Suicide Squad is set up by a paranoid, and perhaps pragmatic Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to prepare for a brave new world that's quickly filling up with meta-humans after Superman's death. Yes, Suicide Squad does take place after Batman v Superman. Amanda Waller convinces the powers that be that they need their own team of meta-humans to combat any other meta-human threats that may arise. Whether they're recruited by foreign and hostile governments, or are domestic threats, it doesn't matter. It's a new world after Superman, and Amanda Waller intends to adjust to it before anyone else does.
Amanda Waller has Col Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) by her side and he has Katana (Karen Fukuhara) watching his back as he tries to maintain control over this group of amoral criminals and thieves that Amanda Waller has dubiously assembled. Rick Flagg is also in a relationship with June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) who constantly struggles to maintain control over The Enchantress. Deadshot (Will Smith) takes center stage as the surrogate leader of the suicide squad that the other members look to. There's also Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) as the unhinged fangirl of The Joker (Jared Leto), though he's not a member of the squad. Filling out the rest of the roster is Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbajae), Slipknot (Adam Beach), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez).
So fair to say that Suicide Squad is an ensemble movie, one that uses an 'in media res' approach to its storytelling, like Smokin' Aces did, and I even got a 'The Warriors-esque' vibe from their line up and even the general aesthetic of the movie as well. We really don't get a whole lot of character development for most of the characters, but it's not necessary. They're at the end of their rope, at the end of the line, all of their lives suck at this point. The only characters who get anything resembling actual character development is Deadshot, Harley Quinn and El Diablo, that's it.
Don't expect to see much from The Joker. In fact, we've seen more of The Joker in the trailers than we do in the movie. No joke. But what little we did see of him, was fantastic. I wanted to see a lot more of him. And sadly a lot of footage was cut, and I mean a lot. There's many scenes from the trailers that aren't in the movie and even scenes we saw them filming behind the scenes were cut, like Harley shooting a trucker and The Joker backhanding Harley, neither are in the movie. How about Killer Croc regurgitating a piece of meat while they're all on a chinook? Not in the movie. How about Katana and Soul Slayer, not in the movie. How about The Joker throwing a grenade and waving bye-bye, not in the movie either. What happened to the scene at the bar? This movie got absolutely massacred in the editing room.
Despite all the star-power of Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, I feel like a lot of people will walk away liking El Diablo the most, I know I did. It bugs me though how wrong Deadshot was, both aesthetically and characteristically. I'm very familiar with Deadshot, and Will Smith wasn't him. I knew as soon as Will Smith was announced that he wouldn't be wearing his mask either, I think he does for maybe five minutes at the most. Suicide Squad is a movie that should have been about the characters, not the actors portraying them. Not surprising, but Will Smith also added his traditional Will Smith-ness to the role. I felt like Margot Robbie was often overacting and came off as trying too hard, though she has her moments. The rest of the cast was pretty solid. Joel Kinnaman held his own, but was still unremarkable.
The emotion felt way too forced, especially in the end, it got ridiculous. It reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy and I hated that movie. The Joker and Harley Quinn were brilliant when they were together, but sadly, that only amounts to a few minutes. The action, which I would have thought that David Ayer would deliver on big-time, is near incomprehensible. If you've seen the trailers, then you've seen all the action, bar maybe one scene at the end which is essentially nothing more than a slugfest. Rumors are rife with WB interfering with Suicide Squad, and I believe it. "You know, all these movies are about defeating the evil alien robot from fucking Planet X, before it destroys the world with its ticking clock. And who the fuck cares?" (David Ayer - 09/10/2015) This is stunningly hypocritical considering the movie that Suicide Squad turned out to be.
Maybe David Ayer had a different vision for the movie back then, who knows. David Ayer crafted amazing gun fights in movies like Street Kings, End of Watch and Fury, yet none of that comes into Suicide Squad at all. The melee combat is weak, and is just generally hard to follow. And these people are villains, killers, they're not misunderstood, they're some seriously fucked up individuals, and I wanted David Ayer to explore that, but he didn't. I would have told a completely different story if it were up to me. I wanted to see more backstabbing, more ruthlessness, more conniving from the "worst of the worst". The dialogue got increasingly bad as the movie progressed as well. These are supposed to be Ayer's strengths, action and dialogue, and he failed in both departments.
The editing is okay but the momentum was very erratic and the tone was inconsistent, though I think these complaints, while valid have been blown entirely out of proportion. The soundtrack was a bit much, but generally fit the vibe of the movie and was suited well to each character. The villain, Enchantress was merely okay. I didn't find her as lackluster as many other people did, but David Ayer could have done a lot better. The Suicide Squad are better suited to fight human threats, not supernatural ones. And for all of Amanda Waller's talk about combating meta-humans with meta-humans, who is a meta-human in the Suicide Squad? No one. The Enchantress is a witch, not a meta-human, though she is fused with a human, so I suppose that makes her a meta-human? Even still, that's only one member. None of whom could stop 'Superman from flying down, ripping the roof off the White House and kidnapping the President'.
The magical villain and all the faceless minions was just an easy way to get a PG rating, which hurt this movie. Even as it is, it should have definitely been an R rated movie, you could almost feel David Ayer trying to bust out of the PG shackles at times, but he couldn't. Any time any hint of actual violence was about to happen, it was interrupted by neon-lit cutaways. Too safe, too 'by-the-books' and too predictable. Suicide Squad is not a bad movie by any stretch, but it's just far too obvious and pedestrian, and it probably suffered from too many chefs in the kitchen, as recent reports seem to indicate, and the forced PG rating as well. What a waste of David Ayer's talents. This could have been absolutely spectacular, a unique and bold movie, but it's simply, okay. Not terrible, but far from great.
Written by - The Sentry - 04/05/2016