I am beginning to feel like Charlie Brown here, folks. I raced toward the football, with every hope that I might get the opportunity to kick it. Once again it has been pulled by Lucy out from. If Batman v Superman was crushed under the weight of its inconsistent goals and outsize dreams, then Suicide Squad only trips on its shoelaces and hardly troubles to get back up.
This is a movie where the first act consists of the same scene being repeated several times. The very first time we see Amanda Waller describing to the government that she desires to make a team of supervillains to battle metahuman risks is fascinating. The fourth or fifth time, complete with continued launches for the core players (Will Smith gets at least three opening scenes), becomes an unintentional comedy. Moreover, these minutes are the highlight of the picture.
Believe it or not, nearly all of the cool/creepy/offbeat moments glimpsed in the trailers are from what amounts to a string of connected content that is prolog and origin story flashbacks. It is a marketing scheme on par with Paramount/Viacom Inc.’s “Dwayne Johnson punching creatures” Hercules campaign, except here the showy flashbacks are the best parts of the picture.
This allows our Suicide Squad fire, to slash, and explode hordes of adversaries without risking that PG-13. This also means we are viewing our anti-heroes slaughtering innocent bystanders. The film never really remarks on that minor detail, but it makes the (relatively unexciting) action sequences a lot less fun.
The would be action mostly occurs in several deserted/evacuated a subterranean locale and city streets. The movie’s third act comes off like a combination between Ghostbusters and The Mummy Returns but sans any earned character loyalty or rising tension. For all the hub bub about the bad guys being the heroes, their “ ” background that is evil is nearly immaterial for the course of this story that is particular. The fact that these men and gals are villains is almost beside the point since they never really participate in any skullduggery while on the assignment.
The remaining portion of the cast (Adam Beach, Jai Courtney, etc.) largely fades into the background. This is a real Will Smith vehicle with a couple of colorful supporting characters.
Luckily, Will Smith gives a real movie star performance, and he came to play. Moreover, yes, there is a certain “ where he socializes with Ben Affleck’s Batman joined universe” thrill within an early flashback. Margot Robbie has as much pleasure as she can though it is not her movie irrespective of how much we might wish. She is frankly underused considering her character brings to the table, although she is a firecracker to make sure. The movie does not even try to scratch the surface regarding her would-be relationship with you-know-who.
Speaking of which, Jared Leto’s Joker is just in the film, which is both a bad thing and a great thing. Leto’s totally fine turn does not do much beyond mimicking James Cagney United with a modern day gangster persona, and it is pleasant that he is not allowed to take over the picture. However, considering how poor the chief villains turn out to be, it is almost a pity that Ayer did not only make Mr. J the primary antagonist for narrative efficiency. For what it is worth, I am figuring a lot of Joker/Harley stuff ended through to the cutting room floor.
The majority of the film is this kind of slog of “anti-heroes shooting at CGI blobs” and “anti-heroes slowly walking through a cityscape that is deserted ” that you almost anticipate Leto’s periodic Swiper- for the change in scenery only like appearances. The movie is certainly a victim of post-production tinkering and reshoots. There are loads of minutes in the trailer that aren’t in the film, there are expository details that are conflicting, and the entire picture has a sense of whimsy that is forced. The nonstop soundtrack appears to function for what became the final cut as glorified duct tape.
Suicide Squad is not the savior of the summertime. It is a narratively slapdash affair, filled up with muffled actions beats, a zigzag storyline with no suspense and no tension, plus a constant stream of musical choices that regularly feel about as subtle as that one fantastic scene in Baseketball. The only things worth savoring are Robbie Smith and Davis Davis. They make the case for their inclusion in a much better DC Films endeavor down the line.
Ah, a much better DC Films project… I bent over backward to be fair to Green Lantern, yet now I am homesick for what that picture’s A-to-B-to-C competence. Suicide Squad is not noticeably superior to Man of Steel and Batman v Superman just as much as everyone talked about Zack Snyder as the amazing devil holding back the DC Comics universe. It is (maybe by default) likely the worst “big” DC Comics live-action movie since Catwoman. Jonah Hex, warts and all, was about something, as its “panic of a militarized Tea Party” subtext turned out to be unfortunately prescient.
With Batman: Assault on Arkham on how to do a Suicide Squad picture providing a proverbial pattern, there's no excuse with this. So here we are, in the newfangled DC Films universe with another letdown that is dreadful. I am a lifelong DC Comics fan, one who spent his teen years stuffed with excitement for Batman Returns and Batman Forever. Now I look with anxiety and trepidation at the likes of Justice League, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. I expect, but simply because I cannot tolerate being in a position of not looking forward to your frigging Justice League movie.
I would love for Wonder Woman to function as Captain America of the DC Films world, that instantaneous classic right before the huge, big show. However, as of this juncture, I would settle for a DC (theatrical) live action movie at least as good as Thor. I want me to trust again…, to paraphrase another comic book franchise