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Suicide Squad (film)

I saw Suicide Squad the other night. It’s the latest film instalment of the DC Extended Universe following 2013’s Man of Steel and 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I must admit that I was a little weary of spending money to see it after the fiasco that was Batman v Superman and reading all the terrible reviews from critics. But I saw it, and it wasn’t completely terrible. I kind of liked it in fact. It’s not a great movie by any means. There are plot holes, generic villains, and confusing moments, but there are enough good characters, solid performances, and exhilarating action sequences to balance it out. The soundtrack also stands out and makes the movie a little better.

The movie is about a group of convicts that are assembled to save the world from a powerful threat. Will Smith stars as Deadshot, a deadly mercenary with an absurdly accurate shot. Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, the psychotic lover of the Joker. Jai Courtney plays Captain Boomerang, an Australian bank robber with a penchant for boomerangs. Jay Hernandez play El Diablo, a fiery Latino who controls fire. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Killer Croc, a sewer-dwelling monster. And Karen Fukuhara plays Katana, a Japanese chick with a katana. They all are forced to team up to fight an ancient witch demon and her demon brother. And that’s what the movie is about.

Jared Leto is in the movie too. He plays the Joker in a vastly different way than the late Heath Ledger. I can’t really comment on his performance because he was hardly in it. He has like twelve minutes of screen time and only pops up occasionally. He wasn’t bad, he just didn’t make enough of an impact for me to care about him.

There are lots of Easter eggs and DC references for comic nerds to geek out over. It’s a more enjoyable film than Batman v Superman. There are more jokes and likeable characters and they didn’t add an excessive amount of unnessary storylines into the film. Batman v Superman tried to do too much. Suicide Squad lets the story unfold for itself. I would see it again in theaters. DC still has a long way to catch up to Marvel, but this is a step in the right direction.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

  

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Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (comic)

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is a Batman graphic novel written by Grant Morrison with art by Dave McKean. Most Batman comics are detective stories, but this one is more like a horror story. It’s April Fools Day and the Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum and threatens to kill staff members unless Batman shows up. Batman is a little reluctant to go because he’s worried that he might actually be crazy and going to Arkham would be like going home. But Batman goes anyway because he’s Batman and that’s what he does. Once he’s there, the Joker gives him a chance to escape the asylum, but it’s kind of hard because all the inmates are loose. The Batman has to fight foes like Two-Face, Killer Croc, the Scarecrow, Clayface, and a few others in order to survive. But he’s also battling his inner demons too, so there are internal and external conflicts going on.

The story is pretty solid but Dave McKean’s art takes it to a new level. It’s very dark, gothic, and chilling. It’s the perfect style for a story that takes place in a prison for crazy people. It’s also important how the words look on the page. Lettering is one of the most underrated and often overlooked aspects of comics. Letterer Gaspar Saldino’s work is definitely noticeable in this comic. He gave each character a distinctive font that matches their personality. It’s hard to put down this comic. It’s one of the most visually exciting comic book experiences that you will ever have. You’re not a Batman fan if you’ve never read this book.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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