Review of Suicide Squad

sucidesquad

What should mankind do if a Superman level threat were ever to attack the United States? Amanda Waller (who appears to be on the Weight Watchers plan) proposes fighting fire with fire, by assembling a team of villainous meta-human protectors. One quick search later and the titular Suicide Squad are formed, made up of the meanest inmates presently serving time. The line-up includes sniper Deadshot, pyro-kinesis master El Diablo, amphibian strongman Killer Croc, obnoxious Australian Captain Boomerang, soul-sapping sword wielder Katana and the Joker’s insane love interest Harley Quinn. How a crazy chick swinging a baseball bat is supposed to counter someone like Doomsday is anyone’s guess, but whatever.

OVERVIEW

On their inaugural mission the Suicide Squad are tasked with taking down Enchantress, a mighty witch who is rather miffed that humanity no longer worships her as a god. The story is pretty straightforward. Suicide Squad go on a walk, Suicide Squad beat up lackeys, Suicide Squad continue to walk, Suicide Squad thrash some more henchmen, Suicide Squad walk some more and finally the Suicide Squad battle the final boss. The walk/fight cycle reminds me a little of Lord of the Rings, but the Fellowship get a pass from me because their ambling did at least treat us to some beautiful cinematography of New Zealand’s landscapes. On the other hand all you’ll see in this Warner Bros blockbuster are grimy streets and poorly lit alleyways.

Like many DC movies Suicide Squad is a bit of a mixed bag. The early scenes, which introduce us to the characters, are fun to watch and the banter between Waller’s team of misfits is witty. I liked how a sequence near the end of the film, were the group chill out at a bar, helped humanize what is essentially a band of despicable killers. The action choreography wasn’t to my liking however. Deadshot simply shoots guys – making me wonder why he is considered to be more valuable than a troop of soldiers. Captain Boomerang seems to favour melee combat for some reason, despite being named after a ranged weapon. El Diablo has the flashiest power, but for a good portion of the movie he refuses to set enemies ablaze. Waller should “fire” his pacifist ass from the team.

VERDICT

My rating for Suicide Squad is two and a half stars. When compared to other live action movies from the DC comics stable it is better than Green Lantern but worse than Man of Steel. Is David Ayer’s script to blame or is studio interference at fault? Who knows. Either way the movie didn’t click with me. I especially disliked Jared Leto’s take on the Joker. Just like Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman, the suspect casting did not work out. In this film the clown prince of crime is portrayed as a mob boss who has a thing for excessive makeup and garish suits. Leto couldn’t even deliver a convincing laugh, making me wonder how he got past the audition process. Thank goodness then that the Joker’s screen time is limited to a paltry fifteen minutes.

On the flip side Margot Robbie was great as Harley Quinn. Her quips stole the show, even if her performance doesn’t explain why Harley is so infatuated with Joker. Robbie eclipsed co-star Will Smith’s mediocre interpretation of Deadshot – the paid assassin who loves his daughter and refuses to kill children or women (um maybe someone should tell him the gender of Enchantress.) Overall I think Suicide Squad would have been more to my liking had I not recently watched Batman: Assault on Arkham. Said animated feature stars the same anti-hero team but manages to deliver a smarter storyline, funnier comedy and better action in the space of just seventy-five minutes. Oh how I wish Suicide Squad was that concise, because I found myself constantly glancing at my watch during its two-hour duration. After another sub-par release it now falls on Wonder Woman to save DC’s movie universe from the doldrums.

31 thoughts on “Review of Suicide Squad

    • We all have movies that we enjoy, even if they aren’t critically acclaimed. Suicide Squad has lots of problems that are easy to pick apart, but I can see why you would enjoy it as there are some fun moments in there too. In another life I would have given this three stars, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about how Assault on Arkham did this story better.

  1. One of the reasons why this film is a mess narrative wise is because the studio had the people who edited the trailer to edit the whole film, since the trailer caused so much interest. Thus ignoring things like chronology is why this is so ass backwards in telling the story (although I’m sure the script was also to blame a little) ruining the potential everyone was excited for. :/

    • Trailers often lie, so it’s probably not a good idea to get the guys who make the marketing clips to edit your film. All that said the trailer for this movie did make me want to watch the movie. Perhaps Suicide Squad will be one of those flicks that will feel less messy if a director’s cut ever gets released.

      • Trailers don’t lie per se, they are designed to grab your attention and entice you into seeing the film; if the best bits of the film are in the trailer that is not the trailer’s fault but the film itself. In this instance it is a little from column A and little from column B, although the director has said his original story and vision was sorely compromised by the studio who only see dollar signs.

        Isn’t the DVD/Blu-ray release an extended cut? Does it not make more sense like the Batman vs Superman extended cut did against the theatrical version?

      • Queen’s version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was used in the film but on the soundtrack album it was a cover by somebody called “Panic! at the Disco”.

      • Yes, the Record Industry Weasels and their licensing territories. I remember on the movie soundtrack for “Easy Rider” that Bob Dylan’s movie songs had to be covered by Manfred Mann for the album. Oh, that carbon dates me.

  2. I’ve been having a really hard time with the DC movies. I love superheros. They rock my comfortable wool socks. But of late, I just haven’t been interested in what DC has going on, film-wise. At all. There’s just nothing there for me.

    • It’s such a shame because the DC animation department has proven that good films can be made with these characters. When it comes to live action stuff Warner Bros is lagging behind Marvel Studios and Fox.

  3. I saw so much hype for this movie but it seems like it disappointed the majority of people who watched it. I’m still on a quest to find a review where somebody said that they loved this film to be honest.

    • Most of the reviews I have read are mixed or negative. Some people have enjoyed it though. At the end of the day a review is just the writer’s opinion. If the trailer looks promising to you don’t let my assessment sway you from giving the flick a chance.

  4. I thought it was a quite good movie… I even wanted to watched it, but then switched plans!…. Thanks for the review, then… At least, the music is cool, right!? 😉 >best to you, happy holidays, Judge!

  5. SHOULDERS! … I meant “shoulders” …
    Wordpress should get an “Edit in 5 minutes” button for comments.

    I complain about the comic book movies., but I will probably see it. I don’t want to be left out on the pop cultural references.

      • Yes, especially when you are passionately arguing a point, mistakes can be made.

        A written flub can can turn me from Noel Coward into the guy who voices “Mater” in an instant.

    • I finally saw it via Netflix DVD a couple of weeks ago.
      I enjoyed the characters and the backstories. That was fun to watch, along with the quips.
      I could care less about the plot, NEVER AT ANY POINT FELT ANY SUSPENSE, or wondered what would happen, or cared about how the final battle would turn out. “Big surprise.”

  6. Personally, in the short spat in which we see Leto’s Joker – I enjoyed it. I thought he did a great job playing one of the lesser dwelled on variants of the Joker. In fact: Many people were outraged at the cinemas about his cut down time. It is worth saying though that the Joker should never have made a huge impact on Suicide Squad anyway. This isn’t his story.

    With this said, when I saw it at the cinema, I knew exactly what I was getting when I went in. Dumb. Because that’s how it’s always played out and I wasn’t disappointed on that front. I have a friend who watched the recent animated series of it – It’s so dark. So gritty. So… Not Suicide Squad. At least, not the originals.

    Awesome review as always Mr. Judge – Had to share my views on Jared’s Joker 😀 Shame we won’t see it again 😦
    Cesar Romero is still, in my opinion, the greatest Joker to have ever been; including Heath’s stunning performance.

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