Suicide Squad Review

This was my most anticipated film of 2016. The initial teaser trailer had me so excited for the film and every trailer since helped grow my excitement. To be clear: I was excited because the trailers were conveying a superhero film unlike any other. A film that focuses on the bad guys and searches for some humanity within them. I always found it interesting how the initial two trailers were much darker than the most recent promotional material. After seeing the film, I understand why. Warner Bros decided to alter the film in order to insert more levity. The result is a widely inconsistent film with occasional strokes of brilliance.
We’re bad guys, it’s what we do
The members that make up the Suicide Squad are all pretty great. What makes them great is that they are all so utterly different, brought together by their choices as bad guys. I say pretty great because certain characters could have/should have been handled a bit differently, but I will get into that later. The standouts from the team are: Harley Quinn and Deadshot. This is not surprising since they have always been the focal point of the trailers. The film devotes much more time to develop their characters, but this is at the expense of the surrounding characters. I have not seen Will Smith this charismatic in years. I like how the Deadshot in this film is not a stone cold killer like he can be in the comics, but occasionally it felt like Will Smith made the filmmakers tone him down a bit. Margot Robbie does an exceptional job as Harley Quinn, who has many great moments throughout the film. Some of my favorite scenes involving her were the ones that explored her background, or her own psyche. There were not many scenes like this, but I am hopeful there are a few more in the inevitable extended cut. Aside for these two characters, I felt very little connection to anyone else. There is one particular character that has a strong backstory, but the film does not devote enough time to explore this background so I never became particularly attached to said character (I am being vague to avoid spoilers, but if you have seen the film I think you will know who I am talking about). While the rest of the characters may not have been properly developed, I have to give the actors major props. Everyone did a great job bringing these characters to life. I have to briefly touch on Jared Leto as the Joker as well. As you may have heard, he is not in the film very often. When he is in the film I thought it made sense, but the filmmakers should have used him more. Leto’s Joker is a bit odd and all over the place, but it is also new and refreshing. It is hard to put together my impression of him because he had such limited screen time, but it is a good sign that he left me wanting more.
I’m just gonna hurt you really, really bad
About 5 minutes into Suicide Squad I realized the films’ greatest enemy is the editing. I have to say that I absolutely despised the editing in this film. I heard that the film underwent some reshoots to make the film a bit lighter (I touched on this during my intro), but it became so apparent while watching these initial couple of minutes. There are bright neon colored texts, popular pop culture songs, and quick cuts to introduce our key suicide squad members. It felt like each member was supposed to have a cohesive scene devoted to him/her, but the film cuts around these scenes in favor of a shorter runtime and more jokes. This was less apparent as the film went on, but the editing was never better than “okay”. It is important to note that this was my biggest problem with Batman V Superman, so it shows that Warner Bros has not learned a single thing. Another major problem with this film is the villain. It is not really a spoiler, but if you do not want to know I would suggest you stop reading right now. The Enchantress is the main villain of the film, but the marketing has always made the Joker seem like the main villain. It is a smart move because if the Joker was the main villain we would have gotten a much better film. Think about it: Harley would have a much great conflict, as would the Joker. The squad would also have to go up against someone who is not supernatural like the Enchantress, rather someone who is purely psychotic. That would have been amazing, but no, instead we get good ol’ Enchantress who has zero motivations and barely any backstory. I will admit when she was all grimy and “Gollum-looking” I thought she looked cool, but appearance is not everything. Along with the poor editing and terrible villain, the writing as a whole is mediocre. Sure, some of the characters have some strong backstories and there are a handful of great lines. However, the main plot is incredibly thin, the surrounding characters are not properly developed, and a handful of the lines are just bad. I would say 80% of Killer Croc’s lines are terrible. They tried to make him funny, but did not succeed at all.
Closing Remarks
Listen, I was disappointed by this film. I thought this could be an amazing film but it is barely okay. I would go as far a to say that it is even mediocre. Much of the film feels missing, or otherwise underdeveloped. For everything that I liked about the film (and I did like a good chunk of it) there were two thing I did not. Warner Bros seriously needs to rethink their strategy with these comic book films. Batman V Superman had an okay film with its’ theatrical cut, but the extended cut is actually pretty good (good not great, still some problems). The problem with these films is not the tone, it is the writing. I want the story to flow well. The characters are always interesting enough, just give me a good story and I will be on board. I care if it is an overly dark tone, or a jokey tone with some darkness. I just want a good story from start to end and DC has yet to deliver.


One thought on “Suicide Squad Review

  1. I agree with you. DC hasn’t given a good wholesome story (from start to finish) in its movies so far. The tone for this movie is much lighter than Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice, but the film’s plot is very thin and with too many characters. Nice review.

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