A little confession for you all, I don’t really like writing up movies that are bad. I don’t see my mission as a blogger/critic/ rambling person on the internet as someone who saves you from bad movies. I want to celebrate. In an ideal world, I would just like to write about the movies I love and let this whole entertainment democracy thing just be a celebration of “the good stuff.” So I struggle to write the bad stuff up, to pile on where many others have gone before. It’s easy to see that the DC Comic brand has taken quite a beating this year and most that seems to fall at the feet of director Zack Snyder and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Still, DC and Warner Bros had another bullet in the chamber of their gun and that was Suicide Squad. The trailers were bright and clever with an absolutely killer soundtrack, the Joker was back, the cast was huge and it seemed like redemption was in sight. We were wrong to get out hopes up, the Suicide Squad can’t save anyone, let alone their own movie. Find out more in our review.
After the events of Batman v Superman, the need for protection from meta humans has become a priority for the government. Amanda Weller (Viola Davis) has been controlling such a meta human Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) to perform covert operations and now wants to expand her operation to a wider group of bad guys and so she begins to enlist others including Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The formation of this Suicide Squad is particularly well timed as the Enchantress double crosses her master and begins to wreak havoc.
It’s hard to actually pinpoint where to begin talking about Suicide Squad because it’s a film that doesn’t have a cohesive whole. There are things that are hard to dislike and it all starts with a ridiculous, flashy and entertaining introduction to our main characters. All our villains are essentially in jail or on the run and we get this wonderful ‘get to know you’ vignette for each of them. A little bit of their wonderful set of skills but also a flashback. They are wonderful little packages of promise.
It’s a fascinating introduction and shows of a number of the films strength. The most obvious assets being the wonderful cast. This is not just a few select role but almost everyone seems to fit well and a chemistry seems to exude from the cast that translates into a playfulness that helps even the clumsiest of lines easier to swallow. There are of course obvious favourites Will Smith continues to remind us of why he has so much charisma in his more recent career choices. Margot Robbie is also a delight as the off-kilter Harley Quinn but it’s the contrast off their high energy with the likes of the more serious lovelorn Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) or the haunted Diablo (Jay Hernandez) that make the cast work.
It’s a compelling opening and introduction to the world of the Suicide Squad. It promises a world of delightful fun through the lens of a visual feast. Yet none of that is delivered upon in the remaining film. Generic super villains building some giant weapon to destroy all of humanity that is so boring and cliche; that one yawns simply typing it. The plot is one of the weakest elements of the film and actually at times feel like it hasn’t been thought out properly. A further problem is the plot and that is hardly the weakest element of the film.
Generic is one thing but when the film at times fails to make sense it almost unforgivable. In the press for the film in recent weeks, there has been a revelation that there were two competing versions of the film, one by the director and the other the studio. This makes the end result all the more understandable, just not exactly excusable. Sometimes it’s in big things like what type of mission is our rag-tag going on or sometimes it’s little details like the status of Harley Quinn’s explosive chip and whether it’s on or off. The film isn’t good enough to distract you on your initial viewing and this I can only imagine will become worse on subsequent ones.
Another problem is the lack of time for a whole lot of characters to actually do anything other than makes a token appearance, this is the dilemma of every ensemble film so I won’t dwell on it here but it is a glaring issue for one character and that is Jared Leto’s Joker. I will leave it up to other sites to rank the various Joker interpretations and where this one ranks but a film that was so heavily promoted around the Joker and yet has little to no screen time. A couple of bits here and there but I mean he is in less than a quarter of the film. It’s truly bizarre.
The worst part of this review is I could go on, from overt sexism to problems with character development to a feeling that there are two tonally different films competing for the audience, one a comedy more akin to guardians of the galaxy and a far more somber affair. This is why I hate negative reviews it so easy to beat up on a film where good people have done hard work but in the end, the final product bears little evidence of that.
Suicide Squad Review Cheat Sheet
Suicide Squad is a watchable introduction to a pretty poor movie. At times incoherent, generic and uninspired and yet it sometimes on occasion manages to eke out something stylish with a wonderfully charismatic cast. It’s more akin to watching an entertaining train wreck than a boring experience. With a slim possibility of pleasing fans, it will leave many more out in the cold.
+ Wonderful cast.
+ Colorful and entertaining introduction.
– Doesn’t always make sense.
– Generic plot.
– A lack of the Joker despite his heavy role in promotions.
– a whole lot more.