Monday, August 08, 2016

Suicide Squad and Jason Bourne

Shyam and I wandered to the Swingin' Midway Drive-In last night.  Neither of us had to work this morning, so we could afford to stay out until 1:30 or 2 watching a couple of movies under the stars.

Also?  Team No Kids, so we don't have a school year to get ready for.

It was her first time heading out there this year, my second.  It rained like mad here in Athens before we headed out, but petered out on our way toward Etowah.  The whole of the night, we watched lighting skirt the horizons to the south and west.  The last half of the twinbill had me watching the weather radar on the phone, where a line of thunderstorms was moving through Chattanooga, Cleveland and Calhoun.  It missed us, though....

2016 has been a weird, rough year for movies.  There hasn't been much I've been really looking forward to, and what I have has been largely disappointing.

Captain America: Civil War was pretty tight, and probably the best of the summer.  I enjoyed X-Men: Apocalypse but acknowledge that it's something of a mess.  I also enjoyed Ghostbusters, which I hope makes bigger stars out of Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

I was really hoping for good things with both Suicide Squad and Jason Bourne.

Suicide Squad was disappointing.  I was really hoping for something more.  Something fun.  Warner and DC can't seem to get behind the idea that the characters are a big reason the Marvel flick have been successful.  The events in and of themselves are sometimes subpar over with their Marvel counterparts (I mean, how many times can we finish a movie fighting a battle up in the sky?).  But the character interplay, depending largely on the charisma of the individual actors (Robert Downey, Jr, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Pratt all come to mind) and the chemistry of their interplay  (Downey/Evans are great together, as are Evans/Johannson, Downey/Ruffalo, as well as the entire cast of Guardians).

Suicide Squad has strong performances.  Will Smith brings good stuff, as do Margot Robbie and Viola Davis.  The interplay between Smith and Robbie is interesting (though I hesitate to call it good--there just isn't enough of it).  There's wasted talent.  This movie needed more conflict between characters (Shyam wisely points out that a team of sociopaths should have had, at the very least, more surface conflict and abrasion between characters).  This movie need some interesting comic relief, and it had the perfect outlet in Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang.  Instead, Boomerang spends the bulk of the movie sulking in corners and repeatedly retrieving his pink stuffed unicorn.

I feel like this one ended up with too many cooks, despite David Ayer being credited as both writer and director.  This one had Studio ReWrite and Studio Re Edit all over it.  There are parts that are visually amazing, and there's a laugh or two.  On the whole, I walked away disappointed, and a little angry at myself for expecting anything different.

Jason Bourne was fun, and while I welcomed the return of Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon back to the series.  It was fun, and satisfying in the ways I needed it to be.  Damon's good, Alicia Vikander is quite good.  Tommy Lee Jones continues his transition into a growling troll.  I can't say that Jason Bourne breaks any new ground, but I still found it satisfying.


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