Derek Johnson Muses

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Suicide Squad Review: No Spoilers

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Anyway, my sister always asks me for my thoughts on popular movies, so I thought I’d actually write some of them here. In general, I would say that, the movie is a lot of fun, and, if you always want to see the 2 or 3 biggest summer blockbusters in theaters, I would say you should definitely make a point to see this if you’ve already seen Batman V Superman. Because, since DC is rushing a lot of movies, there are direct BVS spoilers in Suicide Squad. 

But first, critics have me exasperated. Yes, there are part of the movie that don’t work or are shoehorned in. But Will Smith and Margot Robbie are terrific in this, along with a solid supporting cast. Every big franchise is going to jam in 40 characters and subplots, and be a little convoluted. Get over it.

So, Suicide Squad is overstuffed, but not to the degree Captain America: Civil War was, or its DCEU predecessor, Batman V Superman. Like a lot of early 2000’s superhero films, the origins and flashbacks do bog down the first thirty minutes of the film. The lesser members of the team, like Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc, don’t get the character development that they would have in a smaller, more focused film. 

But the film nails the two characters it has to nail, Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn alone was worth the price of admission. Her flashbacks explaining why she fell for the Joker reminded me of Walter White and the reasons why that character turned evil. She’s set up to carry her own movie now, and, in spite of the fact that she’s violently crazy, there is a depth to Harley’s character that can be explored. 

The action storytelling is not perfect. There are a few action scenes that aren’t played for their maximum impact, and seem to only be in the movie because some executive told David Ayer too much screentime would pass without a boom. All told, some of the twists in the movie aren’t played for their maximum value, and that is were some of the potential character moments are lost. The reason for the main crisis in itself is somewhat questionable. But those shortcomings don’t distract from the main characters.

A lot of these problems are caused by DC/Warners sudden jump into universe building. Marvel had multiple movies to build up to its big fantastical villains. DC had to go big right away, so they’re starting with huge, metahuman stories that are hard to grasp without wading through some deep mythology. The DCEU can be given the benefit of the doubt for a few movies until they build to a couple of big team-ups. Now that Geoff Johns is going to be overseeing DC film adaptions, the universe should have a coherent voice, but it remains to be seen if such a voice can deliver more coherent plots. 

But all the behind the scenes stuff at Warner and DC isn’t an excuse for critics to hate on Suicide Squad. It’s a good movie, with some powerful moments for all its characters. A lot of movies today are made with a safe, pre-2000’s TV-like stories that play out predictably, like the most recent Bourne movie or even the last Star Wars to a point. Suicide Squad gives each of its characters, even some that don’t a lot of screen time, a good character moment where you feel for them. And that’s powerful. 

Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 24

In this Episode, I talk the current state of Nebraska football and the Foster Farms Bowl with UCLA.


Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 23

In this episode, I talk Tommy Armstrong’s instagram post, Nebraska’s possible bowls and opponents, and Scott Frost, candidate for Nebraska head coach for the next 20 years.


Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 22

In this episode, I commiserate Nebraska’s loss to Iowa, ponder the futures of Tommy Armstrong and Mike Riley, and mull who we need to root for for Nebraska to be bowl eligible. Plus, how many yards does it take to overcome a 3-turnover deficit?


Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 21

In this episode, I talk Huskers and Hawkeyes, Nebraska’s bowl prospects, how the LSU coaching situation relates to Mike Riley, Bo Pelini, and Nebraska, and Nebrasketball at Villanova.


Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 20

In this episode, I discuss Nebraska’s win over Rutgers, whether the Huskers’ end of year success could prevent positive change, and talk Gary Pinkel’s exit from Missouri and what it could mean for Nebraska recruiting.

Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 19

In this episode, I preview the upcoming Nebraska men’s basketball season, weighing what expectations should be for this team and what should be expected from the Huskers’ newcomers. Spoiler: this looks like Shavon Shields’ team.

Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 18

In this episode, I talk Nebraska’s huge upset win over Michigan State, what it means for Mike Riley, and preview the upcoming road game at Rutgers. I also mourn the end of a summer romance (AKA Jordan Stevenson quitting the team) and break down Harvey Pearlman’s recent interview on Gaskins and Stephens.


Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 17

In this episode, I break down Shawn Eichorst’s statement on the state of the program and weigh the possible attrition that could be hitting the Nebraska program after the 2015 season.

Thin Red, er, Black Line

Thin Red, er, Black Line

Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 16

In this episode, I rank Nebraska’s loss to Purdue in the pantheon of bad Husker losses, speculate on the defense that’s falling apart, and assess Ryker Fyfe. Finally, I get into Mike Riley and why his career at Nebraska is starting to look a lot like Rich Rodriguez’s career at Michigan.


Ride Along!

Straight from the Cornfield, Episode 15

In this episode, I discuss Mike Riley’s equity at Nebraska, what it means that he has stuck by Mark Banker all these years, and the failed 2-point conversion against Northwestern.


The Line Outside the Party of the Year


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