“Suicide Squad” Review
Suicide Squad, the third (if counting Man of Steel) instalment of the DC Cinematic Universe, directed by David Ayer, is finally here after much hype and excitement. This film is the make or break film of the DCCU, after the disappointment of Batman v Superman, everyone was awaiting to see if this film was going to save the shared-universe franchise, and recharge the desperate fans with hope and fulfilment.
But did it?
Well, much like the characters in this film are billed as, Suicide Squad is the worst of the worst.
SPOILERS AHEAD – – – –
When it came to the film’s story, Suicide Squad did a lot to try and explain itself, while not explaining itself at all. Suicide Squad focuses on the rag-tag group of criminals featuring Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Slipknot (Adam Beach), who are joined by Rick Flagg and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), and a bunch of non-important cannon fodder (one of them played by Scott Eastwood, Son of Clint), as they try to defy the plans of The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) who is trying to…well we’ll get to that, while struggling through hordes of weird soldier-things (created by The Enchantress) and the interruptions of The Joker (played by Jared Leto, we shall get to him also). The film’s set up at the beginning to introduce the characters shows a lot of potential to be a fun, colourful 2 hours, but then it instantly goes for a slightly darker, and disappointing, approach to the characters and story. The basic plot of every Suicide Squad story is that the government agency called Argus, lead by Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis in this movie), collects a group of villains of the DC universe, puts bombs in their necks and gets them to do help save the world for cuts of their prison sentences. Simple. This film does that plot line very easily, as it should be, but throws a bunch of other things at the watcher. So it turns out that The Enchantress was supposed to be part of the Suicide Squad (or Task Force X), as Amanda Waller was in possession of her “heart” and could therefore control her. However, The Enchantress (rather quickly and simply), manages to outsmart Waller and begin her plans (which involve resurrecting the spirit of her brother, and then begin destroying the world) by – get this, this will blow your mind – waiting till Waller is asleep and doing shit then. I hope my sarcasm was made clear.
So the Suicide Squad are sent in to traverse the destroyed Midway City (home of Hawkgirl and Hawkguy…if by any chance you were interested), save a mysterious target in the city, and then leave. So they are literally told nothing about Enchantress, and it seems that the government don’t really care about her plans, just that they want to get this target to safety (by the way it turns out to be Amanda Waller herself). It’s like after they attempted to take down Enchantress’s brother (who had become a giant metal-monster-thing) and failed, they decided “fuck it, that’s Hawkgirl’s problem now”. After a bunch of fight scenes between the Squad and the creatures of the Enchantress’s making, and a few Helicopter crashes (there are a total of 4 in this film, and pretty much everyone survives all of them), the Squad rescue Waller, who they put on a helicopter (which is shot down) – after surviving an attack by The Joker, who was attempting to rescue Quinn, by Helicopter (which is shot down) – and decide to stop Enchantress’s plans. Now, here is my explanation of Enchantress’s plans: Destroy everything. Even with Rick “Exposition Master” Flagg there (seriously, I’m not even joking, he was basically there to explain to the characters – and the audience – what the hell was going on) it was hard to tell what was really going on. Enchantress even said multiple times that she was going to destroy America (and I’m guessing the rest of the worlds) “Armies”, but that was a too vague and didn’t really make sense. She then ended up just destroying everything, even a random satellite followed by a government man saying “that was our most important satellite”. REALLY.
Anyway, soon Enchantress is defeated and the Squad go back to Belle Reve, the prison they were kept in, and the movie kind of, just, ends. We get a montage of what happens to each member of the Squad, except Slipknot who is dead. We get a teaser when Joker frees Harley from prison, but then the film just ends.
Though the characters in this film were the the only things keeping me invested, it is quite clear that they are thinly written and poorly developed. In fact the characters that did have (what I guess could be defined as) an arc, were Harley Quinn and El Diablo. And I can sum them up quite quickly right now.
At the beginning of the film Harley wants to be with Joker, when Task Force X are sent in The Joker tries to save Harley, he does so but then their helicopter is shot down, Harley escapes (and thinks Joker is dead), and is now happy to help the Squad. Boom! Changed. Diablo, at the beginning doesn’t want to use his powers because he killed his family with them, during a fight scene Deadshot riles Diablo to the point where he finally uses his powers to help our group, and then from there on he just uses his powers. Boom! Changed?
Now let’s get to the part people want to hear about, how was Jared Leto as The Joker. Well obviously, he is no Heath Ledger, Heathy baby’s legendary final portrayal of the clown prince of crime is still the best. But this Joker, just didn’t feel like The Joker. Constantly at least. Like pretty much every character in this film, I feel Leto portrayed the Joker fantastically (kind of, it definitely is different, and very much inspired by the comics), it was just that the character wasn’t written as well as it could have been (or was hyped to be). The characters were very two dimensional, no matter how much development was attempted.
We also have Rick Flagg, who earlier I joked as being “Exposition Master”. Because he is. That’s really all he’s there for in the entire film, to explain things to the audience. When we first meet Katana, he basically says “This is Katana, her Katana entraps the souls of those she kills”, and then later explains that her husband was killed by that Katana (the sword) and that his soul is trapped. Did we really need that. There is also a part which made me laugh out loud, when no one else did, which is a bit when they are fighting Enchantress in the final battle, and she is weakened because she is attacked by Harley Quinn with the Katana, and Flagg literally turns to Deadshot puts his hand on his shoulder and says “She has been weakened by the Katana, we can destroy her now” (or something like that).
This film also included a Soundtrack, featuring songs from the trailers and others never heard before (during Suicide Squad footage at least). However, there was no need. The film already had a good original score, and the songs they picked for the Soundtrack were alright, but it really felt like the makers had just gone “Guardians of the Galaxy did well with their soundtrack, let’s just put a bunch of music together and then sell it separately”. But unlike Guardians of the Galaxy, which had good atmospheric music that added to the scenes, This film just had music sometimes, and the music didn’t really fit or make sense, at most they just teased a more colourful film again, but again didn’t deliver.’
After the disaster that was Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad had a very low bar to hit in case of entertainment. Unfortunately it just didn’t reach anywhere near the level of good cinema, but how terrible I’m making it out to be in this review, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people were hoping for, just very disappointing.
I rate Suicide Squad: