“I’m known to be quite vexing.”
Not long removed from my screening and I’m still struggling to digest the unpalatable artificiality that is Suicide Squad, one of the most poorly written and structurally disassembled big budget films I’ve seen in my days. No storyline makes any sort of sense, the opening is overlong, the ending laughably short. Writer and director David Ayer manufactured an impressive team on-screen but pens them contrived dialogue set in uninventive action sequences, all without a pulse or a beat. DC was sitting on a golden egg with this property, but because of impartiality and a lack of patience, the shell has cracked and been left to bake in the sun, remodeled in the editing bay without finesse or the slightest sign of cognitive storytelling skill. I can’t help but to think that DC movies are starting to stand for “Don’t Care” as a brand and nothing quantifiably original on an individual basis. Suicide Squad so badly wants to be everything that it is not, and settles for everything that it shouldn’t be.
Following the “death” of Superman, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) suggests assembling a task force of meta-humans. “Worst of the worst,” because when another all-powerful being comes along, we’ll need those crazy enough to fight the unthinkable. Herein lies Suicide Squad’s unique problem: almost none of the crew is actually that remarkable. Deadshot’s (Will Smith) lethal with a gun, but not immortal. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) dresses scantily with an emotional core to match. Boomerang (Jai Courtney) drinks and steals. Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) snarls. Slipknot (Adam Beach) is used as a punchline while Katana (Karen Fukuhara) literally comes out of nowhere. The only superhuman is Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a former Hispanic gangbanger who lives with real remorse and has an actual character arc. Suicide Squad’s quarters are too tight, with minutes flying by before stamping a mark. I’m still wondering if I’ve seen so many characters do so little before.
That’s barely the half of it either. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) captains the crew, a dense and dull man with ties to the film’s unequivocally awful baddie Enchantress, previously known as his girlfriend June Moone (Cara Delevingne). Meanwhile, the Joker (Jared Leto) spends his sparse screen-time larking after Harley and interferes with the plot, adding little to no dramatic depth and confusingly showing up at a moment’s notice. For all of the frills and frolicking behind Leto’s take on the iconic bad guy, it all adds up to be much ado about nothing, mostly because the character’s DOA and never significant to the plot of the story. I don’t care that he has an Oscar; Leto is a performer, not an actor. There’s a marked difference between the two. Tired dialogue and heavy legs make Suicide Squad an almost unbearably long, insignificant, and above all else cumbersome ride. Debauchery can’t be much less fun. I’d compare it to visiting a rundown amusement park.
The performances are good though, especially Smith in a charismatic turn following a stint of recent letdowns. Hernandez gets to work with the best character and lights it up playing Diablo. As for Leto, he earns a big ‘ol meh. You remember his movements but not how he makes you feel, pleading for a maniacal high without the injection. And perhaps the best role goes to Davis, the most evil figure in the entire film. Waller, like the rest of the movie, is incredibly underwritten and without motive, but if anybody can scare you with a line and a look it’s she. Great performers can make the poor richer. The same can’t be said for Robbie though, one of our most talented young actresses in a tonally miscalculated role. Her broken Brooklyn accent stumbles in and out of tune, the entire performance predicated upon objectified promiscuity and not the squad’s so-called redemptive mission. She’s only here to service the men as eye-candy and solely relates through physicality. Robbie has an intriguing persona to work with, yet Harley lacks the detail to ever transcend her surface level attraction. With a mind supposedly more twisted than even that of the Joker, Quinn seems incredibly tame, if not a bit boring and forgettable.
Suicide Squad is an objectively bad movie due to all of the little subjective mistakes it makes along the way. Flashbacks, dreamscapes, scenes spliced in one spot when they were clearly written to be elsewhere. A terribly hokey soundtrack doesn’t help either, produced by a musical supervisor who’s watched Guardians of the Galaxy too many times. It obstructs moments rather than elaborating on them. And then there is the issue with the film’s villain, which I honestly can’t explain besides saying the CGI teeters on looking garish. You can just tell this movie was rushed. None percent of the story has any sort of logic behind it. The action boils down to gunfire and slow-mo, the camaraderie’s non-existent, the save the world finale far-fetched and facile. Suicide Squad had one hell of a buildup only to be an overblown anticlimax. If you can comprehend any part of the plot, please let me know.
“Outside you’re amazing. But on the inside you’re ugly.”
Rating: 1 out of 5