is making Queen’s greatest hit sound relevant again. One is pounding us with Hans Zimmer’s score.
Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in March. Suicide Squad arrives in August. I am anxious for one. I can’t wait to see the other.
Which one do you want to see more? Which one has been marketed better?