Does This Mean We Can Have a Batman and the Outsiders Now?

With the success of Suicide Squad and a DC Cinematic Universe debut for Katana, here is my pitch for a Batman and the Outsiders Movies to follow the new Justice League movie that can make Mike Barr’s asinine origin story for the team actually work and be relevant:

After whatever strains between heroes the Justice League incidents create, tensions remain high between DC heroes.  Batman wants the Justice League to intervene in a Civil War in Markovia, because he knows that the leader of the country is a good man with western values and the revolutionaries are terrorists; other members of the Justice League say “no way”, so Batman says “Screw You Guys, I’m starting a new team”. Batman’s team of misfits join up with Brion Markov, AKA Geo-Force, to fight the terrorists who are trying to destabilize Markovia. It turns out that Terra (who in this version can be an anti-western radical unlike her brother who wants his country to be an anchor of civilization in an anarchic region) is behind the rebels, and Amanda Waller and the US government are behind Terra – the whole Markovia op is a US backed move to subvert and destabilize the country as part of a proxy war with Russia. While Bruce Wayne is forced into the political sphere to unravel corruption in the US government, he turns the reins of the Outsiders over to Katana.

How awesome would that be?

out6-2-3

Almost as awesome as the fact that Halo is obsessed with Wrath of Khan.

Okay, so, my actual thoughts on Suicide Squad.  Was it worth watching? Yes. Was it the best DC movie I’ve seen since Nolan wrapped his Batman trilogy? Yes. Was it a great, amazing memorable movie? Eh.

If it were up to me, I would’ve tightened a lot up in editing, axing all of the intros and flashbacks. Waller comes in, gives a brief description, we get to the action.  While I accept that this Harley is not the Harley I grew up with, I can’t help feel like she’s out of place. Harley was never much of a fighter back in her early incarnations, though she’d always talk a big game (which was part of the joke); she could get in some cheap shots while someone wasn’t looking, but seeing her as some kind of waif-fu action girl who could hold her own alongside Killer Croc was odd.  I get why she’s there – she’s a popular and attractive female character that they could stick on a team where even slightly more than casual DC fans have not heard of half the characters. Still, she’s ‘notmyharley’, just not for the reasons most folks are bandying about. Ironically, as the one character that everyone knew the backstory for, she had the most attention paid to hers in flashbacks despite only one actual plot point revolving around her and Joker. Again, something I would’ve tightened up.

It was fun to see Will Smith being Will Smith again, even if it was as a two-bit Batman villain and even if he did dial it back a lot.  Cuz last time we got to see Will Smith be Will Smith was MIB 3. The Harley stuff kept SS from being more of a Deadshot movie, which it felt like it wanted to be at times and may have been better had it been. The biggest travesty of Suicide Squad was the missed opportunity for Will Smith to refer to Captain Boomerang as Captain Kangaroo.

Much as I woulda liked to see CCH Pounder as Waller, I gotta admit, Viola Davis was solid.

Killer Croc had the best laugh lines.

The movie coulda used a better villain/story/plot – as it was it was kinda “Rollerskating carrying a plate of spaghetti is a bad idea: the movie.” Oh, crap, now the spaghetti is everywhere and they’ve gotta clean it up, but they haven’t taken the rollerskates off!  What are they gonna do?!  Really, though, the plot and villain felt like the sort of thing you’d see in a second movie in a series.  At least they didn’t spend the ENTIRE movie setting up the characters’ backstories and trying to painstakingly show the team origins. Assault on Arkham was a better Suicide Squad movie, but this one was still worth watching, even though it seems like I’m doggin’ on it.

So, what are the odds on Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk secretly being a Wonder Woman tie-in?

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10 responses to “Does This Mean We Can Have a Batman and the Outsiders Now?

  1. Your review of “Suicide Squad” is almost EXACTLY the same as mine.

    The Malcolm the Cynic cut would have used Joker as the main villain. This would have given them an actual excuse to use Harley Quinn. Quinn would have pretended to have given up on the Joker while in jail, upset he never rescued her, when in reality she was looking to impress him to get him back.

    The Joker, for his part, would have had a relationship much closer to the one in Batman the animated series. He genuinely wouldn’t have cared about rescuing Harley, but when she shows up he becomes happy for the help. Harley finally turns on him when he abandons her at a dangerous moment and saves himself.

    The ending could have been similar to “Mad Love”. After Harley stops his plan and she ends up back in jail, she gets a card and flower from Joker and becomes smitten all over again.

    Using Joker as the villain would have streamlined the plot significantly as well – not unnecessary subplots anymore. Perhaps Rick Flagg is under their control because Amanda Waller (who, by the way, put on a pretty good performance) put one of those exploding things in his wife’s throat. That would have worked fairly well.

    Also, the movie needed more than the explosive thing to control people. As Deadshot proved, you can disobey in a lot of ways without necessarily deserving to be killed. You needed something that can cause pain as well, so if they disobey you can stop them from moving without actually killing them.

