Popcorn On Couch presents another edition of Cinema Clash, where I invite someone to debate two movies which are similar or connected in some sort of way and we battle it out, pitching why we thought our choice of movie was better. In this edition of Cinema Clash we have Batman V Superman Vs Suicide Squad; now, neither of these movies are good, they are both DCU films which have received negative ratings. I have invited Lee Brady from Big Picture Reviews who will be pitching for Batman V Superman in this showdown.
WARNING: IN THIS CINEMA CLASH THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!
Let the battle begin!
Battle One: Intro
The important thing for you to know right now is that neither of these movies are good. But quality is a curious thing; it functions not on a linear spectrum but a radial one. A bad film is not essentially a worthless experience, as there are many lenses we can view one under: as a tool to learn from, a contextual reading of the time the film came out in; even a great social experience when shared with others if you have friends with a particular taste in comedy. While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice certainly holds its place in the halls of infamy, it is so bad in such a particular way that we can’t help but see potential to do better in it and laugh harder at the same time.
It’s an endearingly terrible movie, rather than a passably terrible movie like Suicide Squad, and so deserves more of our attention. Just perhaps not our respect.
– Lee Brady
I enjoyed Suicide Squad, but that doesn’t necessary mean it’s a good film, it’s full of flaws, poor editing, weak directing and you get the idea. To be honest neither of these films are particularly good and their negative ratings were well earned. But if we look at both films from an entertainment point of view then that’s a different story.
Well, what can I say about the academy-award winning Suicide Squad, other than that it is a bad but entertaining movie, unlike Batman V Superman which was just a complete muddled mess of a film that bored me for almost three hours. It was excruciating and the only thing I looked forward to was seeing the credits roll. Suicide Squad has its issues, but the characters, cast, on screen chemistry and soundtrack make this an entertaining watch.
– Olatide Renee
Battle Two: Cast
Here’s a potentially fatal argument: this cast was so good, the movie around it simply could not live up to them. Much of our hope for this cinematic universe is based almost entirely in the fact that Warner Bros. knew where to throw their weight around, and that was in getting some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Henry Cavill, the baby of the group, reprises his excellent Superman, and while we all hope he gets more of a chance to show off the sheer heroic side of the character, he still holds his own with this tortured iteration. Ben Affleck maintains that theatrical stoicism we’ve come to adore in Bruce Wayne and Batman. Jesse Eisenberg is so convincing as a mad scientist you’ll struggle to watch his scenes as he aggravates and irritates you with his rants and quirks; what better praise can be given?
Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot; they all have the look and the chops, but nothing to work with. Still, at least Batman v Superman gets a ‘what if?’ scenario to play with in your head, rather than the ‘that’s it?’ you get from seeing Suicide Squad made exactly how they wanted it to be.
One of the best things about Suicide Squad is most definitely its stellar cast. The cast really gave it their all as they portrayed their characters extremely well. You could really see and feel the natural onscreen chemistry. For me, Margot Robbie stole the show with her excellent, badass and psychotic performance as Harley Quinn. At first I was unsure about the casting of Will Smith as Deadshot, but he truly surprised me as he delivered a cool and charismatic performance. Then there is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller: Viola played Amanda superbly, just mean, ruthless and remorseless, all these characteristics Viola injected into her portrayal as Amanda Waller. Jai Courtney was surprisingly good as Captain Boomerang who was more of a comedic character.
Batman V Superman I must admit also had a great cast, however the performances in Suicide Squad were way better. The performances were to a T in Suicide Squad, really helping to elevate the film and make the characters interesting, even though the movie around it didn’t help them at all.
Battle Three: Plot
What is the plot for Batman v Superman?
A bunch of things happen that cause two guys to fight, only to team up with a lady to fight another guy’s pet dog. One guy dies fighting the dog. Met blow for blow with unbearable philosophical posturing, a political agenda that essentially amounts to ‘don’t trust famous people, but sometimes do’, and countless other meaningless tirades – there comes a point when your brain buckles to the sheer relentless inertia and entirely shuts down.
And there you have it: in a movie made entirely of laptop desktops and posters, a send-up of the glorious imaginings of comic book covers and all they represent, the mind suddenly becomes unable to process words and absorbs only the aesthetic.
