With the latest addition to the DC cinematic universe now unleashed amongst the general public, there will surely be a lot of talk surrounding the film. The biggest debate surrounding it, of course, will be whether or not the movie is as bad as many critics say it is. We ultimately believe that it is up to each individual audience member to decide if a film is enjoyable or not. So, instead of a straight forward review, we have decided to provide a pros and cons (no pun intended) list of Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad starts off incredibly strong. The introductions for our "heroes" are possibly the best part of the whole film. We quickly get to understand and connect with these super villains. There are some really quick, but excellent Easter eggs that will warm the heart of any DC comic fan.
There was a lot of doubt when the first image of Jared Leto's Joker was revealed, but understandably so. For many audience members, Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger are their quintessential Joker, so Leto had some massive shoes to fill. Leto's Mr. J is definitely different from previous feature film renditions of the character, but still manages to keep the spirit of the character intact. It's a new Joker for a new generation and we can't wait to see more of him.
Following The Wolf of Wall Street, it was a no-brainer to cast Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. She embodies the craziness, sexuality, and lovability of the character so well. While she aesthetically looks different from the character introduced in Batman: The Animated Series, Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn is everything we could have hoped that character to be on film.
If you noticed, we didn't say Deadshot. "What's the difference," you ask. Deadshot may be Will Smith, but Will Smith is Will Smith. His performance as Deadshot isn't transformative, but it still works pretty well. Will Smith has been a leading man for years, and he carries Suicide Squad with his charm.
Act 2 and Act 3
What's the problem with Suicide Squad starting out so strong? It rises fast, but takes a slight dip, and levels off completely. Imagine getting on a rollercoaster. Let's say this rollercoaster starts off with a massive climb. "Oh man, we're going so high. This is going to be great," you think to yourself. Then where the big drop is supposed to come, it slowly lets you down at the same rate at which you were climbing, and then stays completely flat until the end of the ride. Sure it may turn left or right here and there, but you're simply coasting to the finish. You realize that this isn't a roller coaster, but a train. I have nothing against trains. Trains are actually pretty cool in their own right, but don't sell me a ticket to a rollercoaster then give me a seat on the subway.
Not Enough Joker and Harley
Let's be honest, Suicide Squad is Will Smith's film. The marketing may have you thinking this is a film focused on an ensemble cast, but Deadshot and Rick Flag are our protagonist, who just happen to be joined by these other characters. Which is fine. Just not great. Warner Bros. did very little to cool down the hype surrounding Joker and Harley Quinn. That's not an easy task, but the trailers and ads may have you fooled into thinking Joker has a substantial part to play. Unfortunately, he doesn't. Hate or love Leto's Joker, we need to see more. Subsequently, we also need more Harley Quinn, even though she is much more of a tertiary character.
This becomes even more upsetting when we take into consideration how many scenes Jared Leto says were cut from the film.
This is not an attack on Cara Delevigne. I actually thought she was very likeable as June Moon in the film. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about her alter-ego, Enchantress. That character has potential to be the most interesting piece to Suicide Squad, but seems severely misused. She plays a major part in the film, but at the same time lacks anything that really makes her interesting. When you start to ask "why" in regards to anything surrounding Enchantress, the film really starts to fall apart. Even if there are answers to your questions, they might not be all that interesting or satisfying.
Cara Delevigne did a solid job with what she had to work with. Too bad there wasn't more there for her to do so.
I like David Ayer. Sometimes I love David Ayer. He wrote Training Day, End of Watch, and Fury, and he directed the latter two of those films. If there's one thing you're probably not saying about any of those movies, it's probably "that was really funny!" That's not to say there aren't some fun or light moments in those films, but they are used as valves to release tension from pretty grim or serious scenarios. David Ayer can get some really great dramatic performances out of people, and that can be seen in Suicide Squad at times. With that being said, the film's tone seems completely unbalanced. There just doesn't seem to be a commitment of whether or not this film is supposed to be fun or not. Not saying you can't have both, but if you're going to, you better succeed.
Yikes. The film is completely based on collecting the most dangerous people in the world, in order to fight something worse than them: cool. What Suicide Squad provides in terms of antagonist(s) is/are supremely underwhelming. There are some twists that could have been interesting, but at the end of the day I found myself saying "Really? That looks dumb. Who cares?"
What makes Suicide Squad so underwhelming isn't any of the individual pieces. There weren't actually that many "bad" things on film. The problem is that not many of the pieces fit together to make a cohesive movie. Parts start and then they stop, then something else starts and then stops. It's like a driver's ed student learning how to break effectively and accelerate efficiently. It's not that this film, and what was captured couldn't work, it just doesn't. Another set of eyes in the editing room could have made this film work really well. It's a shame that it didn't come together on the cutting room floor, because if it had, this could have easily been a much better movie.
So there you have it. Some of the best and worst things about Suicide Squad. It's not the dumpster-fire that some claim it to be, but it does fail to live up to the recent hype surrounding the film.
Did you see Suicide Squad? Let us know what we missed and tell us know what you think below!