Suicide Squad (Review)

Suicide Squad is the third and latest installment in the DC Extended Universe, a cinematic universe that can't seem to catch a break this year, or really since it's conception. After a small incident called Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice occurred back in March, Suicide Squad seemed to be the last hope for the DCEU to stop digging itself even further into the ground. Compared to Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad looked to a fun alternative to the disaster we saw back in March. However, with the many shake-up's in Warner and DC in the aftermath of Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad was effected. So, flash forward to now. Is Suicide Squad the saving grace the DCEU needs to stop itself from continuing to be a cinematic universe of mediocrity? Well, yes and no. Suicide Squad is by far the best film in DCEU, but that's still not saying a lot. Suicide Squad was a disappointment, and similar to the previous entry, one hell of a mess but nowhere the mess Dawn Of Justice was. Despite it's phenomenal acting, it's great soundtrack, and being entertaining as hell, the film lacks in the plot department, it's awful editing, deceptive marketing, and limited appearance Joker despite being overhyped by the film's marketing campaign.

The acting in the film was fantastic. Will Smith was great as Deadshot, Viola Davis was badass as Amanda Waller as well as Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg. Margot Robbie was phenomenal as Harley Quinn. It was unbelievable how good she was. She nailed every aspect of character. I can't wait to see more of her in future films. Jared Leto was amazing as the Joker and proved himself to be a worthy successor to the late Heath Ledger. It's shame many of his scenes were cut out of the film. I can't wait to him in more films as well. Jai Courtney was hilarious as Captain Boomerang, as well as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc (although I thought his CG was awful). Jay Hernandez was great as El Diablo. All of Batman's scenes was GREAT. Ben Affleck proves once again to be a phenomenal Batman. I loved Flash's cameo as well, which actually came as a surprise to be as I thought it was only a rumor that he was in the film. After seeing the Justice Leauge trailer, I think Ezra Miller's going to be a great Flash. And we finally have DCEU film that doesn't have an unnecessary darky, gloomy, and humorless tone. Suicide Squad at times can be hilarious and for the first time in the DCEU, the jokes land. The tone of Suicide Squad is a nice change of pace from the previous installments. Despite it's problems, Suicide Squad is still incredibly entertaining and fun where it's needed (however it's not fun all the way through). On a side note, the soundtrack for the film was great. I love twenty one pilots's "Heathens", Skrillex & Rick Ross's "Purple Lamborghini", and Panic! At The Disco's cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".

The plot for the film is rather weak and nothing really that special.  The film starts off strong in the first act but fizzes out by the second act. The film's editing as awful and cuts at the worst times and completely screws up the plot and plays music in scenes where the song doesn't really fit. The releastionship between the Joker and Harley Quinn was off putting here. Since when did the Joker start caring about Harley? Since when as he actually been in love with her? The releastionship between the Joker and Harley Quinn as orgininated in Batman: The Animated Series is that Harley is is in love and obsessed with the Joker. The Joker doesn't care about her and simply uses her for his schemes and is often abusive towards her. Now, no one really wants to see that last part on screen, but the Joker isn't in love with Harley and never has been. On an additional note, why the hell does Harley still have a phone to communicate with the Joker? You'd figure the police would've confiscated that. Speaking of the Joker, he's barely in this film, despite being so hyped up by the film's marketing. He has more screentime in Skrillex and Rick Ross's "Purple Lamborghini" music video than he probably did in the entire film. Jared Leto later on revealed that many of his scenes were cut from the film, which is a shame considering how great his Joker is. Killer Croc's CG was awful, but it doesn't take too much away from the character as I still found him funny. One of the main problems with the film is how much they under use the team members. The only team members who seem to be of any use are Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and eventually El Diablo. Slipknot is killed after being on screen for less than 30 seconds, while Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and Katana are only useful for one or more scenes, beyond that there just comic relief (except Katana).

Enchantress was an awful villain who couldn't stop doing the twist and shimmy everytime she spoke. An element of Dawn Of Justice hit Enchantress here with the "this is hilarious but it's suppose to be serious" scenario. Enchantress doing the shimmy every time she spoke was hilarious. Enchantress's motives are never really explained either. It never explained why her and brother want to wipe out mankind other than the fact that humans don't bow down to them anymore and trapped them in a statue. There's no clear motive. At least in Dawn Of Justice, Lex Luthor had somewhat of a motive to turn Batman and Superman against each other. Enchantress has none. 

One of the worst things about Suicide Squad was it's deceptive marketing. I'm not going to go out and attempt to sue Warner and DC like that one redditor but I do agree, there was a lot of good stuff in the trailers that were cut out from the film. For example, where the hell was that awesome water scene from the trailer ("I'll have water." "That's a good idea honey")? Why was that cut out? As I mentioned earlier, Jared Leto stated many of scenes were cut out from the film. Apparently enough scenes were shot for an entire Joker movie according to Leto (which sounds pretty awesome to me). Why were these cut out? Especially since the film's marketing hype up the Joker so much and made it look like in the trailer that HE was the villain. Remember that scene in the trailer where the squad hears the Joker's laughter, Harley says "Oh no" and Deadshot says "Not good!"? That's nowhere to be found. Now, I kind of get why this was cut out (I mean, why would Harley be scared of The Joker approaching, unless they would've taken influence from Mad Love and have a briefly reformed Dr. Harleen Quinzel) but still. 

The worse thing for me is that Suicide Squad doesn't work as PG-13 film and would've worked a lot better as an R rated film, seeing that this a film about supervillains. With opening scenes of very proactive behavior from Harley Quinn (plus the strip club scene), some of the language I'm surprised you could away with PG-13, and the violence was definitely enough for an R rating. The film was definitely held back by the PG-13 rating and and just couldn't really make it work with the rating. Hey, but maybe we'll get another R-rated ultimate cut, because like with Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad needs an extended cut (in fact, Man Of Steel probably could've used one too). I see this becoming a trend in the DCEU and that's not a good thing. It shows you that DC and Warner can't get the film right the first time, and even the ultimate cut still doesn't entirely make things better (I heard the ultimate edition of Dawn Of Justice only fixes half of the film's problems).

Although Suicide Squad was disappointing and isn't exactly the savior the DCEU needed, I will say the critics are being a little too harsh on the film. As I said earlier, it's the best film in the DCEU, it's miles upon miles better than Dawn Of Justice, and it's not bad enough to join the list of the worst superhero movies of all time list, but it's still not a good film. It's not abysmal like how critics are describing it as but it's not good. Like with Dawn Of Justice, there's a good movie somewhere in there. You just have dig past the very noticeable studio interference, awful editing, and the weak story to find it. Unlike Dawn Of Justice, I do see myself watching Suicide Squad again, but as something on TV when nothing else is on or picking it up on DVD when it's on sale. *Sigh*. Well Wonder Woman, it's up to you. Save. This. Cinematic. Universe. I really don't want sit through another DC film that's a rushed attempt to compete with Marvel with the ending result of a film that's either awful, mediocre, or merely OK. But anyway, can't wait for that extended ultimate cut DC, because it's bound to happen at this point. Let's hope that can actually fix this film. Or only fix half of it's problems. Get it together you guys. 


Ian Thompson

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.