    Not that the movie did nothing right. I particularly liked the scene where they showed what Harley’s fantasy world would be like – the Joker and her with no weird deformities, with three kids, in a normal house, living a normal life. It was sad and poignant, and said a ton about Harley’s character.

    Anybody else catch the movie’s stupidest moment? Before the final battle, the movie has a big reveal where Flagg tells them that this was all the government’s fault anyway…except not. We already saw that entire scene. It was clearly being framed as a big twist, complete with flashbacks…but we already saw it! Now THAT’S bad editing.

    By the way, we have a new winner of the award for worst powers ever (congrats, Hawkeye) – Slipknot! “He can climb anything!” BAWAHAHAHAHA

    • “I particularly liked the scene where they showed what Harley’s fantasy world would be like – the Joker and her with no weird deformities, with three kids, in a normal house, living a normal life. It was sad and poignant, and said a ton about Harley’s character.”

      That was, like, the most telling scene in a movie about anything ever, and definitely one of the best moments in Suicide Squad.

      Frankly, with the script as written, without undergoing massive changes, I would’ve opted for less Joker. I mean, he shows in the helicopter out of nowhere and ruins everything because Harley’s there and that’s what Joker does – that’s nearly 10 minutes of exposition that could’ve been cut to fix the movie’s pacing.

      It’s ironic that the far less iconic characters stood well enough on their tropes that they’d didn’t really need elaborate introductions. Monster Man! Australian Guy! Avenging Asian Angel!

      This is really a movie that could’ve been bumped from a C to a solid B+ at the editing level. Yeah, the reveal was botched, and all of the cute little intros at the beginning and almost all of the Harley & Joker stuff should’ve been special trailers & DVD features.

      • No, I mean I would have completely re-written it. Less Joker in THIS movie would have made sense, but frankly the plot in this movie was swiss cheese. My story would be entirely different, and there would be a REASON for Harley Quinn and the Joker to be there.

      • By the way, that Harley scene came SO CLOSE to making her the tragic character she needed to be.

        The problem is that Harley was the “Queen of Crime”. No, no, no. Harley WANTS to be the Queen of crime, but the Joker would NEVER let her in that position. The Joker just uses her, he pretends that she’s part of his inner circle when she’s actually a patsy to be disposed of when she gets in his way. That actually is why she’s on a team of D list supervillains including “the man who could climb anything” – she’s D list herself. The Joker would never orchestrate a real rescue mission for her. The best he might do is what he did in “Mad Love” – send her that flower, do just enough that he can manipulate her.

        The movie portrays it like the Joker and her have a mutually crazy relationship, one crazy balanced out by the other. He’s king, she’s queen. But in reality she’s the abused girlfriend who keeps coming back because the Joker really does love her, and he’ll see one day if she keeps being good to him. It’s not real love.

        The Harley dream scene seemed to indicate the inherent tragedy in her character: She’s NOT crazy like the Joker, not really. She wants that normal life and wants Joker to be that normal boyfriend for her, but he won’t do it. She’ll make the sacrifices to be with him, but he’ll never make any for her. That’s the crux of the character and of their relationship.

        But the movie never really supported that position, choosing instead to keep them on somewhat equal footing. And it’s a shame, because the pieces were there if they just put them together right: The Joker offering her to somebody else sexually (except this time meaning it), possibly throwing her out of the helicopter to save himself, maybe sending her a flower and card…but it didn’t. And that’s a damn shame.

      • Yeah, one of the things that made SS bizarre was that Jared Leto’s joker was the most genuinely caring and least abusive depiction of the character.

        That Joker would always cut her loose at a moment’s notice was the running gag of their relationship.

        The way the helicopter scene was cut, it looked as if he threw her out to save her from the crash.

    • “The Malcolm the Cynic cut would have used Joker as the main villain. This would have given them an actual excuse to use Harley Quinn. Quinn would have pretended to have given up on the Joker while in jail, upset he never rescued her, when in reality she was looking to impress him to get him back.”

      Also, this is almost exactly the B-plot of the Animated Suicide Squad movie.

      After Batman shut down Joker’s original takeover of Arkham, Riddler has dirt on Waller on a thumb drive socked away in his ? cane and Joker has a dirty bomb in Harley’s mallet, both in the evidence lockup at the Asylum. Waller sends in the Suicide Squad to retrieve them.

      • It makes more sense in a ton of ways. Like, why use the Suicide Squad in this case? You can sort of stretch to come up with some reasons, but…it’s dumb.

        The Joker? Well, let’s say you have a scene where the Joker at the beginning of the movie is going to set off a bomb and Batman has a chance to stop him but hesitates because it might kill him. Bam. Cut to Waller talking to the government guys, saying that to stop a ruthless crazy like the Joker, you need a team just as ruthless and crazy. So she has this idea for a suicide squad…

        Everyone balks until suddenly there’s a massive terrorist threat, and it’s game on. Ta da. Movie.

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