Finally got to see WB/David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” for myself, gonna post some of my thoughts on it. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Will Smith’s Deadshot is actually really good, and his acting chops are still insane. He really brought a gravitas to the character and earned some of his iconic moments in the film. The daughter subplot would work better if it wasn’t so rushed and cliche, and the daughter actress was just not up to par across from Smith which is a shame after seeing so many brilliant child actors in Stranger Things recently.
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn lives up to the character, but still feels like a bit of missed opportunity. Some of the time she seemed to get caught up in the emotion of things like I would expect her to do, however at other times. the way they showed her fight and how she dealt with some situations in the movie felt out of character for me. She didn’t feel quite as dangerous and unpredictable as I would have liked to see but maybe since this seems to be based on New 52 version of her it’s probably ok. My preconceptions of her come from Batman: The Animated Series so that may be the issue. It doesn’t help that her opposite (Jared Leto’s Joker) doesn’t fare well but more on that later. I’m sounding negative but overall she’s the second best character in this film.
I can actually forgive Slipknot dying almost immediately. He didn’t take any screen-time and was taken out as quickly as he was introduced and it felt punchy. I can respect it from a writer’s point of view.
The other members are a bit of a mess. Look I get it, you can’t develop 10 characters well in a 2 hour film. But you can give them moments that speak to their involvement with the situation they’re thrown in. Even that doesn’t really happen.
Diablo gets his bullshit backstory in a shot glass and 3 scenes and that’s the most characterization we got in the whole damn movie for any character other than harley/deadshot.
-Let me get that Katana spin off origin movie.
When Captain Crunch (sorry Boomerang) isn’t throwing punches left and right (also he likes a pink unicorn doll for reasons lost to the cutting room floor) or hitting on Katana, he for some reason has emotional investment in this conflict illustrated by him leaving and then coming back like nothing ever happened 2 scenes later. He seems to have a sense of humanity but its never shown why so the whole thing makes no sense. But he’s drunk so its ok /s.
Rick Flair got a montage with June Moon so I guess we’re supposed to give a shit about that relationship and his plight (we don’t).
Amanda Waller was a pretty convincing villain. Nothing to really pick at here just well acted and probably the most solidly written of the antagonists and she is the villain of this film in terms of her motivations and convictions.
Joker was only here to serve Harley Quinn’s character, so other than that he was pretty much irrelevant other than affecting one plot point. From what little there was of Leto’s Joker, I am not a fan of this adaptation of him. He came across as weak and his supposed abusive nature toward Harley Quinn didn’t really show through as I expected and in this way weakened Harley’s own character development. In fact he seemed very neutral in his personality and actions. I need to see more but for now it’s not looking good and I’m apprehensive of seeing him in future DC:EU movies.
Enchantress/June Moon can fall in line with all the other Marvel/DC villains that have failed to be interesting whatsoever and serve as a plot device for the protagonists to overcome.
I’ve heard they cut nearly everything for Killer Croc so I won’t say much but that was an unholy mixture of strange/racist/bad/charming/undeveloped. I wished he was a 15 foot giant crocodile like the games and show I like that version of him better honestly (but keep the humanity).
The editing in this movie just blows my mind. It’s not even fundamental editing errors like how the movie should flow or when to cut (though that is still a huge problem here), it’s the actual style of editing that is so bad it astounds me. Perhaps in a film more confident in its vision this style would work but nothing is consistent about this movie.
The music oh man why are there so many misplaced licenced songs in this movie? It never once matched what was going on in the movie and they just machine gunned them one after another like a fucking amv.
The tone, the cinematography, the unnecessary “bleak dark” filter just felt at best unrefined and muddy and at worst completely at odds with the rest of the film’s ideas.
The writing is inconsistent. At times serviceable, at other times poor and campy when it doesn’t make sense in context of the film.
The real saving grace of this film for me was the bar scene, it grounded many of the characters at least somewhat and honestly
made the climax a less cringy, “look now we’re working together because we learned how to be a team!” moment. If there were more of those types of scenes along with greater character development scenes in general this movie would have been much better.
This film fails to establish a sense of place, geography and coherence of space is in my opinion one of the most under looked aspects of good movies. The only sense of progression here is the tower they are trying to get to and past that it gets confused again until the climax. There were just too many scenes in the city sequence that felt lost as a result of a lack of sense of place.
A lot of these problems can be contributed to the editing shenanigans and studio interference of this movie, so I’m interested in seeing Ayer’s cut and opinion on this cut if that ever happens.
Like BvS this was just another missed opportunity for DC. I mean I would only write all this if I was really rooting for this one to be good and I was. The few standout moments and characters that were there just make the end product even more frustrating. I look forward to Ayer’s director’s cut none the less.