Suicide Squad - Review
Have you ever had all the ingredients to make a great meal and still managed to fuck it up? It's edible, just, and you'll push through because your hungry... Well that's kind of what Suicide Squad feels like. A really terrible meal that you eat anyway and then wonder why you did.
Sure it's partially enjoyable at certain points in the film, though to continue with the food analogy, when you step back and look at what you've been served up it's still a complete train wreck.
So what is it that leaves such a bad taste in my mouth after watching Suicide Squad?
First of all, Suicide Squad has a kind of Batman Forever feel to it. It has a certain theatric cheese to it that doesn't really fit the world that Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice have previously set us up with. Those movies were heavily criticised for being too dark and gloomy. This is still dark and gloomy but it might as well have Jim Carey as the Riddler running around the streets. The more adult and darker tone is lost in the majority of scenes.
Then I would have to say it's the story and characters. All of the Suicide Squad is thrown together in a hodge-podge of 'fandom' and box-ticking. Some of the characters get a back-story, some of them don't. Some just get added in at the last minute. It's a mess. Some of the characters have epic costumes (Harley Quinn and Joker) and then you have characters like Deadshot who look like they're cosplaying their own character!
The premise of the Suicide Squad is that they are meant to be some sort of "Dirty Dozen" i.e. bad guys who do the jobs no one else will. Though due to the lack of character development and writing it feels like a bunch of cosplayers at the wrong place and time being forced on a mission that no one (including the audience) cares about.
Then you have this killer soundtrack featuring everyone from Eminem to Queen. Unfortunately the music fits the movie much like Cinderella's glass slipper on an ugly step sister. It's completely out of place and almost used to try and make the characters cooler. It's weird in this day and age to get the music so wrong on a movie of this scale.
So, as well as having completely underdeveloped characters and plot, the film also does a terrible job at setting up a decent villain. In Suicide Squad, Enchantress is the main villain and brings with her the notion of 'magic' to the DC universe. Again, it's a complete mess. It's hard to care about Enchantress because her story is lack lustre, her costume is 'B grade' at best and how magic fits with brute strength and guns is confusing.
Lets change gears for a moment and look at some of the more promising elements of the film.
Jared Leto's Joker was intriguing. He's definitely not my first choice of Joker (I sense a list coming) but I appreciated the unique take on this character. I also liked the notion of a younger Joker which could all be in an effort to play out the fact that this Joker is actually Jason Todd aka Robin.
I also enjoyed the Harley Quinn and Joker relationship - or should I say, the small parts where we got to see them interact. For me, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was pretty solid. I think she was definitely my favourite character and probably has the best screen time and character development throughout the film.
Ok - I'm being hard on this film but it's because I wanted more, and I know that someone will deliver that... one day. Say in 5-10 years when the DC universe gets rebooted. Heck, maybe Netflix could do something better with this story over 10 episodes.
All-in-all, the best part of Suicide Squad is the trailer. And even better than the Suicide Squad trailer is this version I just came across with the Friends theme song overlaid:
I'm not really sure who this movie is aimed at and I feel really sorry for the cast and crew that probably worked pretty hard to make this film happen at pace.
I think a better take on the Suicide Squad would have been a movie that just focused around a couple of characters and took the time to introduce a better back story. I also think they should have played up the bad-guy element a lot more. These guys and girls are meant to be the worst of the worst.
Watch this film at your own risk because as I said at the start - it's tolerable but it's by no means good. You'd be better off re-watching the Christopher Nolan Batman Dark Knight Trilogy.
Suicide Squad was meant to the be the Guardians of the Galaxy for the DC Universe. Unfortunately it's more akin to the Green Lantern movie.
- The ever quirky Harley Quinn
- Jared Leto as a 'crimeboss' styled Joker
- The lack of a decent villain
- The choppy story
- Not enough Joker screen time
- Cosplay-esk costumes
- Too many underdeveloped characters