I went to see Suicide Squad last night. It lived up to it’s name for me.
I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews, with many established critics shitting roundly on the thing, while fans made a desperate case for it’s merits. I was immediately suspicious of the mixed reviews, suspecting either studio fuckery or some new social justice nonsense. Although I was certain it would likely be very bad, my curiosity got the better of me when my brother asked if I wanted to see it. Maybe the studios have finally figured out exactly which balance they need to strike in order to put an appealing layer of mystique on this crap.
If so, fuck them for getting me like this.
I won’t waste your time getting really detailed about the film. It had a lot of action, weird choices in shots/pacing, and some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard come out of decent actors in a long time. It was one of those movies that is ultimately put to shame by it’s own Making-Of Documentary. After so many stories of re-shoots and executive-meddling it must have really been a nightmare during production.
But it’s seem to done well with the box office, which leaves me with many more questions than answers.
Enter Die Antwoord.
Now Die Antwoord has joined the film’s discussion by openly calling out director David Ayer over his alleged ‘lifting’ of the band’s freak-show aesthetic. The South-African group posted a lengthy rant on Instagram. Apparently, Ayer had called them to talk about his inclusion of style references in the film. Though the group says that they never gave him “permission to rip us off”.
Die Antwoord went on to post the evidence as they saw it.
After seeing the film, I’ll admit that it does look like the director had quite a hard on for schizophrenia-chic.
I had heard of Die Antwoord before, and my impression of them was that they really appealed to white women in their 20’s who wanted to be ‘unique’. They dance around like crank-heads and stare crazily at-camera over the standard euro-trash beats. Prior to googling them to confirm, I had believed them to be South-African based on their uncomfortable accent. How does anyone enjoy speaking like that? All I hear is a weird Australian mixed with that scene in Blood Diamond.
Their music didn’t really appeal to me, but I respect people who can make a decent living from being weird, as long as they’re not whining about it. Of course they had to start whining though. The Instagram post read eloquently:
yes David Ayer u jockin our style. callin ninja up before your movie came our pretendin 2b down, so it looks OK when u bite our black & white graf style & our opening sequence to umshiniwam & an all da lil tiny details u nibbeld dat other people wont see but we notice. Cara & Jared told us how much u were talkin abt us on set but u never asked our permision to rip us off. An when ninja texted u sayin wassup wif dat u said nothin like a scared lil bitch. U were jus flauntin our names pretendin to b down. u aint down an u never will b. but before we knew da extent of ur two face nature – u invited us to ur movie premiere(which i didnt wanna go to) but ninja went , tinkin ur solid guy an mayb there was jus a lil “misunderstandin”. Den poor ninja had to sit thru dat hole bullshit movie. An u even got da nerve to say wassup to him smilin – an ninja has to b nice cus he is there wif his kid. But we all tink u wack. U shud start a crew called:,”im a fake fuck” ask kanye if he wants to join u. Cum show ur pretty face at my studios. U know Muggs & u know where da Soul Assasin Studios at. we watin
I’m going to be honest. I don’t think that the “throw-weird-shit-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks” aesthetic is something you can put a patent on. David Ayer clearly had a not-so-closeted predilection for Die Antwoord’s gimmick, but I don’t think he intentionally ripped it off with any malice. If a wolf wants to pass as a sheep, his best bet isn’t to dress as a black one.
The fact that Die Antwoord is desperate not to be associated with your movie should probably be some cause for evaluation, shouldn’t it? Between what you intended to put out, and what ended up there? Sure, it might be just as successful, but for different merits.
I tend to trust in the power of the market, so I’m left to assume that I just didn’t “get” the movie. See it for yourself if you’d like. I thought the editing alone was enough to cause rapid blinking and sporadic nosebleeds in sensitive individuals. But maybe that just makes me an asshole.