Reviews: Suicide Squad 2016
Complete and utter garbage
This movie sucks. Hard. It's basically Guardians of the Galaxy if you took away the plot, the character development, and the humour. Deadshot is supposed to be a villain who becomes a hero, but because his evil acts are almost entirely told instead of shown, he just feels like yet another Will-Smith-plays-Will-Smith role, only without self-awareness. Harley Quinn is a one-dimensional lunatic whose only reason for being on the squad is to provide Fanservice. El Diablo is introduced as a Retired Badass who has committed to never raising his fists again, then completely abandons that characterization because Deadshot is kind of annoying; his backstory, once it gets revealed, is trite, half-assed and really adds nothing to his character. Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang are flat characters who contribute absolutely nothing to the team and even less to the plot. Rick Flag has hints of a believable character arc, but the film's inability to keep the focus on one character for more than ten seconds largely relegates him to being The Load and/or Mr. Exposition. Amanda Waller maintains a firm grasp on the Idiot Ball and/or Jerkass Ball every second she's on screen, with her incoherent, suicidal plans being the only reason for literally anything that happens, suffers no consequences, and doesn't develop at all. The Enchantress is a Generic Doomsday Villain whose attempts to be intimidating fall hilariously flat. The Joker in this version isn't any eviler than any of the main characters; consequently, his attempts to be intimidating also fall flat, and combining that with his total lack of humour and his extraneousness to the plot, it's pretty obvious he was only included for marketing reasons. Katana is another flat character who adds nothing to the movie. TL;DR: watch something else.
Well, it wasn\'t terrible...
All right, look, I don't have a very critical mind when comes to movies compared to apparently everyone else on the planet. So I'm probably one of the few that didn't hate this movie. I thought it was okay at best. And worst. Will Smith was probably the best thing about it, except in the first scenes with the character's daughter. And the forced Title Drop. I dunno how I feel about this movie's Joker, though. Well, performance-wise, at least. I hate the design, it just looks bad to me. Story-wise... eh? I mean, it's a typical action movie with a typical action movie plot, now with DC villains. I mean, if that's what you don't like about it, okay, but I can't bring myself to feel any strong emotions about it one way or the other. If I had to rate the movie I'd give it a 5/10. Well, maybe a 4.5/10, taking off 0.5 points for the at times really overbearing visuals. Like, they could've taken it down a bit. It kinda felt like they knew they didn't have a great story so they tried to compensate for it with heavy stylization. It didn't work.
Fun, but a bloody mess with critical problems.
...Well, now that everyone's already made up their minds about this movie and they'll be totally useless to everyone, here're my thoughts: First, the Troubled Production is glaringly obvious throughout. I won't mention it further, save to note that, yes, the film got shredded and suffers for it. But there were major problems with the film as a whole even discounting that. Here's the biggest one: the entire Joker/Harley subplot. All of it. It's not badly acted or presented, but it had no business being here. It eats up huge amounts of time without really serving the film, and the film in turn doesn't serve it well. If the previous DC film should have been a sequel to another movie, this subplot should have been a part of it. And with Harley and Joker slurping up all the screentime they can, enough isn't left over to develop all the other characters, most of whom I frankly found much more interesting. El Diablo would've almost made a better focus character than Deadshot. Killer Croc has an interesting story arc about regaining his humanity by being treated like a human again. Katana is superbly-acted when the actress is allowed to act, yet the script does little with her but have her stand around posing and almost literally everything we know about her comes from clumsy info-dumps from Flagg. There just isn't enough time spent making anyone but Deadshot and Harley seem like they're getting closer and learning to like one another. And if we'd just jettisoned their whole plot, we would've had plenty of screentime to go round, rather than making better characters fight over scraps. And the villains are a boring disappointment. Badly sketched-out, with cloudy motivations and indistinctly-omnipotent superpowers. For better or worse, previous DC movies had much better-characterized bad guys than these, and I say that as someone who intemperately hates their version of Luthor. They could've stepped out of a lower-tier Marvel movie! All of that said... the film as a whole is still fun. Structurally kind of a mess, but fun. Will Smith gets some room to be funny and charismatic, and all the other characters really own their roles. Even Flagg, who could've been a boring "boy scout" gets enough effort from his actor to be very likable and human. And, sure, the special effects might not be anything to write home about, but when the villains don't look like something out of Thor: The Dark World, their design is interesting. I liked the creepy multi-eyed henchmen, for instance. I don't know if a director's cut will really save this film, since the biggest problem, the Joker/Harley plot, is pretty deep in its DNA. But, like all previous DC efforts, I find it's still a good enough time to overcome its gaping flaws.
