Suicide Squad

Despite scathing reviews and it becoming a mockery, I went into Suicide Squad wanting to like it. I'd been rooting for this film for months. For about half of the movie I convinced myself that I was watching a decent film, but at some point I just let go. I couldn't continue to lie to myself. Suicide Squad is the kind of movie that starts out bad and just when you think it can't get any worse, it becomes nearly unwatchable.

Whereas Batman v Superman was a mess, - granted a mess that I enjoyed - Suicide Squad reaches new levels of incompetence. It spends a third (or what feels like a third) of the movie blatantly telling us who these people are, with font and text that looks like an edgy teenager's Tumblr page. It doesn't just give us a short vignette as to who these characters are, it bluntly tells us everything about them. It attempts to do it in style, by giving us scenarios particular to these characters, but so much of it feels like the film trying so hard to get its audience to like it and to feel original. Just when we've barely gotten to know these characters, the movie immediately throws us, and the characters, into the action. There's a complete disregard for any sort of structure that can mostly be chalked up to one thing. Editing. As reports are coming in that Warner Bros. stepped in and changed a majority of the film. If this is to be believed, then what a mess they created for themselves. As the credits rolled and the words "Written and Directed by David Ayer" came up, I struggled to comprehend how such a great filmmaker could create something so lazily put together. It's as if the film was Frankenstein'd from a number of scenes. The way the story is told feels as if Ayer and company came up with it as they went along. Studio interference can be the only answer to the completely inept storytelling this film possesses.

For a film that relies so heavily on its characters, Suicide Squad doesn't ever seem to put much thought into fleshing them out. Even the aforementioned flashbacks attempt to give these characters personalities, loved ones, and goals to reach, but it all feels so trite. These characters feel more like just that. Characters. None of them feel like they fit into this world. There's no universe where these characters exist in the same one as the Justice League we've seen so far. Finally, there's The Joker. Jared Leto's incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime is the best and worst part of Suicide Squad. His performance is so zany, so over the top and ridiculous that it almost works. He feels like a needless add on however. He has very little screen time that his presence feels wasted. If anything, I give Leto props on going completely batshit insane, giving us a different Joker than we've seen before.

When the action does get rolling, where Suicide Squad should shine and where its characters should get the chance to prove themselves, it yet again lets down. Our "heroes" fight a horde of monster goons in what is some of the most incoherent action in possibly any comic book film. Not only are none of the characters distinguishable while they're fighting outside of Deadshot and Harley Quinn, but its lighting is nonexistent, and the film culminates in one of the worst denouements I've seen in years. The villain might be up there for the worst in a comic book movie. Nothing more than just another baddie for our protagonists to fight, and making for laughable, atrocious dialogue. There's moments where the action feels right, it settles in and even becomes decent, but for the majority, it feels completely clumsy.

Suicide Squad is simply put, a disaster. A maladroit, heavy handed mess that unfortunately leaves little hope in the rest of DC's slate. I can only hope that Warner Bros. learns from this, and that they let their directors, who they've bragged about at SDCC, create the films they want to. For now though, if there's any film that deserves a Director's Cut, it's Suicide Squad.

Bryan Andrade liked these reviews