Suicide Squad Saves The World With Disappointment (Movie Review)

Suicide SquadSuicide Squad needs no further word of mouth to market this one.  Warner Bros. made plenty sure of that with all the various trailers and TV spots.  Heck, Margot Robbie is practically the poster child of this one.  Who needs the Joker and Batman?  She sells the film herself as Harley Quinn, but seriously.  The concept of taking a bunch of criminals, some of which of which are meta-humans, and making them superheroes.  Well, that’s just plain genius when you think about it.  I mean really.  Really think about how brilliant that idea is.  Go on!  Let it sink in real good.  I believe good or bad Warner Bros. may break some box office records for the month of August.  This is all despite people’s disappointment too with the brooding Batman v Superman (BvS) entry.

If you’re doing the math, Suicide Squad becomes the third film in the DC Extended Universe.  Most noteworthy, Zack Snyder has been captain of this universe with his first two installments, Man of Steel and BvS.  Now it’s time for someone else to have some fun in this sandbox.  Therefore, put your hands together and welcome director and writer David Ayer to the franchise.  Here he leads an ensemble cast that contains the likes of household names such as Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood and more.  The story of Suicide Squad is a simple one.  A U.S. government agency recruits imprisoned super-villains for a deadly black ops mission to save the world.

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Suicide Squad immediately follows the events that went down in BvS.  Therefore, if you care about continuity and have not seen BvS as of yet, you need to before going into Suicide Squad.  You’ve been warned.  So here’s the skinny of it all.  Viola Davis’ character wants to start a black ops team comprised of notorious criminals and meta-humans.  The reason behind this is the thought of what if Superman wanted to destroy them all.  Who would have stopped it?  She claims if “squad” members get caught, the U.S. will deny any knowledge of or involvement with.  Hence, one thing leads to another and this “suicide squad” is needed for a particular messy situation.  The “squad” members are herded like cattle and dropped into the situation at hand.  It becomes up to them whether or not to comply and save the world or lookout for themselves and escape.  Meanwhile, the Joker has his own tricks up his sleeve (pun intended).  He interferes and meddles a bit here and there too.  That’s really all I want to say about the story here without going into any forbidden spoiler territories.

Before we even start talking about what’s good and bad with the film I want to reflect for a moment.  I want to take a look at and pay my respect to the performances here in the Suicide Squad.  For without them, this would have been an even “less” memorable outing.  I stress the word “less” because you’re results and mileage may very here.  However, I digress for a moment.  Let’s take a brief look at three actors: Jared Leto (Joker), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and okay, Jai Courtney (Boomerang).

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Let’s examine what it takes to fill the iconic role of the Joker.  You have some pretty big shoes to fill, right?  From Nicholson and Ledger all the way back to Cesar Romero, you have your work cut out for you.  Now if you’re Leto, how do you prepare?  Why you let your sanity go but of course.  What other choice do you have?  From his method acting (never breaking character once) to his bizarre sexual gifts to co-stars, Leto took things to extreme.  It’s a wonder how he’s still sane today when you think of poor Heath Ledger.  I recently read that Leto has stated the Joker is still inside of him.  He did say he watched graphic videos of violence for months to prepare.  Even more impressive to me was how he developed his laugh.   He’s rumored to have walked the streets of New York laughing manically to develop it.  How’s that for dedication to your craft?

Robbie Margot, like the rest of the cast, did a stellar job of embodying her role.  After all, I can’t believe it would be easy to bring the maniac Harley Quinn to life like she did.  She outright owns that mischievous character.  From cracking those bubbles to that sexy, devilish smile she executes I could not imagine anyone else besides her now.  She is an icon to me now.  However, all this is fine and dandy, but I want to shift gears and focus on Jai Courtney now.   I want to briefly chat about the uttermost lengths he underwent in order to bring Boomerang to life.

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While he didn’t hold character for the entirety of filming like Leto did, Courtney still impresses me.  Granted, this is all hearsay so take this with a grain of salt.  However, from what I understand Jai Courtney took things pretty far to find the character of Boomerang within himself.  He supposedly consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms to “explore” his mind, albeit never on set.  He also claims to experiment with self-mutilation, putting out cigarettes on his skin, and so on.  How’s that again for dedication to your craft?  Boom!

So with all this being said up above you know I had to love this film, right?  Wrong!  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s so much not to like about Suicide Squad.  Where do I even start?  First of all, this is coming from a guy who will defend BvS against any and all naysayers.  I will not back down and I’m relentless in the way I strike back due to my affinity for that film.  After viewing Suicide Squad I came home a broken man.  I could not even write like I usually do.  I fought back the need to shed a few tears and just retreated to slumber.  Maybe if I sleep on it, I’ll feel better about things in the morning.  Wrong again!  Believe me, no one wanted this movie to succeed more than me.  No one!

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It feels like Warner Bros. spent all their money on marketing and nothing on story.  Furthermore, whomever edited those trailers is a mad genius and I want them as my personal friend.  They could make me a lot of money in life.  Speaking of, I hope Warner Bros. paid him or her well because they are the reason people will flock to the theaters this weekend.  Well, let’s be honest for a minute.  The ingeniously edited trailers and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn are why people will check this out theatrically.  She was spectacular throughout in this, but we’ll chat about her in a moment.

