SUICIDE SQUAD is the newest installment of Warner Bros.’ DC Cinematic Universe and if you haven’t already noticed, people aren’t loving it. This news comes as a shock to few, yet a disappointment to many as the DCU continues to plunder in the eyes of critics and fans alike (though not the box office). Well, this reviewer is here to tell you… that I feel the same as the majority of others. Simply put, Suicide Squad is fun, but filled with problems that will ultimately leave a bad taste in your mouth.
This movie started off on a strong foot. The introduction of our “heroes” was very well done and instantly got me excited to see what kind of crazy adventures they would get into. Right off the bat, it was clear that Harley Quinn and Deadshot (played by Margot Robbie and Will Smith, respectively) would lead with an abundance of charisma and a plethora of fun. They did, alongside a terrific cast of interesting characters. Even the secondary bad guys were developed in a clever way and each had their moment to shine. Everyone was on their A-game and no one lagged behind. That’s the main reason why this movie felt like such a disappointment to me. I wanted to see these characters interact in bizarre circumstances. I wanted them to have fun, I wanted to have fun! What I ended up having was a struggle to stay interested through a 2 hour comic book movie that I was looking forward to enjoying.
Part of the problem was that they spent too much time developing a backstory (and showing flashbacks) for Harley and The Joker. Some amount of explaining is crucial, but it was done is a tasteless way. The flashbacks were weak, weird, and uninteresting, while harming the pacing of the overall story. There were several moments in the film that were highly intense only to be overthrown by a boring love scene between the clown couple. They were just of place and who ever made that decision really affected the overall product in a very negative way. On top of that, no other character got nearly the same amount of story as those two. Deadshot came in a distant second, while Killer Croc was barely explained at all! It was have been much more interesting to see the characters grow on screen, rather than shoe-horning a lame memory of why they are who they are.
This brings me to my second complaint: The Joker. Now, this is all a matter of preference, but this reviewer couldn’t help but think that Jared Leto’s performance was only a hint better than an impressive cosplay. It’s difficult to follow some of the greatest actors in the same role and I’m not saying the character has to be reinvented every time someone new takes it on, I just feel like this interpretation was the weakest we’ve seen since 1966. Again, let me stress that this is my opinion and it may very well be completely contradictory to your own. But this Joker was too self-aware and on the nose for my liking. It pulled me out of the film every time he was on screen.
My third and final complaint is that the whole objective of the movie was not incredibly unique. This rings back to the lost potential of Suicide Squad. They spend the entire second act trying to take out one bad guy (with an army of literally faceless slaves) and it just didn’t interest me. The emotional punches didn’t really land, because every time something serious happened, someone would follow up with unoriginal joke. And there was a side story that really detracted from the main one, but also gave a sometimes-needed break, so I can’t really fault anything on that.
But the things I did like include; Will Smith and Margot Robbie (as stated above), everyone else except for The Joker (as stated above), the implications that something greater is coming in the DCU, Batman’s cameo (stick around for a mid-credit scene), David Ayer’s direction, and the music. This movie is very much worth watching, just because it’s going to be polarizing. Batman V Superman was polarizing and I liked that one. People are going to love this as well. Buy a ticket and make up your own mind. If you’ve already seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
SUICIDE SQUAD – Dir. David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto
Runtime: 2h 3m