Suicide Squad... Is Really, REALLY Good
Before I go on though, let's just list off a few flaws: 1. Enchantress was not too interesting to me. 2. There was not enough Joker action going on. 3. Katana was just kinda... there. Seriously, I didn't notice her that much. Now, with that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed what I watched. The action was handled really well, there were several moments where I actually laughed out loud a bit, and the actors nailed their characters to a T. Seriously, Will Smith brought his charm back as Deadshot, Margot Robbie managed to catch the ditzy charm of Harley Quinn (while also coming off as a badass), I was NOT expecting Jai Courtney to be as funny as he was as Captain Boomerang (or that Flash cameo by Ezra Miller), and as for The Joker? My second favorite incarnation yet. Now is the movie perfect? No, the movie DOES have the flaws I listed above (plus Rick Flagg). But I DID thoroughly enjoy it from beginning to end. So if you wanna check out a fun action movie, Suicide Squad may be the movie for you.
Bloodless and No Balls
Watching Suicide Squad, I'm reminded of that scene in The Simpsons where old man Jasper gets his beard caught in a pencil sharpener. Grandpa Simpson, unable to think of a better way to extricate him, keeps cranking the handle and making it worse. That's what the editors must have been like when they were making this movie. And lordy is this a bad movie. Not even the fun kind. Suicide Squad is the worst film I have seen this year, somehow worse still than Batman V Superman. At least that movie was semi-coherent on a basic visual level. Suicide Squad is a complete mess, full of redundant scenes that repeat the exposition from moments ago, reintroduce the same characters, or smash cut to a murky flashback that leaves you more confused than before. Even the action scenes are a botch job, with characters filmed far too close too often make out what they are doing, and the camera cutting away the moment a shot might be too violent. Plus all of the first half is scored to a constant stream of rock/pop, selected for the most unimaginative reasons. Take the beginning, opening to House of the Rising Sun, because - you see - the movie starts in a jailhouse, down in New Orleans. So the first half was boring and incoherent, the second half calms down a bit and manages to be just plain boring. The film turns into this Black Hawk Down style feature, with soldiers and the heroes wandering from one dark alley to the next, watching their sixes and exchanging dull military lingo. By the time we get to this point, I still don't feel like I have gotten to know the characters all that well. There are big actors here, but they have got bugger all to work with. A few people in the audience titter when Margo Robbie's Harley Quinn makes some cheeky remark, but I sat stone cold the whole time. Speaking of cheeks, I was also annoyed by how often the movie comes to a stop, just so the characters and audience can leer at another Harley Quinn spandex ass money shot. It's the laziest kind of big studio pandering right out of a Transformer movie. Even the story itself, for what little there is, makes no sense. Hot shot government agent Amanda Waller has her heart set on creating a secret super squad to tackle dangerous super humans despite everyone warning her it is a bad idea. When her very first recruit escapes and tries to take over the world, she doubles down and hires yet more secret super goons. Like the editors, she also can't help but keep cranking that sharpener. Was there anything I liked about this? Well, I liked the design of the villainess; a sort of Ring style shadow monster. At one point she says one of the anti-heroes "hasn't got the balls", which perfectly describes this tame, messy, try-hard Bad Butt waste of time.
Still has it\'s issues, but a step in the right direction
It's still not a movie you'd go into with high expectations, but if you just want to sit down and have a fun time, then Suicide Squad is a fine movie. Unlike Batman V Superman, these characters act like you'd expect them to. That was probably the big flaw of that movie, and it's ironic that even for maybe one or two moments, the Suicide Squad actually seems to act more heroically than Batman and Superman did in their movie. I really don't know what else to say about this movie. I went in, I enjoyed it. Isn't that what movies are supposed to do?
