“Suicide Squad” Is DC’s Cheap Attempt To Fail At Making A Marvel Movie
By Scott Kurland
Film: Suicide Squad
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevigne, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, and Viola Davis
Director: David Ayer
Let me start this off by saying that all the reviews about “Suicide Squad”, including this one, are true. “Suicide Squad” is one of the worst films of the year; from its LSD infused opening, all the way to it’s sad afterthought of an ending. But, before we get into the review, let’s go back and try to pinpoint the fall of DC films. Some say it was “Man of Steel” others say “Batman & Robin”. I on the other hand, like to look at DC films as a whole. Lets face it, the majority of their films have been terrible going as far back as “Batman : The Movie (1966)”. I will admit that they got lucky with both “Superman: The Movie” (1978) and "Batman" (1989). However, they got too artsy with “Batman Returns”, and too experimental with “Steel”, “Batman Forever”, and “Batman & Robin”. The "Nolan Age" held a great deal of promise with the well made “Dark Knight Trilogy.” Finally, we come to this weeks film "“Suicide Squad” which can be summed up in two words: train wreck. I have never been more infuriated with a film. Let’s find out what they did wrong shall we?
The film begins with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a government agent who is putting together a task force comprised solely of captured villains. The job of this "Suicide Squad" is to assist the government in dealing with catastrophic events. Should they fail, they’ll simply be used as scapegoats and be thrown back into their cells. Waller assembles Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); lead by Agent Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). In order to overcome an apocalyptic disaster, this motley crew of baddies must learn to work together as a team. Problems arise when the Joker (Jared Leto) tries to interfere and take back his crowned princess of crime Harley Quinn. Will they save the day? Or will they be willing participants in the destruction of humanity?
I can’t write this review without saying that I love Will Smith. I really do I find him charismatic and charming. I saw “Wild, Wild, West” six times in theaters. Thats right. I was 12, I didn’t know any better. Smith is many things: a comedic talent, action hero, and an Oscar nominated actor. But, he isn't a villain. You never believe that he’s a bad guy, not for a minute. He cant portray a cold-hearted assassin who feels no emotion. If they were to cast Smith in a DC film, they should have made him John Stewart, a.k.a The Green Lantern. It would have been the better move on everyone’s part. With that said, Smith is enjoyable and charming. He is simply not villain material.
Margot Robbie was a great choice for Harley Quinn. BUT, and there’s a big "but," there’s is no reason for the Joker to be as prominent in the film as he is. Robbie shines as Harley and it's one of the three good performances in this scotch-taped-wrapping-paper-job-of-a-film. Leto on the other hand, is the worst thing about this movie. His Joker is somewhere between a sociopathic impression of Heath Ledger's Joker and a sociopathic impression of everyday Nicolas Cage. Oh, lets face it, it’s closer to the Nick Cage impression. The Joker was only really needed for the flashback scenes. His meddling with the Squad to get Harley back does not add anything to the plot. The worst problem of all was of all was that this is not the Joker. I love comic books. I know the Joker and Leto isn't him.
Writer/Director David Ayer’s Joker was said to be inspired by the rise of Latino gangsters, which is interesting to say the least, but that is not the Joker. The Joker is a well crafted villain. Sure, he wears purple and green, but his suits are always well groomed and tailored. His diction and grammar is immaculate as it helps him emphasize his puns and jokes. Finally, the Joker loves Harley Quinn, but he isn’t madly in love with her. The love between Joker and Harley Quinn is an allegory for what it means to be in an abusive relationship. In one graphic novel, the joker flat out beats the living daylights out of Harley. He let’s her get caught by the police and leaves her to rot in Arkham Asylum, yet she still loves him and returns to him. “Suicide Squad’s” Harley and Joker are like two horny teenagers just eager for their parents to get out of the house. It’s sloppy. This whole film is poorly written.
“Suicide Squad” has a few decent visuals, but this is one of the worst assembled films I’ve seen in the comic book genre. “Guardians of Galaxy” worked because they were outcasts that also happened to be good people. The use of music in "Gaurdians" was a plot device that furthered the movie.“Suicide Squad's” decision to cram in a 60’s pop song right after a 70’s classic rock song and throwing in some Eminem felt like DC saying “Hey we can be Marvel too!” The problem is, they can’t. They’re picking and choosing what elements to take from Marvel and you can’t do that. Either follow the Marvel formula and create a well-established connected universe or don’t. That’s what “Suicide Squad” is. It's DC trying to be Marvel, only it gives up more than halfway in.
“Suicide Squad” is not a good comic book film, and it’s an even worse movie. David Ayer is usually a great filmmaker, having made “The End Of The Watch” and writing the screenplay for “Training Day”. This film on the other hand, does not showcase his abilities as a writer or director. His editing is all over the place, the characters are not in any way, shape, or form like their comic book/graphic novel counterparts. Enchantress is not as scary as she’s supposed to be. This isn’t a spoiler per say, but Cara Delevigne is not really fighting or causing chaos like Enchantress does in the comics. She’s twerking and gyrating to threaten people. That’s not intimidating…that’s half of a Missy Elliot music video.
“Suicide Squad” feels like David Ayer got loaded on booze and painkillers, walked into a comic book store, grabbed a handful of comics and said “Hey I’ll take this plot point, and that character arc. I'll take this, add this…look I made a screenplay!”. Do yourself a favor and skip “Suicide Squad.” It’s one of the worst films of the year. The cast is too talented and too established to be wasted in this eye-rolling, headache-inducing, fever dream. Never has a DC film made me more angry at Warner Brothers. It’s clear that they care more about making money rather than storytelling. Save your time, money, and sanity.... pass on “Suicide Squad”.
REVIEW RATING: F