Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad ½

Should I preface this by reiterating how much I enjoyed Batman v Superman? I wish I didn't feel like I have to justify my dislike for this bad movie, but the most common criticism of DC Comics-based film criticism (or that of any comic book movie) is a dismissive assertion that the reviewer hates DC Comics movies, or superhero movies, or fun in general. But I love superhero movies and I've liked what DC has done up to this point and I promise I enjoy fun. Suicide Squad is not fun; it's barely a movie. It's a collection of moments designed to look appealing in various forms of advertising, regardless of whether they form an entertaining or complete flick. I really wanted to like it, I've been looking forward to it for a long time, but it is a failure, and worse than that, I don't think anyone involved in the making or release of the movie cares. You can practically smell their indifference curdling off of the screen.

If you need a reference guide for every terrible impulse Hollywood filmmaking currently struggles with, Suicide Squad should come in handy. Even looking past the lame villains with world-ending plans that feel totally inconsequential, and the incoherent "universe-building" that adds up to little more than tossing Batman into a few scenes arbitrarily, Suicide Squad is still essentially 2 hours of flailing attempts to force a personality, attempts so desperate that the movie forgets to have any actual fun. Out of every way this film could have failed (and did), the most disappointing is that it's just boring. Gathering up some of DC's wildest villains so they can quietly follow a group of bland soldiers from one unimaginative action scene to the next is an extremely puzzling waste of these characters. I can only praise director David Ayer for keeping Jared Leto's role as the most obnoxious and empty portrayal of The Joker in any medium to a bare minimum. What really sucks is that Ayer is an interesting and talented filmmaker, one whose involvement in this project helped get me so psyched for it in the first place, and I wish I could say this disaster feels like an obviously compromised version of his vision, but that just isn't the case. This doesn't seem like it ever had any vision or purpose behind it at all, it only ever feels like a rushed cash-grab. Suicide Squad is soulless and I can't think of a worse thing for any art to be.

Steve liked this review