It Has Issues, But Hey, It\'s Enjoyable (Spoiler Free)
Unlike Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, this film was a LOT of fun, with splashes of color, a killer soundtrack, and witty, yet incredibly badass characters. As a Harley Quinn fan, I APPLAUD Margot Robbie for breathing fresh life into one of my favorite villains while still staying true to the character. Same goes for Will Smith as Deadshot, he was hilariously snarky, tough as nails, AND incredibly sympathetic at the same time. And Jared Leto's Joker? Two words: spot on. A new, different take on the character, but at his core, he just oozes Joker. Surprisingly, he's not the main villain this time around; instead, he's there to support Harley, and because of that, he isn't TOO involved in the main plot. In fact, he's pretty downplayed compared to the rest of the characters, and because they apparently cut several of his scenes from the final cut (including that awesome "I can't wait to show you my toys!" bit), his screentime is disappointingly short. Regardless, he owns just about every scene he's in, so even if he isn't there for that long, he does not disappoint. Now for the flaws: the overall main plot wasn't great. Keep in mind, the VILLAINS are the main characters this time, and that kind of story has endless potential. Instead, it's just villains fighting other villains in yet another "save the world" scenario, and that would've been fine if the main antagonist wasn't so mediocre. Also, because there's a TON of characters to deal with, the film did it's best to share each villain's backstories in a short span of time. You get the jist of every Squad member's history, but the execution ended up being incredibly condensed, even rushed in some places; especially Harley's, her eleborate backstory was shredded down to a few minutes, which was a real shame, because that's definitely one of my favorite moments in the Batman universe. There are a lot of things I wish they fixed or changed up a bit, but in the end, the issues didn't stop me from enjoying this movie for what it was. If you want a fun and flashy superhero film where the villains get top billing for the first time ever, definitely give it a look. It isn't the best film of the year, but don't let the bad reviews dissuade you; it isn't the worst, either.
Well, it is an improvement
Suicide Squad suffers from a lot of the same problems that the other DCEU films have had so far, an uneven narrative, the story seemly being written more for people who have read the comics and not for casual moviegoers, the studio clearly mucking with the film in an attempt to make it more like the MCU and making the heroes look like villains. However, like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman it does have its good moments, the cast does a great job and some just nail their characters like Margot Robbie. The action is fun and the effects are very well done. This film also managed to give the viewer a chance to catch their breath and not just give a bunch of exposition dumps just so it can get to the next awesome moment. The film also has some of the best jokes in the series and I don't mean by comparison to Snyder's film, I mean some legitimately funny moments which again, allows the viewer to catch their breath and bond with the characters. That's another advantage in this films favor, you really go end up caring about these characters and what to see them make it out of this and get a happy ending or at least a close enough, despite the fact that they’re the "Bad Guys". On the other hand, some of the more lighthearted stuff does feel like WB and DC are just pandering to the fans and again, going back to the uneven narrative, the film can be very hard to follow at times. It feels like I watched half a movie and to understand what happened I will have to buy the Directors Cut when it comes out. Which makes me worried that DC is going to make this a habit. Show us Half a movie and sell the rest to us later which is not something I'm behind. So far the DCEU has had its three strikes but I am willing to give them an unplayable ball and a one stroke penalty and give Wonder Woman and Justice League a chance. But if they fail then I'm getting out of this series and sticking with the MCU.
I have to be blunt: this movie kinda sucks.
