The long anticipated entry into the DC Expanded Universe has finally arrived, and in traditional DC fashion, it has fans and critics split.
My Rating: 6/10 RENT IT
It pains me to say it, but this was a truly disappointing film. Strap yourselves in because this will be a predominately negative review. To all DC fans, please refrain from petitioning to have my blog shut down and please listen to what I have to say.
Suicide Squad has all of the ingredients of a great movie, however it is clear that there were far too many cooks in the kitchen. I had high hopes for director David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury), but it seems that the end result of Suicide Squad is a combination of studio interference and an incapacitating identity crisis. While it has some solid performances, it is too focused on Universe Building and lacks any sort of dynamic villain or any real character development.
Ayer’s films are typically dark and compelling- which you would assume would fit right in with the current tone of the DC Universe. However after the backlash of that mess of a film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it seems that DC is attempting to lighten up a bit. This is apparent in the extremely bipolar tone of Suicide Squad. The film jumps around from somber and angsty to lighthearted fun in such a way that only a true sociopath could be entertained.
But its not all bad. Ayer, being the talented director he is, was still able to churn out some truly entertaining performances- which are the highlights of the film.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Margot Robbie stole the show with her rendition of Harley Quinn. She was quirky, violent and unpredictable. Everything we could ask for in a Harley Quinn. Along with Will Smith’s Deadshot (who we will get to in a minute), she was one of the only truly dynamic characters. While her motivations and convictions are presented to us in one of the laziest forms of storytelling imaginable (Flashbacks), she still managed to be a compelling and hilarious aspect of an otherwise arduous watch.
Will Smith as Deadshot
I must confess that I have been a little less than impressed with Will Smith as of late. His performances always seem to be either too serious, otherwise he just simply phones it in. It pleases me to say that Suicide Squad gave us back the Will Smith we’ve missed and loved. Smith gives us one of the most charming, witty and human performances he’s delivered in years. The entire time I was watching this movie, I wished I was just watching a Deadshot standalone film.
Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang
When I first heard Jai Courtney was going to play Captain Boomerang, it was the first cause for concern I felt going in to this movie. Firstly, how in the hell could they make Captain Boomerang work, and secondly, why would they hire franchise killer Jai Courtney? However, aside from the quirks of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Courtney’s Boomerang was one of the only bits of humor added to this film which really worked. He had great chemistry with the rest of his cast-mates, and he was using his regular Aussie accent, so we didn’t have to listen to that god-awful American accent he just simply can’t seem to get down.
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller (DUH)
Perhaps the most obvious casting decision made in this movie was Viola Davis as the mastermind Amanda Waller… Anyone who has ever read a DC comic, or seen the old Justice League cartoons could have anticipated that this would be the best casting decision imaginable. She was straightforwardly good, but remained in the background for most of the film.
Now, on to the bad…
Jared Leto as The Joker
I really really really really really really really wanted to love Jared Leto’s Joker. But I honestly have no idea what the hell he was going for. My issues with his rendition of Joker are similar to the issues I had with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. It was a completely new and original take on the character- one we had never seen put to screen- however it completely lacked the spirit of the character to the point that it is completely unrecognizable. I can say with complete confidence that Leto’s Joker is the worst Joker we’ve seen thus far.
Cara Delevingne as Enchantress
SPOILERS!!! Enchantress is the main antagonist of the film and her threat lacks any originality. The entire third act commits itself to the standard apocalyptic, sky beam finale we see in every modern blockbuster. None of this is Delevingne’s fault, as I’m sure she did the best with what she was given. Similar to Leto’s portrayal of the Joker, I have no idea what they were thinking when they brought Enchantress to life. Weird mannerisms, strange hula dancing, and a horrible overdubbed voice made Enchantress a joke and severely lowered the stakes of the finale.
Overall Suicide Squad is a lazily written, semi-entertaining action flick which feels like it was edited by a ten year old. It is not quite as bad as Batman v Superman, and it does a decent job introducing some of its characters into the Universe. Unfortunately, lacking any discernible plot, I’m gonna have to retain my opinion that Man of Steel is still the best film on DC’s belt… And that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh? Did you enjoy Suicide Squad, or do you think DC should just commit franchise suicide? (ZING!!!) Let me know what you think in the comments below! And don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘share’!