Suicide Squad hits theatres this week and continues DC’s attempt at convincing the world that The Dark Knight Rises is indeed a timeless work of art.
The second entrant into the DCEU Universe, Suicide Squad is directed by David Ayer and stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis. Set after the events of another trainwreck i.e BvS, Suicide Squad tells the story of a motley crew of imprisoned supervillains who are hired by Amanda Waller(Viola Davis) to carry out a life-threatening ops mission and save the world from a powerful threat in exchange for reduced prison sentences. There’s only one hitch, any attempt at an escape will result in instant death.
Suicide Squad can at best be described as a fun mess. The film is all over the place tonally, portions of the film scream studio interference, some of the character development is atrocious and yet you’re not completely put off. It has a great first twenty minutes before it falls face flat, only to recover in the last twenty minutes of the film. There’s a great soundtrack too(Eminem’s Robin themed Without Me, very meta) , but even that tends to lose steam thanks to the shoddy edit job. Seriously, who ever approved the edits needs to be fired. This is becoming a repetitive thing with the DCEU, where rumors of an “alternate cut “surface days before the theatrical release and is quite frankly very annoying. Show the film you’ve made; live and die by it. If the alternate cut is better, play that shit. Not this horrid hatchet job of what you call a film. For example, you can tell that Ayer intended to project the action set pieces as a contained, claustrophobic experience, but the film’s editing completely lets it down. Is the movie trying to be funny? Is it trying to be dark? Is it trying to reach a middle ground of some sorts? What’s truly tragic is even DC don’t really have an idea of how they want their movies to be.
Coming to the characters, Will Smith and Margot Robbie both are excellent in their roles, with the latter stepping into Harley’s skin seamlessly. Robbie’s Harley Quinn is spot on as she effortlessly swings from alluring to bat-shit crazy. Personally, I loved Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo and I really wished he had more screen time. Cara Delevigne as the Enchantress is somewhat of a hit and miss, Jai Courtney is barely tolerable. I’m a very big fan of Davis’ Amanda Waller who needs to show up in more DC properties. She’s probably one of the better parts of this movie.
Which brings me to the Joker.
When you follow up an iconic portrayal of a character, things are never going to be easy. You’re bound to be scrutinized, over-analyzed and critiqued. Personally, I didn’t mind Leto’s Cesar Romero-esque mobster Joker, but I didn’t really get to see the maniacal side of him. He comes off as a slightly off-in-the-head crime boss in the movie, which is quite underwhelming. Under his “Do I look like a guy with a plan?” persona, the Joker as a character, is one of DC’s most deceptively cunning masterminds. His penchant for chaos and anarchy make him one hell of an antagonist, and with this film that part of him is sorely lacking. He’s barely in the film and before forming an actual opinion on the man, I’d like to ideally see more of him in a solo Bat film or even a Harley Quinn movie. Leto and Robbie have some terrific chemistry and I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio execs didn’t milk it for every dollar it’s worth.
That being said, should you go watch Suicide Squad? Yes, because amidst the absolute randomness of it’s screenplay there is fun to be had somewhere in there. Give it a watch, form your opinion and let me know what you thought about it. It’s proving to be extremely divisive anyway, so you may actually end up having more fun with it than I did.