Deadshot: We’re some kind of Suicide Sqad?
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
While Batman v. Superman may have been a disappointment, that wasn’t about to stop Warner Bros from trying to establish their own cinematic universe just as Marvel has done. Thus five months later we got this movie. It had a very different tone from Batman v. Superman but sadly did not fare much better. If anything it fared far worse.
The story takes place a year after Superman’s death. Intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) tries to convince Washington DC officials to assemble a task force comprised of dangerous criminals to be used as expendable assets for high-risk missions for the United States. Among these criminals include hitman Deadshot (Will Smith), former psychiatrist and Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), former pyro-kinetic gangster El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a thief named Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), mutant Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Abaje), and assassin Slipknot (Adam Beach). Together the criminals have to learn to work together to battle a mysterious and powerful identity while the Joker (Jared Leto) launches his own evil plans.
The movie isn’t necessarily a pain to watch as much as the fact that everything about it including the story, visuals, and character development are just plain unfocused and uninspired. There’s little to set it apart from any other superhero movie. Superhero movies have a formula yes but what makes many of them so compelling are the unique and different characterizations of each of the heroes (and sometimes even their villains). And that’s where Suicide Squad fails. There’s about 1 or 2 minutes setting up our villains with maybe one or two traits to their name in a Guardians of the Galaxy like way with a modern pop soundtrack. However unlike in Guardians of the Galaxy the music does nothing to establish our characters. Heck half the time the introductions like Katana it doesn’t even give them a personality. However the introduction proves to be the most enjoyable part of the movie as the rest of the story particularly involving Enchantress is pretty much taken from the tropes of “super villain trying to take over the world and misfits have to stop them” without anything that makes it even remotely interesting. The writing and dialogue have nothing to genuinely stir emotions from the actors and there’s nothing that truly bonds them together outside of the fact well…they have to work together by force. The only ones who kind of do deliver some good banter are Harley and Deadshot who do share good chemistry but the terrible dialogue doesn’t give them much to work with. Everyone else I don’t even think I cared enough to remember their names or even what they looked like.
The saddest part about all this is that there are two Suicide Squad members who have potential to be so much more. The first is El Diablo who has a tragic backstory as to why he won’t use his powers. But the whole thing is quickly rushed in and out rather than something allowed to unfold over the course of the movie. Much like the introduction to this guy it’s a very quick exposition dump than something to dwell on. The other is Harley and to her credit Margot Robbie seems to be having the most fun with this movie. But so much of her is defined by her relationship with the Joker which the movie has no interest in showing how twisted and abusive it really is (don’t wish for a romance like this idiots). And it feels so much more like a subplot compared to the story at hand.
And yeah let’s discuss the elephant in the room: Jared Leto as the Joker. This was the first take of the character on the big screen since Ledger in The Dark Knight and it is the only portrayal to SUCK! Much like his relationship with Harley so much of him distracts from the main plot. You could cut him out and the movie would be much better for it. Also his portrayal is just plain bad. His whole portrayal feels more like a gangster or Joker follower than the actual man himself and has little if any idea of what made them so enjoyable to watch.
All in all Suicide Squad is just one mess of a movie that had so much promise. Its plot is hollow, its characters have little to no reason to have emotional attachment to, and overall its an attempt to be a copycat of Marvel without anything that made it so compelling. Maybe Birds of Prey will be better. Maybe it won’t. It’s definitely interesting in how bad it is but if you’re expecting a genuine and heart felt story of outcasts and misfits look elsewhere.