Suicide Squad, a band of misfits who try and do some good, was supposed to be an entertaining rebound from the sluggish, uninspired and disappointing Batman vs. Superman film. With Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) leading the team, we were due for some Guardians of the Galaxy type chaotic fun. DC’s Suicide Squad should’ve taken a page out of Marvel’s, far better, template for team-up movies, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, which perfectly blend the humor, action, and character development that we have come to expect. Just like Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and the other members of Task Force X, we are left with another forgettable entry in the DCEU.
Right off the bat, in Suicide Squad we are introduced to the films two main leads, Deadshot and Harley Quinn, in an attempt to establish whom we will be following throughout the movie. Unfortunately, for the rest of the team, it is almost as if David Ayer and his creative team just forgot that they existed. They are left with little to no screen time to develop and are given nothing to do but service the plot in moving forward. Instead we are given expositional backgrounds of every member of the squad, in the most clunky and frustrating way possible, with Viola Davis’ Character introducing them.
Admittedly, it’s not all bad in Suicide Squad. Will Smith and Margot Robbie give exceptional performances portraying their respective villains, as well as, Viola Davis portraying a perfect Amanda Waller. Though they were the only members that were fleshed out enough to care about. In addition, it was undeniably more fun than Batman Vs. Superman, although, that movie didn’t set a very high bar to begin with. One of my biggest pet peeves with ‘team-up’ movies, as a moviegoer and comic book lover; I should understand each character’s motivation and, at the very least, be able to care about each one individually. It’s difficult to achieve but it has been done before. In Suicide Squads case, I end up not caring about the ‘team’ or any of the other characters in it, outside of Harley and Deadshot. Suicide Squad fails to make me care for the team, its characters, and why when they do come together why should I matter. The end result is disappointing on all levels.
I have enjoyed other movies David Ayer has directed, some including End of Watch and Fury, but I cant help but feel this isn’t his iteration of the movie. This film has studio-meddling written all over it from the jump cut editing, to awkwardly placed scenes, that mess with the whole flow of the movie. This version of the film seems to be more of a studio restricted mess than his, possibly better, version.
DC and Geoff Johns had a pretty easy job when it came to Suicide Squad. Establish the villains of this universe while humanizing them enough for them to come together against a bigger threat and, in the end, it all means something a little more. In these regard, the movie falls flat, with a rushed villain, muddled plot, and lazy writing.
You didn’t think I’d forget about Jared Leto’s Joker performance did you? Unfortunately in Suicide Squad he’s regulated to a super-cameo, which brings me to the conclusion that I will have to reserve full judgment on his iteration of the Joker for later movies. With that being said, I did enjoy the small sample sizes we were able to see. Though I have to admit, it felt like more of a Heath Ledger imitation than it did his own version of the character, I believe Leto can bring us something unique we haven’t seen yet from the Joker. Like I said, I feel I can’t judge the character completely until Jared Leto’s Joker is given more to do (hopefully) in later installments.
Overall: Suicide Squad squanders strong performances from Will Smith, Viola Davis and Margot Robbie for a disappointing, muddled plot that will leave the audience feeling more discouraged than hopeful about future installments in this beloved universe.
Rutgers Student studying Political Science & Government with a minor in Journalism who has an interest in the intersection of journalism and political movements.