After sub par movies, Batman vs Superman and the divisive Man Of Steel, I was really hoping for Suicide Squad to be amazing. The critical reception thus far has not been good. Is it DC bashing? Or even more unlikely, is there a Marvel conspiracy? Well, I went to see Suicide Squad to form my own opinion and find out for sure. When I first saw the trailers I was optimistic, but the negative reviews had managed to temper my expectations . Let’s see how this turned out…
Weak. This is the movie’s biggest flaw. It has a unique concept but it relies on that to carry the bulk of the movie. A team of super powered villains that are used by the government to carry out missions the government can’t fully handle. In exchange for taking part, the villains get time off their sentences. If they fail in their mission the government has total deniability. That’s it in a nutshell. Every beat the movie has is predictable. Almost every character becomes as formulaic as the story itself. There is a lot of entertainment throughout but it’s fleeting and ultimately forgettable. Unlike Batman vs Superman, there was quite a bit of humor, sometimes it was good and sometimes not. Some scenes were obvious re-shoots in an effort to add more humor, which led to many of those scenes feeling disjointed and weirdly cut. The whole movie probably suffered from studio interference because Warner Bros. was still in panic mode from Batman vs Superman. Unfortunately the cliches and predictability left for no surprises which ultimately led to a very boring climax for me, and a few too many chessy lines didn’t help. If the characters were better written, perhaps the story wouldn’t have mattered as much. A good example is this year’s Deadpool because it only manged to pull off a weak story because the characterization was so strong. Suicide Squad has a plethora of rich characters that were not taken advantage of. Some were simply there as a plot device to prove a point ( Slipknot) The characters with the most depth are easily Deadshot and Harely Quinn, the rest are just window dressing.
There were a few cool cameos and I will say that they did add a few nice touches for fans. Pay attention to a flashback sequence that shows us Harley Quinn’s beginnings. There is a nice moment there that is sure to please any fan. They also gave a quick nod to John Ostrander ( Creator of Sucide Squand) that my girlfriend was kind enough to point out. Somehow I missed it, so pay attention!
Aside from one awesome Deadshot scene, the action was pretty forgettable. They weren’t bad by any means, just not very memorable. Harley’s fighting style can be entertaining at points but it wasn’t as dynamic as it could’ve been. I have to give the edge to Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman in terms of the action.
Enchantress was easily one of the worst villains in a comic book movie thus far. Lame is the appropriate word here. She was supposed to be threatening but I didn’t feel that threat at any point. She didn’t have much charm or wit either. The Joker was technically an antagonist as well but he was in the movie for such a short time that it doesn’t really count to me.
Middle of the road, and that’s being generous. I’ll start with the positives. Will Smith as Deadshot was very good. He was the most consistent actor in the movie and he was also one of the only ones that was successful at making me care. I felt as though I was watching Deadshot more than I was watching Will Smith play himself. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was also fairly good, although sometimes it looked as if I was watching her do an impression of Harley Quinn rather than playing Harley Quinn. keep in mind the type of character she played and the dialogue she had to pull off.
Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, her acting was good, on the other hand her character wasn’t handled properly. I ended up finding her pretty unlikable and even downright evil at times. ( One scene especially pissed me off and made no sense.) But if we’re talking about straight up acting then yes, she was good too.
Now for the mediocre. Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang was okay. Hard to understand and one note, but okay. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc, did what he could with all that heavy makeup and Karen Fukuhara’s Katana, did what she could with limited screen time. Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo, had a good start but there were times were his lines sounded forced. This was particularly evident in the climax of the movie and yet out of all the actors I mentioned, he was the most likable.All and all, none of these actor’s were terrible, they just weren’t that good.
And finally, the bad.
Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, had his moments but for the most part, he was bad. Sometimes cringe worthy bad. Again, this could be due to having to say some pretty bad lines, but still. Not a charismatic lead for the ” good guy” of the movie. Cara Delevingne as Enchantress was very bad. She was cringe worthy on almost every ” big” occasion, and not believable in every other occasion. Watching her and Joel Kinnaman sharing scenes together wasn’t easy. The script held them back but their skills certainly did not shine here.
Jared Leto’s Joker is a hard one. I didn’t hate it and I didn’t love it. He was good in the role but it felt a bit too over the top at times. He was trying TOO hard to be crazy and intense. He was menacing enough, I’ll give him that, but he lacked… charm. He also had a very weak laugh. I expected something epic and instead I got a laugh that I could imitate instantly. I think he has potential but he’s got to stop trying to channel Heath Ledger and really own the role.
Another sub par release from DC/Warner Bros. leaves me disappointed and a bit worried. I really felt that DC/Warner Bros. could not afford to let Suicide Squad be anything less than it’s version of Guardians Of The Galaxy. Not only did it not live up to the hype, it’s actually getting a lower score than Batman vs Superman on Rotten Tomatoes! In It’s defense, I have to say I don’t think it was worse that Batman vs Superman. Is it a steaming pile of horse poo? No. Is it a benchmark in superhero movies? Not even close.
The interesting thing is Suicide Squad has made it’s money Warner Bros. hopes it will continue to do so, but how long can this formula last for other releases in the future?
A key demographic for DC/ Warner Bros. is the fans, many of which were displeased with the last 3 releases DC/Warner Bros. put out. For these fans, the titles of these movies is enough to warrant buying a ticket, but many have sworn off the next DC/ Warner Bros. release if it continues it’s mediocre quality. Word of mouth is huge and lately the word of mouth has not been good for the DC cinematic universe. I do think a lot of people simply want to hate on the movies but DC/ Warner bros shouldn’t make it easy for them critics and haters to do so.
David Ayer, Zack Snyder keep using the line ” We didn’t make these movies for critics, we made them for the fans.” Let me speak as a fan…
Gentlemen, I appreciate the effort but these movies are not good enough. They touch on some positive things but ultimately they stumble. Just because I am a fan doesn’t mean I will put up with a mediocre or bad product. Don’t take us for granted.
Let’s hope Wonder Woman saves the day in 2017.