Suicide Squad has definitely been one of the most anticipated movies of the year and with all of the merchandising and promotions that they’ve done regarding the film, I think we all certainly had high expectations as to what the film was going to be like. In some aspects I feel like this film did deliver, but I also feel like this was a very flawed film that tried to be spectacular but instead ended up being just okay. (NOTE: THIS REVIEW WILL HAVE SPOILERS)
The film starts out introducing us to government agent Amanda Waller and starts shortly after the events of Batman v Superman. After Superman’s death, Waller comes up with this plan to create this team who can stop any meta-humans that go bad and try to destroy the world and so she decides to hand pick a group of villains to be a part of this team, to be called upon if something would come up. In this team she decides to include: Deadshot, a man who has never missed his target, Deadshot is a kind of anti-hero who’s biggest weak spot is his daughter; Harley Quinn, once a brilliant psychiatrist, Quinn fell in love and became obsessed with one of her patients (the Joker aka Mr. J) and ran off with him; Diablo, a meta-human with the ability to create and control fire; Captain Boomerang, a thief who’s weapon of choice is a…let’s see if you can guess this one…a boomerang; Killer Croc, a man with the skin of a reptile who is pretty strong and has increased endurance; we are also introduced to Slipknot, a man who can climb anything, Rick Flagg, a soldier who becomes the leader of the group, Katana, a woman who wields a sword that captures the souls of anyone she kills, and Enchantress, an ancient witch, who was meant to be a member of the team but instead becomes the villain of the movie.
So before getting into the problems, I want to talk about some of the positives of the film. Like I said, I didn’t hate this movie, I just found it to be okay, but there were certain aspects of the film that I did find enjoyable. The film did have some funny one liners throughout by a few of the different characters. The action scenes were fun, you got to see most of the characters’ fighting styles and you kind of get to see their personalities through that. The film moved at a quick enough pace that I never felt bored.
But one of the best aspects of this film was Will Smith as Deadshot. So Will Smith definitely took me by surprise with this movie. Quite honestly, I haven’t really liked any of the movies that he has been in in the past couple of years, I feel like he’s definitely made some misses, but he really redeems himself with his portrayal of Deadshot within this movie and he is arguably the best character within the Suicide Squad. I also really enjoyed Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, but the character herself had absolutely no development and I honestly thought it was a injustice to the character. However, Margot Robbie’s performance was really quite spot on and I certainly can’t blame her for the poor decisions made by the writers. I also really like Jai Courtney as Boomerang, but unfortunately, he became one of the many characters within this film that fell short, not due to the actor’s abilities but due to the fact that the writers kind of haphazardly put together a script that gave minimal to no background on several of the characters and a script that left several of the characters feeling rather meaningless and unnecessary.
So now time to get into the flaws of the film. I first want to start with the characters who I felt were the biggest missteps, the Enchantress and Joker.
Enchantress is introduced to us by Amanda Waller as she was meant to be a member of Suicide Squad. Like the other members of the Suicide Squad, Enchantress was to be forced to work for the government as a member of this team, but it wasn’t a reduced sentence and an explosive in the neck that she was promised and threatened with, like the others, but instead Waller actually has Enchantress’ heart. Why is Enchantress’ heart not within her body? Great question, never answered. The only thing that we learn about Enchantress is that she is thousands of years old. How has she lived so long? Good question, no idea. We’re also informed that Enchantress was actually contained in a bottle and was accidentally released by an archeologist who came upon the tomb in which the Enchantress’ spirit was being held, and the Enchantress’ spirit went inside the archeologist’s body and now partially shares the body with the woman. How was Enchantress captured and placed within a bottle? Good question, we never find out. Enchantress, being all powerful (how did she get her powers, I, too would love to know), however, manages to release her brother, who was trapped in a bottle as well, steals back her heart, and escapes the custody of Waller and Flagg, and decides to build a machine (because humans worship machines now) and destroy everything. What’s her brother’s name, you may ask? No clue. Why does she go from 0 to 60 with her plan to destroy the world? Like everything else, this question is left unanswered. The writers just got so damn sloppy when it came to Enchantress. There is literally no backstory whatsoever. Her brother is literally referred to as Brother or the Big One, the entire goddamn time he’s on screen. Amanda Waller is a more menacing bad guy then this damn witch ever could be and we know just as little about Waller as we do about Enchantress.
My other big problem with this movie is the Joker. So despite the fact that they marketed the crap out of Joker (I can’t even tell you how many variations of Funko Pops and other figures were made of this character), he is only in the film for a handful of scenes, so don’t expect a film full of Joker. Also don’t expect some great new rendition of the Joker, because honestly the writers did such a shitty job of writing this character that we’re left with Jared Leto overacting. It’s like he tried so hard to make the character more extreme but failed because he was so poorly written. Joker just felt like one of those characters that was very unnecessary within this film. He just looked and acted like a gangster. Sorry Puddin’, you just didn’t cut it.
