The Suicide Squad trailer released this week may have looked familiar to those of you who grew up with low-budget movies from the 1980s and ’90s.
Its over-the-top action scenes, fairly obvious humor, and eye-rolling dialogue conjured up visions of B-movie fare from the days before superheroes became all the rage.
The production house responsible for most of those films was The Cannon Group, a studio that enjoyed most of its success under the guidance of famed producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.
The Golan-Globus connection was responsible for turning Chuck Norris into the quintessential B-movie action star of the decade and churning out Death Wish after Death Wish with the aging Charles Bronson.
As their aspirations grew, they even managed to secure the rights to some of Marvel’s most famous characters. A planned Spider-Man film never came to fruition for the pair, and by the time their friendship (and partnership) dissolved, only Golan would end up with the rights to Captain America.
His much-maligned version was shot and released direct-to-video in 1990 under the 21st Century Film Corporation banner, but make no mistake: it’s very much a Cannon movie.
If you ever watched that or Cannon’s attempt at Masters of the Universe (with Dolph Lundgren), then you know exactly where this is headed with the Suicide Squad comparison.
Before getting any further into it, it’s only fair to have a look at the trailer itself, which is significantly longer from the previous teaser that was released in 2015.
Right off the bat looking at both the Captain America and Suicide Squad trailers, it’s clear that these films were made by people consumed more with the coolness of the idea and less with the competence of the storytelling.
The Captain America trailer gives viewers everything they need to know upfront. You see Cap in uniform; you see the Red Skull with and without his makeup. You meet the supporting cast, and get the setup: “only Captain America can stop him!”
Suicide Squad uses the same heavy-handedness in its presentation, even ticking off a list of the characters and a full-on description about what makes each one unique. Movie audiences are also told time and again that “these are the bad guys” (“worst of the worst”).
There are explosions, gritty street settings that look like they came from Death Wish 3, and, in case you didn’t get the point that these are the bad guys, more shots of everyone with weird hair colors and tattoos punching people. At one point, one of the Suicide Squad team members even stops to have a beer in the middle of a firefight.
Whoa, how cool is that? These must be the bad guys!
As if that isn’t enough, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) busts a window to steal a trinket in the middle of the overblown action movie chaos and actually says, “We’re bad guys. It’s what we do.”
Surprisingly, there is an increasingly vocal group of pleased fans, who think the film shows promise. The trailer above has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube as of this post, and it has amassed close to 260,000 likes and only 5,300 dislikes.
While Cannon movies are fun in their own way, no one ever accused them of being good films, and it looks like that’s the pill DC Universe fans are going to have to swallow. Perhaps with extremely low expectations the film could end up being worth their time.
One thing is sure: this latest trailer does all that it can to get them there.
But what do you think, readers?
Will Suicide Squad be worth the time and money? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Suicide Squad trailer, linked above]