This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Anthony Iessi’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
The summer movie season has hedged it's bets on Suicide Squad as being the biggest, baddest film of them all. If ever there was a perfect formula for a summer hit, this was the one. A gritty DC movie, with Margot Robbie, a kick ass soundtrack, and the cinematic return of the Joker.. a character audiences have become entranced with since Heath Ledger's frightening portrayal just shy of a decade ago. It's the kind of film that generates hype and anticipation, even from a non-superhero lover as myself. Hollywood has found an angle to attract almost all audiences to this genre with films like this. I couldn't wait to see it.
Suicide Squad, in reality, was an act of brilliant advertising. The film is a hot mess. The plot is entirely incoherent. More than once, I wasn't sure whether to burst out laughing, or sit in silence. I had no idea where this film was coming from. It's funny... at least when the characters want to be.. but Will Smith utters one line during the climax that almost made me fall out of my chair, and I know that wasn't the script's intention. When the film wants to be gritty, it comes across as desperate. Almost clinging to hope that they can capture the same genius as The Dark Knight. The soundtrack is fantastic, but it disappeared after the first act, perhaps they ran out of money to license it.
The single worst aspect of the film was the villain, Enchantress. In a movie sold upon gritty DC misfits and the Joker, the film itself centers on a evil voodoo ghost woman thing that shimmies about and creates an army of mutant mud monsters to kill everything in sight, all the while promising the protagonists a false spell that will give them a domesticated family life that they always wanted. Now, If I told you all of this in the months prior to the release of the film, you'd call me insane. But yes, Enchantress makes up about 60% of the film, and you will be as speechless as I was watching this. At one point, I thought I was watching the sequel to Fantastic Four.
But are there any positives? Yes, there are. This is far from an unwatchable film. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is a feat of casting genius. She was my favorite part. She is the best portrayal Harley Quinn since Arleen Sorkin voiced her in Batman: The Animated Series. Hilarious, sexy, spunky, badass.. It reminds you why we all love that crazy gal. Jared Leto's Joker is another thing that impressed me. He took the character in a direction that was quite new and quite familiar. To sum it up, it was a combination of Jack Nicholson's grandstanding Joker from the Tim Burton Batman, with Heath Ledger's Joker, plus a tiny hint of Mark Hamill's animated Joker. He's insanely creepy, he never breaks character (much like Ledger), and it works very well. It was a given that he would never in a million years reach the heights of Ledger, but this was a Joker that should be well appreciated for years to come. I suggest, if there ever is a live-acting Killing Joke movie, WHICH THERE TOTALLY SHOULD BE, cast Leto immediately.
Other than that, Suicide Squad is a major disappointment. For what we were all expecting, and we were all expecting so much.. maybe this should've been a lesson to all of us.. just don't hype a movie. Scratch that, just don't hype a DC Cinematic Universe movie. You will always be disappointed.