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.
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.
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.
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.