Let’s face it, we’ve all “had it” with DC movies but we keep coming back for more in hope that things will turn around. After Man of Steel we came came back for Batman vs Superman and The Killing Joke. Despite the film’s production problems, we all hoped Suicide Squad would be the one to finally get it right. This would be the movie where Warner Bros blocks out the noise and focuses on the art and passion of the material.
Suicide Squad is not that movie, and quite frankly, I’ve had enough. Again.
The movie starts off beautifully, with bright colors that strip away the memories of Zack Snyder and his depressing filters. From there, we are introduced to the soon-to-be team as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) breaks down each and every member in a frantic pace. These intros are accompanied by the sounds of high-octane music from artists like Emimen, Skrillex, War, and more. Your senses are overjoyed, and for a moment, you feel that DC and Warner Bros. finally Googled the word “fun.”
The plot seems simple enough: After the death of Superman in Batman v Superman, the world is feeling rather vulnerable. Amanda Waller, a high-ranking government official and all-around bad-ass, decides to assemble a team of meta-humans and high-functioning individuals to protect the world from the next giant threat. The selling point is, since the team is comprised of criminals everyone would like off the streets, if the mission goes sour, then the government can disavow knowledge of the whole thing and have the team executed.
Straight-forward, right? Well, I did mention this is a DC movie and as a result, the less-experienced screenwriter and all 50 producers and editors like to complicate matters because… well, they hate their fans and they’ve lost all ability to tell just ONE simple story.
So cue in the convolutedness.
During the creation of this team which includes: Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Slipknot (Adam Beach) June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), the Joker is in search of his one true fucked up love, Harley, who happened to be captured by Batman.
But wait, there’s more!
June Moone happens to have a witch called The Enchantress trapped in her body. This evil spirit doesn’t take too kindly to this and is in search of her heart, which just so happens to be locked away on top of Amanda Waller’s bed. This potential member of the team has escaped and has begun turning humans into her army. Why? Because… well humans no longer respect Gods and somehow turning them into creatures for her army (with no one to fight) will somehow make it all better. There’s also her brother to worry about.
The first half of the movie sets up all the characters through a series of flashbacks, voice-overs, and award winning dialogue like: “Look, it’s Slipknot, the man who can escape from anything.” Despite the redundant setups and bashing the audience over the head with the reminder these are villains, the movie still had promise.
Then enters the Joker (Jared Leto) the most highly-anticipated character since… the last Joker. This Joker is creepy, determined and vengeful. Covered in tattoos and sporting grills straight from the set of a rap video, he is absolutely captivating. This Joker cannot be compared to Heath Ledger’s or the others. He is sickly looking, bipolar, and haunting. A kingpin who has smoked, snorted, injected, and swallowed all the drugs that have ever existed — he is unpredictable and acts without rhyme or reason. He’s also a snazzy and risky dresser. A jacket without a shirt…. move over Vogue! The Joker is a man to be respected but he will never respect you. Just ask The Tattooed Man, played by Common.
Through a series of flashbacks, you see how Harleen Quinzel became Harley Quinn. Her intense relationship with Joker is where the movie reaches the highest peak of being watchable. From there it’s a long, drawn-out mess.
The main problem with Suicide Squad is that it tries to fit several plots and characters into 140 minutes, and as a result, it loses all focus and becomes a mishandled disaster with poor editing, laughable CGI, and in terrible need of proper lighting.
Instead of being shown how dangerous these criminals are to others and national security, we’re told over and over again that these are “bad guys.” El Diablo, a pyrokinetic, has sworn off violence after the accidental death of his family. Captain Boomerang is about as dangerous as a morbidly obese person running for the bus. Killer Croc just growls and swims. Deadshot is too busy thinking about his daughter, and the rest are left in the shuffle appearing as glorified extras.
All that hope and promise from the beginning dissipates as you realize the majority of the film focuses on the team stopping The Enchantress and not stopping the Joker; who makes for a better villain than a witch who just spends her time being surrounded by embers, shaking her hips, and clearly missing her calling as a backup dancer of a Shakira music video.
However, it is during the final boss battle (that resembles a bad remake of Ghostbusters) where each character is able to shine through with even worse dialogue then before. There’s a sort of “Oh god, why?” sweetness to the Hot Topics characters as Harley Quinn becomes annoying and reduced to one-liners, Killer Croc becomes a stereotype of a black man who demands BET, and Deadshot inexplicably becomes a big brother to Harley Quinn. Let’s not forget Katana chopping heads off in-between crying about her dead husband, El Diablo becoming depressed and mopey, Boomerang playing with a pink unicorn, and, worst of all, Will Smith playing Will Smith as he randomly takes over Flagg’s job of whispering orders to the squad.
These moments once again prove how Warner Bros is afraid of actually being daring by showing us real chaos and mayhem. Instead, it once again settles for cheesy, cheap looking special effects and off-screen presumed threats in a failed attempt to entertain a confused audience. I wanted to like this. I really did. But I just couldn’t and that’s because Warner Bros. didn’t want me to.
Suicide Squad could have really been a movie to be proud of — a franchise to cheer for. Instead, DC settled for a glorified mess that is only watchable because of the genius that is Jared Leto’s Joker, Viola Davis’ ruthless Amanda Waller, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and cameos from Batman and the Flash. Once again, DC proves it should stick to TV shows because taking time to craft a script and villains worthy of our time for a big screen film is just not a priority.