Yeah they're bad guys, but does that mean they'll deliver a good film?
Suicide Squad is the 3rd installment in the DC Extended Universe, directed by David Ayer and stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney.
Some time after the events of Batman v Superman, government agent Amanda Waller (Davis) decides to assemble a team of misfit supervillains to help save the world from an imposing evil threat. In exchange, the villains are granted reduced prison sentences.
Summer 2016 is coming to a close, and I found myself still waiting for that big summer hit that was not only going to be a big, box office success, but also get the thumbs up from the general critic consensus. Suicide Squad was my last hope, but alas, it was unable to satisfy that need I was longing for.
What's wrong with Suicide Squad? For starters, the movie is a mess. It's not an Independence Day Resurgence mess, but it's one where a much better movie is stuck inside somewhere. On a positive note, the movie is also fun. The action is exciting and the cast finds a way to keep us thoroughly entertained. That's how I would describe Suicide Squad; a fun mess.
- Will Smith and Margot Robbie. These two delivered the best performances in the film, and provide enough energy to keep the ship afloat. Will Smith is as cool and charismatic as he's ever been, as if he was secretly telling Roland Emmerich, "Yeah, you miss me, and I know it." He manages to keep the squad together, while also delivering some humorous remarks when appropriate. Margot Robbie makes Harley Quinn very believable with her quirky and playful mannerisms, as well as embracing the way she is sexualized. At the same time, she does just enough to keep convincing you that at her core, she is still a crazy supervillain.
- The messy plot. If I had to make the plot as simple as possible, it would go something like this;
- We meet every person on the Suicide Squad
- A bad guy springs up, the squad gets together
- The long, action-filled journey to get to the bad guy and stop them.
So not only is the plot paper thin, but there are many inconsistencies with the various flashbacks that take place, as well as a great deal of confusion with various scenes that feel as if they have little to no relation to the main story. In one scene, Margot Robbie falls into a vat of toxic chemicals, similar to Jack Nicholson's Joker in the 1989 Batman. Jared Leto's Joker jumps in after her, and the two are then seen laughing and embracing one other. The reasoning behind this flashback is unclear, and what happens as a result of Robbie jumping into these chemicals is never shown. Does she get chalk white skin, emerald green hair, and ruby-red lips? She clearly does not, because we see her appear normal, physically, in the opening minutes of the film.
The plot jumps back and forth between action and time for character development, and ends up being a confusing mess.
- The Joker's inconsistent appearances. Jared Leto appears rather sparingly throughout the film, which the trailers clearly misled us about. While Leto does do a quality job when on screen, I could not help but think to myself when it was all said and done, what exactly did his character contribute to the film? If anything, the Joker seems to be present to only help enhance Harley Quinn's characterization. Other than that, the Joker feels practically irrelevant to everything else that is going on.
- The PG-13 rating. The lion's share of superhero movies garner a PG-13 rating. While the likes of Deadpool and Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Edition are proof that even superheroes can achieve an R-rating, I feel Suicide Squad should've been part of this select group. The characters and their personalities seem ripe for an R-rating, which I think would open up a lot more room for deeper characterization and more graphic, intense violence (These are bad guys right? Shouldn't they love doing really bad, graphic things to people?). But with a PG-13 rating, there's a limit to what these baddies can and cannot do, which closes the door on a lot more potential.
While Suicide Squad is undeniably fun, largely thanks to great performances from the likes of Will Smith and Margot Robbie, the messy plot and various inconsistencies diminish what could've been one of the best films of the summer. Avid fans of the Squad will surely find something to enjoy, but for everyone else, you'll find yourself underwhelmed and mildly disappointed.
Recommend? Only if you're truly curious or have some free time on your hands
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: