|Directed by:||David Ayer|
|Written by:||Justin Marks|
|Cast:||Jared Leto, Will Smith, Maggie Grace, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, Scott Eastwood, Lonnie Common, David Harbour, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman|
|Genre:||Action, Comic Book|
Fuck me I am late to the party on this one. Look I’m not here to argue Marvel VS DC but understand that until I hear something worthwhile from DC’s end I’m not putting money up for them, it took Marvel four years to grab me and DC hasn’t done that in the same time frame. It’s a shame because there was a lot of hope going into Suicide Squad, a team-up movie with the villains being the heroes? It should’ve shown off DC’s darker, more adult tone, instead it just confirmed what Dawn of Justice already hinted at, DC don’t got a fucking clue.
Plot’s one of those annoying ones where there’s a ton of complications for a story that’s ultimately too barebones for its own good. After the first half hour – and it is a half hour, I checked – of character introductions the story kicks in with Amanda Waller being granted Task Force X, a team of the worst villains in the worst hole in the US that will do her dirty work in exchange for time off their sentences. On that team is an ancient being called Enchantress, currently possessing the body of archaeologist Dr June Moone, and first fucking chance she gets, Enchantress betrays Waller to free her brother Incubus and exterminate mankind for their insolence.
So naturally, this being a world ending disaster, Waller is allowed to send-in her team consisting of Deadshot, a human man with a decent aim, Rick Flagg, a human Special Forces soldier and June’s boyfriend, Harley Quinn, a crazy bitch with a baseball bat. Also human. Captain Boomerang, a human prick with a unicorn fetish, El Diablo, a guy with the power to create and control fire who refuses to do so, Killer Croc, a man with a terrible skin condition and Slipknot, a walking corpse.
This team of mostly human and mortal and none too special criminals are sent-in to extract a high-profile target from the Enchantress controlled Midway City then decide to face down the 1000 year old witch-thing and save the day. As you do. Between that we have The Joker causing some shit to try and get Harley back like he actually cares about her.
Once you strip away the mystic powers, the weird, faceless goons, the metric fuckton of lies and double-crosses and the film’s own ridiculous bravado that it needs to keep reminding you that ‘these are the bad guys’ all you’re left with is a film about a group of people saving the day against an unstoppable force that’s actually totally stoppable. But Clancy, I hear you cry, surely by that logic if you strip away the killer soundtrack, the sublime editing and the timeless morality tale then Goodfellas is just about a guy who tattles on his friends? Well yes, you can argue that the mystic powers are needed to give the film its signature threat but that just raises even more problems; why send in these people to fight Mystic Meg when none of them have the power to do so – the film even explicitly shows that no-one is equipped to handle Enchantress until she does that thing where she stops using God-Mode? Why try and show us that the Squad are the bad guys then have them do nothing particularly bad? What the fuck was the point of Slipknot?
Yes I know these points have been done to death already but they bare repeating, people have been saying Avatar has shit writing for 8 years at this point and that doesn’t change the fact that it has shit writing.
Truth be told I didn’t mind the half hour character introductions, these are all new people and they need to be introduced, what bothers me is that it quickly becomes obvious these introductions are done in place of any actual development because aside from Deadshot and Harley fucking nobody is worth a damn.
Rick Flagg is the finest soldier this country’s ever produced, except he’s constantly getting shit on by the Squad, gets himself captured numerous times by the faceless goons and does not feel like a leader at all. I know Tom Hardy was originally in the role before Joel Kinnaman and I gotta believe Hardy would’ve at least felt more charismatic but I doubt even he could’ve made this character work, the amount of pointless exposition that he spits out is laughable after a while.
His partner Katana had his back, he would advise not getting killed by her.
Killer Croc says barely anything for the first 2/3rds of the film then turns into a racial stereotype, I honestly wished that that was just hearsay from people hating on the film but no, they ramp up the stereotype really hard on this guy. Plus for a guy that’s supposedly part crocodile he didn’t feel all that opposing, way too big a head on way to small a body.
Captain Boomerang felt like he belonged in the crazy trailer with Bohemian Rhapsody that got people pumped up for this film. He was too much of a dick to be likeable but too much of a coward to pull off being a dick, honestly it just felt like the film forgot about him by the end.
El Diablo had potential, this guy with pyrokenetic abilities who’s actively not using them following the death of his wife and children – although he absolutely torches a good 20 odd people in prison so fuck that rule. It still makes absolutely no sense to bring the guy who’s refusing to use his powers but his pacifist nature was interesting up to a point. They could’ve done a lot more with the character rather than having people he met four hours earlier his ‘family’.
Will Smith as Deadshot was good but that’s because he’s still just playing Will Smith and he’s good at it, there’s a reason why he pretty much ends up as the main character. His arc wasn’t great, trying to prove to his daughter that he’s not the scumbag his ex has made him out to be, but at least it was something and there were elements of his character I liked, his back-and-forth with Flagg, his friendship with Harley, his constant ‘Fuck you’s to Waller. But again that was all Smith’s natural charisma shining through.
Margot Robbie pulled off Harley Quinn as well as could be expected, you could tell she was crazy and Robbie was having fun with the role but she was also one of the few people involved that felt genuine, I believed her obsession with the Joker and the hurt she felt when she thought she’d lost him. Kinda wish they played up the abuse aspect a bit more but let’s give it time. Robbie was easily one of the better parts of the film but considering the rest of it that’s not saying as much as you’d think.
That’s the whole of the squad and I really don’t know what else to say about them, they came up short and the problem is that they just did not go far enough with the Squad being villains. Despite the film CONSTANTLY telling us, they really aren’t bad people, and these are supposed to be hardened criminals forced into doing dirty work against their will. Where’s the selfishness, where’s the hatred, don’t have them all be buddy-buddy by the end of things because it doesn’t feel earned, making good guys out of bad guys just defeats the purpose.
So what about the actual bad guys, well Cara Deli.. Dela...? Enchantress did the typical ‘Blue light in the sky’ trick that all Comic book movies need now but really, REALLY lacked as a villain. Again we’re told she has all these incredible powers but barely see them in action, she fucking hula-hoops more than she does any magic.
Viola Davis nailed Amanda Waller, I was completely on board with her as this cold-hearted bitch who only looked towards the end-goal and damned anything in her way. Admittedly the film was WAY too on the nose about making sure we understood that ‘Waller is the real villain here’ but Davis just got it spot on.
And then there was Joker. I knew I wasn’t going to be a fan of Leto’s take ever since the ‘Damaged’ tattoo on his forehead, to be fair he wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe but he’s still quite shit. Joker is a classic character who’s always followed the mantra of chaos and I never got that from Leto, he just came across like an atypical thug who would occasionally do something ‘whacky’ and growl. He lacked the bad jokes, he lacked the sick humour, he lacked the unpredictability, even his relationship with Harley felt like it lacked the basic components of that made the both so interesting in the comics, Joker being a psychotic abuser and Harley being the obsessive victim, I got Harley being obsessed but there was not enough time with them together to get to the heart of the relationship or even explain why Joker was in this film to begin with. I’d like to believe Leto has potential but he needs to start working on making Joker his own rather than an amalgamation of gangster tropes.
After Fury I had hopes that David Ayer could pull off a team-movie of not-that-nice people but it turns out ever he falls victim to the whims of a studio. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, the film is edited like shit, the film’s far too few action sequences all felt like they were missing a beat or two, like who shot down the first helicopter (cause there are multiple helicopter crashes here) or where did Boomerang get that wad of cash when he was stabbed in the chest after we’d been led to believe it was his stuffed unicorn, or how did the rest of the Squad bear Harley upstairs when she was in the fucking elevator. And that’s the parts that were missing, the parts that should’ve been cut were just as bad, mostly Flagg’s needless exposition but then you have scenes like Waller shooting up a team of agents for nothing but shock value or the over-stylised intros and signature song for EVERY characters (except Slipknot of course) that tonally just jarred with the rest of the film.
I hate to say it but the film was just dull, dull in colour with grey being a favourite round these parts which was a huge disappointment given how vibrant and colourful the marketing for this film was, dull in execution with too much exposition for a shit story, dull in action with nothing but faceless goons being cannon fodder. Just overall boring and heavy-handed, I mean this is a film that literally ends with two fire gods is a fist-fight and I just cannot find it within myself to give a shit.
Fuck it, I could go on but you’ve heard all these complaints before and they’re all valid, this was supposed to be DC’s curveball and instead it just smacked them in the face. I didn’t like BvS but I thought it had the potential to be a decent movie, I just don’t get the same feeling here.