It’s the perfect move, as the movie forces you to hone in on its only real strength – it looks fairly pretty. The plot warps the fabric of storytelling, narrative becomes image; it’s an incredible experience yet to be appreciated in its time. Suicide Squad could almost claim the same, except it also looks like spray-painted trash.
“What if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House and grab the President of the United States right out of the Oval Office? Who would’ve stopped him?” Well I’m sure Batman would, anyway this is a quote from Suicide Squad which is basically the reason why Amanda Waller decided to recruit a bunch of supervillains who she believes can do some good.
The only problem is, one of the villains she recruited ended up being the main villain in the movie which the Suicide Squad must stop. This is the main plot of Suicide Squad; it’s not as complex as Batman V Superman which also touches on politics and asks some interesting questions. This would have been good if the plot was executed well, but it just ends up as a confusing, jumbled, mess which could have potentially been a smart and powerful story. This gives Suicide Squad’s plot the upper hand as its plot is not as confusing and doesn’t leave the viewer disappointed or wanting more. Suicide Squad’s plot is still messy but at least you know what is going on.
Battle Four: Villain
Batman v Superman makes an incredible leap by finally introducing perhaps the greatest villain the DC Universe has at its disposal: Batman.
Bruce spends the whole movie contemplating how to prepare for and take down Superman, and after being very lightly prodded in the wrong direction by some anonymous tip, he sees that as a perfectly fine excuse for the Bat to ignore Clark’s pleas for reason and actually attempt to murder him.
He’s a sociopath on such a complex level he feels justified in branding villains after they get sentenced to prison and, after his frenemy dies in battle, he carries on his work as if it were his calling all along. He’s a whole new face to terror, and the idea that he’s still out there echoes the chilling epilogue to The Silence of the Lambs.
Suicide Squad’s biggest failure is its inability to capitalise further on the menace of Batman as set up in this movie.
I’ll be honest here I had a big problem with the villain in Suicide Squad, Enchantress. There were way too many flaws with the villain and it messed up the plot. She was underdeveloped; her motive was unclear and all in all she didn’t do much except gyrate and spread ugly CGI everywhere. But at least in Suicide Squad I knew who the true villain was. Batman V Superman has about three different villains: Lex Luthor, Doomsday and at one point Batman himself. Truth be told Enchantress was probably a more intimidating villain than Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, at least I could watch the villain in Suicide Squad without getting highly irritated by the performance. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jesse Einsenberg, however I just think he wasn’t the best person to play Lex Luthor.
After nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes of Batman v Superman “challenging” us, perhaps the greatest thing that can be said about the final battle is that it ends. Fairly quickly, in fact, and with at least a reasonably threatening adversary. Sure it’s somewhat maligned as the film’s strive for “realistic” superheroes takes a nosedive once the city gets insta-evacuated before the big monster shows up, but it’s that constant clash of quality and comic book expectations that really keeps you on your toes.
Doomsday himself is almost a visual metaphor for the movie as a whole: a bloated, contrived demon brought into existence by the sheer will of Michael Shannon’s back cells. That’s kind of brilliant, when you think about it. Certainly more appealing than another hula-dancing sky-beam witch that can’t even remember which character was holding the thing that kills the thing thanks to terrible editing.
Despite Suicide Squad’s many flaws, it did have good qualities. I enjoyed the film and had an absolute blast watching it, the action sequences were shot beautifully, the characters were great and were acted fantastically. The scenes between Harley Quinn and The Joker were brilliant. Plus: the soundtrack was awesome.
I think this film is a tiny, weeny, puny step forward for DC; it’s different, has a sense of humour and best of all: it was entertaining. Definitely more entertaining than the film where two of the most iconic superheroes fight only to become friends because their mothers have the same name, I mean can you believe that!? I waited for over two hours for Superman & Batman to fight, just to see them kiss and make up because their mums are called Martha? I left Batman V Superman feeling angry, annoyed and disappointed, but I felt quite the opposite after Suicide Squad, where I was at least somewhat satisfied.
Now you guys have the opportunity to vote, which movie was better? Use the poll below and leave your opinions in the comment section.
— Popcorn On Couch (@popcornoncouch) 15 March 2017
I’ll like to thank Lee Brady for collaborating with me on this Cinema Clash, be sure to visit Big Picture Reviews for movie reviews & podcasts.
If you are interested in collaborating with me for a future Cinema Clash, contact me via the contact page.