Suicide Squad was my big hope for DC Comics and their new attempt at the theatrical universe, but in so many ways it falls short except with the acting which is what scared me most going in.
In so many ways I was hoping for this to be the revitalization of the DC Comics film franchises that fallen so short of hopes and expectations since Christopher Nolan left. I have had the argument with many people about are we judging them too harshly and my constant trump card with most has been place their movies in a ranking that includes Marvel. Neither Man of Steel nor Dawn of Justice would rank inside the top 10 of the Marvel universe. Suicide Squad was my hope to reverse this.
The previews and launch of this movie led you to believe this would actually be a fun movie and not just more of the one-dimensional doom and gloom of the other two DC movies. However, even though they brought the tone up a little, it still fell quite short of white I was hoping for.
This isn’t to say it was all bad. For all the reviews that tell you this movie is the worst movie in cinematic history, I would have to argue that is taking it too far. There are fun moments like the recruitment scene where they are going through the *ahem* qualifications of all the members of the team or some of the banter between the villains.
Also, I was very worried about the acting in this film. I had great fears this would be Will Smith’s return to his action “glory” of Wild Wild West or Margot Robbie would not be able to nail the craziness of Harley Quinn, but in both of those cases, my fears were quelled. In many ways, I thought the character development of some of these characters were the best part of the film. Jared Leto’s Joker while still doesn’t hold a candle to Heath Ledger’s, it still worked for this film.
When you hear of a movie catching last minute changes, rewrites, and reshoots, there is always a fear the movie becomes disjointed – and in a lot of ways this movie does. You could tell someone wanted this movie to have that same ominous tone of the other two films and then someone came in and was like let’s add some jokes. At one point in the movie, someone went to the bag of sitcom jokes with a quip about deleting browser history. It never had the cohesiveness you look for by the end of the movie.
Also, while the acting and character development were strengths of the movie, the plot itself left everything to be desired. The team is battling the Enchantress and an unnamed brother as they destroy Midway City and turn its residents into an army of walking blackberries. Not only did the minion of blackberries just come across as cheesy, their original mission had nothing to do with saving the city, but in fact to save the woman who put the team together in a self serving misuse of government money. The plot lacked so much, it was hard to watch at times and just didn’t make for a great adventure.
I mentioned earlier that Leto wasn’t the worst Joker in the world, but you could tell he was supposed to be more than he was in the final cut of the movie. I would be willing to bet a lot that there are entire scenes of him left on the cutting room floor.
Finally, if you are going to have a recruitment scene and leave out one of the team members, it’s hard not to tell that they are going to be dying. Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Even if it is a thirty second cut scene – do something and don’t reveal a death that early. Sorry Slipknot, you just don’t deserve any cut scenes I guess.
At the end of the day, this isn’t the worst movie in the world, but the best adjective I can come up with is watchable. If the measuring stick for comic book movies right now didn’t revolve around the Marvel cinematic universe or Deadpool or the new X-Men movies (I know those are both Marvel as well, but they are produced by different studios), maybe I would have a higher opinion of this movie. However, at this point the bar is high and they didn’t measure up.
If you enjoy watching explosions, a sideways quip or two, and Margot Robbie wearing minimal clothing, you will get some enjoyment out of the film. However, don’t expect anything special or DC’s relaunch into relevance with this movie.