Suicide Squad was a better movie than Magnificent Seven. There. I said it. Now that the clickbait is over...actually, fuck that. Magnificent Seven has me all hot and bothered, and I think if people say it’s better than Suicide Squad, I will be pissed off. Now, don't get me wrong: I watched it and was entertained. I went with friends, and that helped, but every single moment that I thought about what I watched, I realized that you know what? It wasn’t that good. If it wins any award except for a razzie for ‘film no one remembers why it was made’, I would be genuinely shocked. Here’s why:
1. It shouldn’t have ever been made
Alright, so a little bit of history for y’all here. In 1954, Kurisowa (if I make films, I would make them like his, but mine wouldn’t have a samurai) made a film called Seven Samurai.
It’s about seven Samurai who get together and teach townfolk how to protect themselves against some dickbag. Then in 1960. some dude in Hollywood or whatever said “hey, what if I remade that, but instead of samurai, I made it with cowboys? How crazy would that be?”. Answer: the good kind of crazy. Then, some dickhead with a mustache said “hey, what if I remade THAT movie, but instead of being all serious about cowboys, it was a comedy.” And in 1974, the world was introduced to Blazing Saddles, and Des Moines finally had a name for the gayest bar in town. No, seriously, our gay bar is called Blazing Saddles, and that place is the tits. Good drinks, nice folks.
Finally, we get to some dickwad in 20XX who said, what if I remade Magnificent Seven, but instead of being new and creative, it was shit. And then he did. See what I’m getting at here? Every previous iteration did ‘redo that, but…’ and this was just ‘redo that’.
Now, for contrast, let’s look at Suicide Squad. Why was it made? Because people are way into comic books lately, and there was this cool one where it focused on a group of bad guys. Also, as a cash grab set up for an extended universe, but whatever. It was a new IP in an existing universe. Fuck yeah.
2. It has no style and no theme
Above, I mentioned Blazing Saddles. That movie is anything but timeless - it drops racial slurs, some sexist shit, and numerous micro aggressions, brah. But here’s the thing: it knew it was a comedy, so it told jokes. Then you get something like True Grit, where it is a buy the books, down to earth, period piece about some good ol’ boys looking for the man who killed their paw. Then this half assed abomination goes ‘what’s a theme, guys?’. You have Chris Pratt literally (figuratively) playing Chris Pratt, cracking wise, and doing magic tricks. You have the lovable fat man with throwaway lines meant for comic effect. But then you have a dude burning down a church and threatening children, and an attempt to rally us to care about the kids of the town, and oh boy, I hope they don’t die! The movie is all over the place, and I can’t help but think that it feels just a little bit modern. There was nothing to break the illusion of the time, but something was just missing - accents, or old western music, or something. It just didn’t feel like the old west.
Then you get Suicide Squad, rolling in neon purple and green, blaring Queen songs at every opportunity - seriously, the score in that movie doesn’t shut up, and that’s really annoying. But here’s the thing: it felt coherent. It had a good amount of being wacky, with some modern design choices, music that ties in with what it is trying to convey, and the occasional throwaway comedy line.
I’ll level with you here: Shoot Em Up is one of my favorite movies. You know why? It always remains true to itself. If someone doesn’t get shot every 5 minutes, your movie is free. One liners are everywhere, and how bad they are makes them all the more endearing. The rock and roll soundtrack is perfectly on point. The movie knew it was a dumb as hell, balls out action film, and ran with it. If you are a western, be a western. If you are a superhero movie, be a superhero movie. Know what you want to do. Shit.
3. The shooting in the movie is absolutely insane
I’m not talking about filmography, I mean Mr. Bang Bang Rooty Tooty Point n Shooty. Dear Hollywood: we are in the post John Wick world. That movie is gun porn perfection, from what I have seen. You can watch Keanu Reeves training for that shit with live ammo on a gun range, and he fucking nails it. When you watch the movie, you can count the number of shots that he fires. If he shoots someone in the gut, he makes sure to shoot them in the head.
Then we have Magnificent Seven. Where to start? Someone gets hit in the shoulder by an arrow, and is killed. I accepted it in Rambo, but man, not today. Next, everyone fires from the hip. Just...no. For the record, here is the fastest shot today:
Notice how he like...aims the gun. Now I respect that after years of training with a firearm, you may be able to approximately fire from the hip with a revolver, but the level of gun bullshit in the movie is off the charts. There is a point where a character gets kneecapped by a rifle fired from the hip at, let’s be realistic, anything more than ten feet away. Then you have people in the heat of battle only shooting baddies, killing people by running around with knives and shit. I like to believe that we live in a world where ‘cool’ shooting involves aiming and proper goddamn trigger discipline.
Will Smith aims guns and shit, whatever.
4. The Villain is a saturday morning cartoon character
Now look...above, I said I loved Shoot ‘Em Up. And I do. A lot. Right next to Dodgeball. And The Aristocrats, but that’s another matter. Their villains fit into their campy motif. Now remember what I said above about tone? If you want camp, go camp! Go hella camp! But if you want a western, make a western bad guy. The bad guy in Mag 7 wants to: threaten children, burn a church, buy land, and steal gold. No, I’m fucking serious. That is how they make him the bad guy. Why does he want to do any of this? Because fuck their town, that’s why, mwa ha ha, I’m off to curl up in my cape and twirl my excellently waxed mustache, fools! While I’m on the subject, none of the characters really get a fair shake for their backstory, except maybe the confederate hero, who actually has a compelling plot line. Other than that there’s just racist stereotypes and heroes with plot armor so thick it might vote for Trump.
Now, to be fair, the villain in Suicide Squad is a saturday morning cartoon villain. Oh wait. It’s based on a SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON. Oh shit!
5. I think I just hate Chris Pratt
This time, it’s personal. I watched Parks and Rec, and I thought it was pretty funny, but one thing always bothered me. Chris Pratt starts off as an entertaining stalker. Everyone in the world decided to focus on the former part of that sentence, rather than the very last word. He is seriously a creep, and his character arc just kind of ignores that because, whoa, look how zany he is! Granted, the dude is really funny, and his improv lines (both ones kept in the show and in outtakes) are amazing. But I just can’t get over the character he was assigned. So then we get to M7, and he is playing...some joker cowboy. Great. The whole time he just kind of plays his usual role, except maybe wearing a poncho or something. It seems like someone just owed him a favor to be in that movie, or he always really wanted to look like Clint Eastwood, so whatever, here ya go. And it just doesn’t work for me.
He also was noticeably absent from Suicide Squad (although he may have fit in better as Captain Boomerang or some shit).
Score: 7/10, would bang.