I also really didn’t like how they dealt with Harley and Joker’s relationship. So just in case you’re not informed on the situation, and you think that Harley and Joker are some sort of couple to look up to and be like, you’re wrong. Joker is actually quite emotionally and even physically abusive towards Harley within the comics, and although they portray that to some extent within the movie, they have no development with Harley attempting to move past that. Instead the entire film is centered around her waiting for him to come rescue her. I think it was an injustice to her character. Yes, Harley within the comics is obsessed and in love with Joker and stays with him through a great many bad things, but there are also times when she realizes that he treats her poorly and I wish we would have seen that side of Harley. In fact at one point in the film the Enchantress tries to convince the members of Suicide Squad to join her by telling them that she can make their biggest dreams come true, she then shows them their dreams and Harley’s is her and Joker being married and normal and having a couple of kids. This further tried to romanticize their relationship but also was a betrayal of the characters. Harley Quinn did have a daughter within the comics, and she hid it from Joker because she knew he didn’t have time for children and that a child would never work with all of his plans. In the comic, Harley reveals to Black Canary that she left for a year while she was pregnant and had the baby, and when she went back to him, Joker acted like he didn’t even realize she was gone for that long. Harley Quinn and Joker are not a couple to look up to and I hate that the film tried to make them become that. I also hate that they over-sexualized Harley, even though I knew they were going to. How many times did we need a closeup of her in a wet t-shirt or a closeup of her short shorts going up her ass? They didn’t do that with any of the other characters. I didn’t get a close up of Jai Courtney’s ass or a glimpse of a bulge within Will Smith’s pants, sorry to seem crude, but I’m tired of these female characters within these comic book movies being treated as they are.
My next issue with the film is the choppy editing. It seems like they filmed these whole scenes that they then cut in half and threw together and just kind of hoped for the best. It doesn’t flow as nicely as it could and we’re left with a film with nearly no backstory on any of the characters. If this is the first time you’re ever being introduced to Suicide Squad, you’re probably going to feel pretty lost because we’re given the most minuscule amount of background on some of the characters and we’re left wondering why some of the characters are even there. Joker is one of them for the reasons I mentioned above, he just is kind of there. Another character that is just kind of there and rather useless is Katana, which is a real shame because she’s actually a really cool character and she just kind of shows up in this film and stands around in the background trying to look menacing. Killer Croc is another character, where you’re left feeling like he was never really necessary because in his one moment where he was supposed to shine, he ends up being pushed away by the Enchantress’ army men (aka blobs of goo that once used to be humans but now look far less menacing and are supposed to be helping her destroy the world but instead just keep crumbling). There is so little character development for any of them though, that you’re left really not caring if any of them live or die.
The last thing I want to discuss is the beginning of the film and also some of the things that happen within the film. The beginning of the film is probably one of the longest introductions ever that just felt really unnecessary and repetitive. Honestly they could have cut the beginning of the film in half and instead filled the movie with more background on the characters and more development but instead we’re left with a bunch of montages of the same thing over and over again. I also want to know what was the point of Slipknot? The character was literally mentioned for all of five seconds and he was on the team because he could “climb anything” and then he decides to try to escape which leads to his head being blown off. I understand this was meant to show the consequences of what would happen to the Squad if they would try to run or kill one of the good guys, but his character was completely worthless and completely unnecessary. The final thing that I had a problem with was the machine that Enchantress was building to destroy the world. First of all, we have no idea how this machine is supposed to work, we get brief glimpses of the destruction it starts to cause, but we still have no idea what it really is or how it really works. Also it ends up looking basically like a giant beam that goes up into the sky, hmm why does this seem so familiar? Oh wait, maybe because we’ve seen it about a million times, including in the Avengers and most recently, in Ghostbusters. This is a concept that we have seen one too many times and it’s getting old and it’s unoriginal and it needs to stop.
All-in-all, I know it seems like I make a lot of negative points, the film, like I said, is very flawed, but I can’t bring myself to hate it in its entirety. I actually ended up liking it better then the theatrical release of Batman v Superman, though I have not seen the extended version of that film, which I hear clears up a lot of the problems within the film, but based on what I did see, I enjoyed Suicide Squad more. There were a lot of misses with this film though, and I really hope to see better from DC in the future. I am actually really looking forward to Justice League, though I really wish somebody other then Zach Snyder was directing. His films have been misses for me for quite some time now. I would say definitely go out and see this film and make up your own mind about it, I know some people who have had a lot of really positive things to say about the movie and who knows you may enjoy it as well, I just couldn’t bring myself to love this film.