Like a drunk at a party singing bad karaoke, Suicide Squad is basically a poor impersonation of much better superhero films.
Eschewing normal comic book movie sensibilities, Suicide Squad doesn’t focus on a some cape wearing do-gooder or big blue boy scout, instead we get vicious villains.
Basically, in the light of Superman’s death, a U.S. government agent, Amanda Waller (Viola Davies), recruits several super villains to take part in deadly black ops missions in order to save the world.
To this end she recruits Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) to form a team led by Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman).
Oh, and Jared Leto’s in it as The Joker because the marketing team needed something to sell the movie to people.
To say I was disappointed in the movie would be an understatement, I was crushed by it.
From the initial marketing, I’ve been very excited about Suicide Squad and, in the end, it’s just not very good.
The film’s plot is about as shaky as a particularity clumsy elephant on roller skates, and aside from the formation of Amanda Waller’s task force, the plot made little to no sense, basically functioning as an ‘excuse plot’ for the squad to go from action set piece to action set piece.
This would be fine if these tent pole moments were exciting, but the action was so stilted and boring that they were about as tense as watching my arthritic nan knit.
Even worse than that was the film’s questionable treatment of some of its stars. I appreciate that it’s an ensemble piece but some characters seemed to only be there to make up numbers.
Poor Cara Delevigne gets a pretty short shift, basically wandering about in a bikini and roaring for the whole film – then again, the less said about this film’s treatment of women, the better.
The film’s greatest flaw, however, isn’t its confused story or forgettable characters, its that it’s covered in the sticky, greasy fingerprints of studio meddling.
By which I mean that rather than trusting in David Ayer’s unique voice as a filmmaker, it seemed clear to me this was a shallow attempt to capitalise on the memes and tropes that made James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy so popular.
Like an inexperienced chef with a recipe he’s never made, Ayer had all the ingredients that made Guardians so popular but when he tried to bake his Squad cake he ended up with a Sunday roast – not a complete mess but not what he set out to make in the first place.
It’s a shame because I honestly thought this was an opportunity for Warner Bros and DC to finally step out of Marvel’s shadow, but they fumbled it by playing it too safe essentially making a diet Marvel movie.
Now, the film’s not a complete car crash and there are a few bright spots hidden beneath the grime of another DC failure.
Harley Quinn, Deadshot and The Joker were all very entertaining and managed to elevate almost every scene they were in, mostly because of the sheer charisma these three actors have.
However, the standout was Viola Davies who played DC’s Iron Wall, Amanda Waller, who was a staggering onscreen presence, managing to completely convince as a mortal woman who could look a God in the eye and not blink.
Also the soundtrack, which was dreadfully misused, was pretty epic to be fair.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to save Suicide Squad from being a poor film that failed to deliver on its great promise.
To editorialise for a moment, I’m starting to think that DC’s cinematic universe is fundamentally flawed, and that’s because they lack a cohesive voice like Marvel’s Kevin Feige.
Hopefully, the recently installed creative officer and comic icon, Geoff Johns, can help steady the ship with Justice League.