When you study the fine art of screenwriting the notion of story, story, story is embedded in your brain by both teachers and mentors alike.  So what the hell happened here?  It’s like they just felt the need to cram a bunch of villains in here because of the cool factor.  Story, on the other hand, went out the window.  Don’t even get me started on the shoddy special effects in here either.  I’m cringing as to what they are going to look like in the eventual 4K Ultra HD release.  Given the critical bashing thus far, I can only expect that Blu-ray release date will not be too far away.

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When you’re telling a good story you need to remember the antagonist is just as important as your protagonist.  Why that simple rule wasn’t adhered to here is beyond me.  The main villain is everything less than spectacular, actually they were laughable.  That’s very sad to report.  Here you have the chance to do something that’s never really been done before in a mainstream comic book movie.  You have a team of villains themselves fighting for their country.  So this is the crap you give us?  I hate to use this direct comparison, but I cannot restrain myself from doing so.  Remember Fox’s recently failed Fantastic Four experiment?  Suicide Squad felt like that to me at times.  It felt rushed, sloppy, incoherent at times, lost, forced, laughable at others and incomplete.  The horrible CGI did not help matters either.  Did I tell you Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn exceptionally well?  We’ll always have that.  Ha ha.

What I am very curious about was what were those re-shoots for that Ayer and crew had to do?  Was the movie worse off before?  Today I also am hearing of an alternate cut too.  What gives?  Possibly we may get an Ultimate Cut Edition on Blu-ray, huh?  Whatever the case, curiosity has the best of me.  So last but not least on my list of complaints are the characters.  Ones like Deadshot (Smith), Flag (Kinnaman), Harley and Joker are fully developed, but the rest are all throwaways.  Yes, sad to say even Boomerang was a waste for me.  Why he had to experiment with mushrooms and self mutilation is beyond me.  His role is so minimal as it is.  Whatever!  Don’t get me started on Killer Croc (Agbaje) either.  He’s embarrassing.  You thought Electro was bad in The Amazing Spider-Man 2?  Electro has nothing on the Croc here.  Every time he speaks I sank deeper in my seat.  It makes me cringe to hear how bad his dialogue was, but I digress.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were more believable for me.

I think I did enough bashing.  Believe me I could find many more reasons to complain about things here.  Sadly missing is a Hans Zimmer score too.  I think the studio put too much faith in a soundtrack that really didn’t pump me up here.  However, my other half loved it all and I’m afraid she’s going to hate me for the meh score I’m giving this down below.  I think I am being overly generous.  I’m curious to hear what y’all think after you see this once.  She wants to go back this weekend and see it.  I fear that may be a reality in my immediate future.  As Mr. Bill says, oh nooooo!  Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices and compromises for the sake of your relationship.  This is one of those.  I love her so I will do it if she wants.  She makes a good point too.  I typically like things more the second or third viewing.  It happened with Interstellar.  Can it happen with this?

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Let’s say this, if it were not for Margot Robbie in this film, I would never watch this again.  She gives this Suicide Squad the only redeeming entertainment, energy and momentum it has.  Don’t worry too because any time this film has momentum the flashbacks kill it.  However, I do find it sad the rest of the movie can’t complement the assets Margot brings to the table.  It’s intriguing to also know that I now have a hall pass for her too.  Ha ha.  Don’t get me wrong though, there are a few others I liked in this.  Jared Leto makes it interesting at times as the Clown Prince, but he’s really not given much to work with here.  His overacting is also brutally painful to witness too.  My only other compliment goes to Will Smith.  He’s charismatic as usual and it would be unfair to dump any of my frustrations on him.  Last but not least, the only other thing I like about this film is its continuity and tie-ins to Justice League.  The Batman scenes could be better, but I also appreciate them at the same time.  I have not given up on the DC Universe franchise yet, but for all you BvS haters out there, Suicide Squad makes it look rock star now.  I can’t wait to see another Zack Snyder film after this one.

So there you have it?  Would I see it again?  Yeah I’d give it a spin.  However, I just don’t think the chaotic mess will ever tip the scale in its favor.  There’s a lot going for this one, but it’s execution and story is severely flawed.  I did my best to spare you anymore details than I felt was necessary.  Should you see this theatrically this weekend?  Absolutely!  I need them to make some money on this despite the bad word of mouth.  I want to see future movies in this DC Universe.  After all, there’s nothing wrong with the holy trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.  They at least have onscreen chemistry.  Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of the Suicide Squad.  Please don’t let this become a tired Expendables franchise.  Just bring the Joker and Harley into the future Batman film universe and all will be right again in the world.  See how easy democracy is?  My love for this DC franchise and brand is the only saving grace here in the score department.  I will see this again, but I don’t expect my feelings to change for the better in this one.  For the time being, I’ll stay in the middle here.  Have fun!

Suicide Squad Opens Nationwide

Everywhere August 5th

in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D!


Suicide Squad Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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