Some spoilers but nobody cares. There are a lot of reasons why the reviews are right about this movie. To start, yeah sure, the movie is pretty straightforward compared to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that's a pretty low bar. It's actually pretty easy to understand but it's rather forgettable. I haven't put much thought into the plot after I have left the movie theater. As for the cast, some of the cast is great, like Vola Davis as Amanda Waller. Others, not so much. El Diablo (Hispanic gangbanger. Yes, you read that right) and Killer Croc (he requests to watch this trashy reality show depicting women shaking their butts) come off as gross stereotypes. Katana's a wasted potential, having her speak very few lines. Rick Flag? Meh. It's pretty clear the movie's focused on Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. But to be fair, their performances as these characters are a gem, though I wish the sexual connotations for Harley Quinn weren't so blatant. Let's face it, Batman giving her CRP via magical kiss? Eww. As for Jared Leto as the Joker, let's just say he tried so hard, only to fail that badly. Instead of being terrifying, funny, crazy, or ay combination of the three, he comes off as laughable and pathetic instead. He doesn't even get much screentime. I've heard Jared Leto's a great actor, but after what I've seen? This is probably his worst performance. Do you know who's the villain in this movie? The Enchantress. Shocking, I know. I don't feel comfortable with the costumes either, at least. I want to focus on the movie without finding myself staring at Harley's ass or the Enchantress's skimpy outfit, thank you very much! It's clear there's a lot of effort made into this movie, but the execution isn't well-done. Points for the effort. On the other hand, it’s clear the editing’s shoddy and rushed. It glosses over a few things that would’ve made the movie a whole lot better. Not sure which ones specifically, but maybe in general. The action sequences aren't and the slow-motion segments want to give off that "BE AWED!" moment like in Zack Snyder's previous works. Yeah, it's been that kind of day. It comes off as pretentious rather than inspiring. I recommend you don't see it and watch something else.
Suicide Squad's biggest (arguably only) flaw is the erratic pacing e.g. The villains get their master plan off the ground before the second act can really start. Of course, since this movie prides itself on being anti-establishment, that may in fact be intentional. As for the positives, there's plenty. Jai Courtney and Margot Robbie are hilariously hammy. Will Smith brings back the charm that's been missing since "Men in Black". Killer Croc looks the way the Ninja Turtles should have looked. Jared Leto even manages to rbing something new to the Joker (no small feat in itself) by playing him as not just crazy, but genuinely not right in the head. Whatever elements you may have felt "Batman v Superman" was lacking, "Suicide Squad" will tick all those boxes.
Not as bad as the critics make it out to be, but it could have been a whole lot better.
I think I've figured out DCAU's tactic. They focused mainly on the characters rather than the plot, in contrast of MCU where they can bend the characters' backstories or appearances to match the plot better...Maybe that's why DC movies apparently get lower review scores from critics who tend to focus more on the story. If you want to watch it for Suicide Squad, you'll get it. Your mileage might vary on everything else, though. It's kinda like DC's previous, also equally divisive film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. You got there to see Batman fight Superman, then both of them teaming up with Wonder Woman to take on Doomsday, they delivered. Problem is, the plot has too many subplots. Eight members of Suicide Squad, plus The Joker, and they have to cram all their backstories into the first 1/3 of the film. It's inevitable that some of them would not get as much spotlight as others. Deadshot and Harley Quinn, played by top stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie respectively, are the two characters that get their stories developed better than their comrades, followed by Jay Hernandez's El Diablo, who gets a decent character arc despite his rather limited role. The rest of the squad are just there to fill the ranks, some of them just show up in the story without prior introductions that it can feel really awkward. It's telling that The Joker, who's not the member of the squad itself, has more development than half of the members present. Which brings us to Jared Leto's The Joker. Is he a worthy successor to Heath Ledger's legendary portrayal in The Dark Knight? I'm not exactly a comic fan, so I don't know whose portrayal is closer to the source material. That being said, I rather enjoyed his performance. He nailed every scene he's in and have a great chemistry with Harley Quinn. Despite this, however, I don't think he should be introduced in this movie. From a storywriting point, The Joker basically filled the same role as Wonder Woman in Bv S. Not exactly a glorified extra nor a main character of the story. He's just there to be part of Harley Quinn's backstory subplot, just like Wonder Woman is there for the Metahumans subplot to build up Justice League. When The Joker shows up, it's so sudden. The Joker should have a better introduction than this, similar to how Batman should have a solo movie before Bv S. Heck, both of them could have been introduced together in the same film! The main villain is cliche ridden, I'd say. Comparable to some of the lesser Marvel villains. Flashy powers, cool costumes, evil motivations, has an important connection with one of the characters, but that's all there is to it. To summarize, Suicide Squad is NOT a bad film, it's just that it could have been a whole lot better. If you want to see the 'Worst Heroes Ever' doing their stuffs, you'll get the film you want, but it is in no way an awards-winning film. ;) 7/10