“It’s taken me some work, but I finally have them. The worst of the worst.” – Amanda Waller, Suicide Squad (2016).
How can a film be so full of characters and “story” and yet be so boring in every sense of the word. I was very hesitant to view this film at first for the obvious reason of, it’s not a Christopher Nolan DC film. Still, even the lack of Nolan, Bale, Ledger and Caine should have been the first warning. Actually the first warning should have been that Jared Leto was cast to play a major role. I had the choice between the standard theatrical release and the extended cut which was a half hour longer. I chose the standard theatrical release for obvious reasons.
In the event that the next major superhero turned evil, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), assembles a team of villains just in case. This team consists of captive villains including Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney). When the evil Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) takes over Gotham, they must rely on the Suicide Squad to save the day. Because Batman had other things to do and The Flash doesn’t work weekends or something.
You know that’s never really explained. Suicide Squad is a squad made in case the next superhero turns evil. As far as I am aware Batman is not only in this film, but also not evil. Why couldn’t he sort this shit out? Why rely on some unstable villains to sort this out for you when nearly all of the Justice League is still alive. I’m presuming Superman is dead given the way they talk about him, but that’s only a guess. This film really likes to make you guess in that sense. You can guess what the plot is about, you can guess which characters are actually real Batman villains too. Let’s face it, Suicide Squad is a cobbled mess and I’m not going to hide that fact throughout this review.
Let’s get the major flaw of this film out of the way first. Two words, one name. Jared Leto. Since the previous incarnation of The Joker was Heath Ledger, it’s a real step down in regard to quality. Not just that though, Leto is also a method actor. His method of acting is to give a shit performance and leave with a paycheck in the quickest time possible. Leto doesn’t have the look of The Joker, quite simply he doesn’t sound like him either. Compare him to Ledger or even Mark Hamill or Jack Nicholson and Leto pales in comparison. His performance as a whole has the grace of an elephant and he reads his dialogue with the finesse of a cocaine addict trying to stand still.
As far as the rest of the cast though, they’re mediocre at best. I didn’t like Harley Quinn’s very obviously forced New York/Bronx accent. It speaks wonders when the best part about your film is Will Smith playing a generic character whose power is modern weaponry. Still, Smith is bearable at least, the rest of the cast are pretty damn bad to say the least. None of the performances stand out as being exceptionally bad or good, apart from the formerly mentioned Leto.
I really hated the way we’re first introduced to these characters too. For the first half hour of the film we’re given a sort of Borderlands type approach to the intros. You know what I mean if you’ve played those. A slow motion shot that lists their name in stylised writing along with an “interesting” fact. Surely a nice visual effect. It would have been if it had been done less than once. For a good chunk of the film, we’re really just watching a can can of vaguely recognisable comic book characters. Also Captain Boomerang is there.
I suppose it doesn’t help that the dialogue is without a doubt, cringey. It’s the equivalent of drivel being thrown at a wall. Whatever sticks is used in the final draft, that’s what it feels like anyways. Some of the dialogue was hilariously stupid, most of which was of course delivered by Jared Leto. Oddly enough for such a small screen time he really manages to make the film truly unbearable. Honestly if it weren’t for world’s worst performance from Leto then this film would maybe be at a two star rating. But no, Leto is a major factor in why this film fails entirely.
Surprisingly they’re allowing David Ayer near another DC property. After the mess that was Suicide Squad I would have assumed they’d keep him away with a ten foot barge pole. Apparently not, apparently his direction throughout this film was enough to give him another job. I hope everyone is looking forward to Gotham City Sirens because we all know that’ll be fun. So far I’ve yet to see a good director or writer for the DC Films series.
As a whole, Suicide Squad is a very obvious mess of a film. Performances that have as much effort as the screenplay does is never a good combo. Especially when the best part of your film is the closing credits. I’m not sure how this film could have been any worse, it’s definitely one of the worst films of 2016, along with being one of the worst superhero films, well, ever. Not quite the levels of amazingly bad fun like Batman and Robin (1997) though. Suicide Squad isn’t’ so bad it’s fun, it’s just bad. It fails to impress in it’s dull and mediocre pacing.
I will give credit where it is due though, which is in regards to the musical score for the film. Bear in mind that this does not make the film any better, it was just nice to hear recognisable songs. I won’t be giving the film any extra marks for this because now I associate some of my favourite songs with this incomprehensible mess. So thanks for ruining Bohemian Rhapsody and The House of the Rising Sun for me. I’ll never be able to listen to those tunes without thinking of the incredible shitfest that was Suicide Squad. Actually it was only the additional songs that were good. The main soundtrack to the film features Skrillex, which is bad enough when you think about it.