Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide-squad-review

Ugh. Where do I begin? Let’s maybe start with the fact that DC wasn’t particularly sure exactly what kind of movie they wanted Suicide Squad to to be. Did they want it to be a dark and gritty anti-hero team-up that would push the boundaries of violence and general conventions of the superhero genre as indicated by the first trailer? or did they want it to be an edgy, subversive and far more humorous film as indicated by the final trailer? Or maybe they wanted it to be a bit of both?

One thing is clear. Suicide Squad is none of those movies. And the fact that DC had such a hard time deciding what they wanted this to be is evident in every out of place and poorly stitched together scene of the film. This is a movie with a very serious identity crisis.

suicidesquad

If you’ve seen even one of the trailers, you know the story. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, a high up government agent who assembles a secret task-force of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a secret mission. And since they are expendable, they can be easily thrown under the bus if anything goes wrong.

Suicide Squad is one of those movies where you feel that the basic idea is actually much better than the finished product, which is disappointing because this was a movie with alot of potential. Suicide Squad’s problems stem from a number of very serious flaws.

For one thing, the script from David Ayer has absolutely no structure. It feels like it was written one way, but tinkered with so many times that it lost any edge to it whatsoever. It’s all over the place tonally. The first act of the movie is actually good and pretty entertaining, but there’s actually an exact moment in the film where you can feel everything slowly going off the rails and turning to shit.

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And once Suicide Squad enters into it’s second act, the film turns into a dull and horrendously paced mash-up of incoherent and weightless action-sequences that you can barely make sense of, and boring out-of-place character moments, you couldn’t care less about because of how poorly developed the characters are. If that’s not bad enough, it pretty much sinks completely in the final act, thanks to a generic and uninspired final battle featuring two of the worst comic book movie villains in recent memory, which also involving yet another giant fucking cloud in the sky. As if, we hadn’t gotten enough of that in The Avengers, last year’s Fantastic 4, and this year’s X-Men Apocalypse and TMNT 2.

The performances are probably the only area where this movie works at all. Will Smith and Viola Davis are the pick of the performers as Deadshot and Amanda Waller respectively. Will Smith is able to bring alot of the charm and charisma to his performance that he’s been known for in the past, and he’s also the only character with any real characterization to him. Viola Davis’ performance works simply because of how badass her character is and how well she plays that role. While Margot Robbie despite being pretty good as Harley Quinn, isn’t quite the scene-stealer I hoped she’d be.

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As for the Jared Leto’s Joker, he’s barely in it. He has what 7-8 minutes of screen-time? He doesn’t serve any real purpose to the story and the time he is on-screen, his performance comes across as something between Heath Ledger’s Joker and James Franco’s turn as Alien in Spring Breakers, though that is not a criticism, I think he offers an interesting take on the character, albeit, not a very original or memorable one.

All in all though, I think Suicide Squad is a pretty bad film, that somehow manages to be an even worse one than Batman v Superman. The choppy directing, limpdick editing and muddled storytelling all contribute the film’s downfall, which is disappointing because some of these major flaws are some of the basic rules of making a narratively cohesive film in the first place.

3.5/10

-Khalid

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30 responses to “Suicide Squad (2016)

  1. I like your point that the basic idea is actually much better than the finished product. The script isn’t worthy to be honest. I sure hope Wonder Woman fairs better. Good review!

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  2. Good review Khalid. I’m with you. It’s a bad movie. Inexcusably so. You have to believe there is a good movie somewhere. It just isn’t this version of Suicide Squad! Sigh……

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    • Thanks Keith. I think alot of the blame goes to the studio, from what I’ve heard they did a lot of tinkering and well, it clearly shows. And as long as DC keep interfering with their films, this is bound to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahah, I like what you said in the first paragraph! I think we’re pretty much in agreement, my 2.5/5 rating seems generous now that I think about it.

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  4. Yeah, it was pretty messy. But there was something fun about the mess that kept me watching. Even when I knew I probably wasn’t supposed to be. Nice review.

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  5. I thought the film was completely terrible so I agree with you here. That being said, I didn’t even see any potential in this film so I’m even more on the extreme side.

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  6. “…tinkered with so many times that it lost any edge to it whatsoever.” This is the key to the whole movie. I actually liked it, a lot more than BvS mind you, but I recognize it coulda/shoulda been way better.

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    • Glad you had a better with this then me Dell. Because I thought, BvS, which despite being pretty bad, was a far, far better movie than this because it was at least striving for something, it failed at that, but atleast it was attempting to.
      With Suicide Squad, I’m not sure what this movie was trying to be.

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      • That whole striving for something was one of my big issues with BvS. It felt like it wasn’t one thing, but 80 different things all at once. This frustrated me to no end. I preferred the focus of SS which wasn’t so overtly concerned with trying to construct an entire universe and give us an intro to every single member of its vast population within its confines.

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      • I definitely agree with you there. That turned out to be a flaw because BvS was basically two movies crammed into one. But atleast it had moments, as few as they were. With SS, I feel, I don’t know what this movie was trying to be, I did not feel it was very focused and if it had a simpler, more fleshed out story it could have worked. And it just didn’t have any moments that stood out for me.

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  7. Bummer you hated this so bad man. I had a ton of fun with it, in fact I had so much fun and laughed so much that the flaws didn’t bother me at all while I was watching it. The only thing that got to me was the lack of Joker scenes. But I totally get my people are so dissapointed, especially with the mental PR campaign. And there is no doubt that the editing is just shocking, and that this could have been A LOT better.

    But you know me and superhero movies 😛 This was actually my favourite one so far, apart from Watchmen. Go figure 😛

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    • Hahah, I think it’s kinda funny you end up liking the comic book movies, largely reviled, more than the ones that are well lauded in comparison. 😀
      But yeah, I do have a lot of problems with the film that I just couldn’t gloss over, which is disappointing because I was relatively excited for it.
      The lack of Joker scenes is a BIG flaw, because I don’t feel like I’ve fully gotten a handle on his character. And I really think studios need to stop hyping movies 2 years before their release, it’s just too much. And more often than not, they just don’t live up to the anticipation.
      But I’m glad you had a far better time with this than me. I just think there’s a better movie in there, that just didn’t make it’s way to the screen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh totally, there is a better version of this out there. The amount of Joker scenes that were cut was astonishing. But still, I had a blast man.

        And yeah, fuck PR campaigns. I don’t watch TV or follow any of that crap for this very reason, and is probably why I liked it more than… well it seems everybody!

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  9. I definitely agree that this film had an identity crisis. I think it needed an R-rating because I wasn’t convinced at any point that these people were villains. They continuously talk about being evil without doing anything to back it up. Despite all of this Will Smith and Margot Robbie saved this film for me. It was funny and don’t think it took itself too seriously so I didn’t either.

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