Tooley I Am King’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow this was terrible.
I'm really confused. Like, this was at Fant4stic levels of messy. Random flashbacks cut in and out, the main storyline was both underwhelming in its generic organization and shocking in its ineptitude, and the characters were either generic, underdeveloped, or just plain odd (and not in a good way, either).
Ok, I'll try and run off a list of what works and what doesn't to clear this all up.
First, what works:
- Most of the cast did a good job with what they were given. Viola Davis and Will Smith were especially fun to watch. Davis plays badass very well, and showed that yet again here. Smith went full Will Smith, but never felt overused in the film. He was just consistently enjoyable. Margot Robbie did a good job too, but seeing as I didn't exactly love her character, I couldn't fully enjoy her performance. Same goes for Jared Leto, but I'll go into that later.
- The action was pretty well-shot. Ayer certainly knows what he's doing there. It's a shame his skills couldn't translate into the actual narrative of the film....but again, more on that later....
- Margot Robbie tries her very best.
- This film made Jai Courtney tolerable! Yay!
Oh, I'm done? Sweet. Let's get into the fun stuff.
- There's no narrative clarity here. The flashback scenes add very little to the film, and mostly feel too short for any impact and randomly added in by shitty editing (seriously, this editing is even worse than Batman v Superman). Honestly, I had no clue what was going on for a majority of the film. And when I figured it out, I was pissed by how annoyingly basic the actual plot was. Speaking of which....
- The lame-ass generic superhero story. What the hell were they thinking? All this "haha we're so different and edgy aren't we cool" marketing had me thinking that the story would try to, I dunno, actually do something different here. Guess I was wrong.
- Oh yeah, how could I forget the villain? Seriously guys, this is like something out of a Scooby Doo movie. Well, a very violent Scooby Doo movie. Just....you'll know it when you see it. Anyways, the villain has terrible generic motives that just add to the overall feeling of "bleh" in the story, and gives an awkward performance to boot. Nothing about the villain melded with what was going on around it. Jesus...for a film dedicated to "villains", you'd hope they could get the main one right....
- Another thing on villains: if you want to make them interesting, give them some edge and development. Nobody aside from Harley Quinn had any edge whatsoever, making them all rather dull and one-note.
- Oh yeah, on Harley Quinn, she's pretty annoying. She made me laugh a few times, and she gave the cast some spark, both the majority of her dialogue was pretty cringeworthy. I understand that's what she's like in the comics, but I don't give a shit.
- The Joker. Ok, I'll admit Jared Leto did his best. He's a wonderful actor, and I really look forward to seeing what he can bring to this character. That being said, in this film he was both completely useless (his admittedly small part could've been cut and it honestly might have benefitted the film) and was treated like some punk mobster. He was fun to watch at times, but that shtick gets old fast. Hope they change that up in later films.
- Just remembered there's a character named "Katana" in this movie. The fact that I forgot this so briefly after seeing the film goes to show just how unimportant she was to the plot. Same goes to that rope dude who had like one line of dialogue. Hell, I could make an argument for the crocodile dude too....
- Lazy exposition montages. This doesn't count as developement, Ayer.
- The Joker's character design. "Damaged" deserves to be a point on its own.
- Random fucking ending. Just made zero sense. Generated more confusion than excitement.
- Music choice felt random too. Good songs for the most part, usage just didn't make sense.
- This movie added to my eternal confusion over whether I find Cara Delevingne attractive.
- Scott Eastwood didn't say "my story starts in the water" before he dove into the water pipe.
So yeah, "Worst. Heroes. Ever." was more or less accurate advertising. In the words on my brother, it was less of a film and more of a glorified advertisement for Hot Topic. I'm convinced now more than ever that the DCU is lost.