Jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Suicide Squad Movie Review
Suicide Squad follows a secret government agency that recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute a dangerous mission they are not guaranteed to survive. Wow. I just want to acknowledge the fantastic marketing team at Warner Bros. They sure fooled me.
If there is a saving grace in this film, it's Will Smith as Deadshot. He nails the role, and he was the only character I felt any hint of an emotion towards. Margot Robbie is good as Harley Quinn, but she never steals the show like the marketing team wanted you to believe. Also, Jai Courtney deserves some major props. He's barely in this film, but he's fun. Viola Davis is a good actress, but she's ridiculous here. Everyone else is forgettable or just not good. I don't know how to feel about Jared Leto's Joker yet, but I'm not sold after this film.
From the word go, Suicide Squad turns in to a music video mashup. The main members of the squad are introduced with blaring and unnecessary pop music. After that, each character gets a full background and breakdown curtesy of Viola Davis. That's our character set-up. The only character worth caring about is Smith's Deadshot. I bought his backstory. Everyone else is horseshoed in with a small moment of semi-character development slapped in at various times throughout.
There's a lot of talk about stuff being left on the cutting room floor for this film, and that there was plenty of studio interference. I can't totally blame David Ayer because of this, add to that this feels nothing like anything Ayer has ever done.
They go for a weird mix between dark and "totally fun and cool!" This movie fails miserably at both of those tones, let alone a combination of the two. Not once did I feel any stakes of sense of importance during the build-up or the 'Fant4stic' style climax. The only dark thing about this movie is the majority of it takes place at night.
With every joke that falls flat, you feel the reshoots and last ditch efforts to make this film fun. I can see how some may find the jokes funny, but 95% of them fell flat for me. There's reportedly two cuts of this film, and man does it feel like it. This feels like two movies chopped up and mixed together.
As far as editing goes, Suicide Squad makes 'Dawn of Justice' look like an Oscar contender in that department. Characters make a decision or do something, and then the next scene that action is either forgotten or completely irrelevant. Leto's Joker is sporadically sprinkled in to remind us he exists. Flashbacks and daydream sequences are also thrown in at random times.
If you haven't figured out who the villain is by now, skip this paragraph if you don't want to know. Oh boy, this is easily one of the worst comic book movie villains I have ever seen. Enchantress is a complete waste and joke as a character. I couldn't care less about her ties to the squad. All she does is stand at the bottom of a blue beam shooting into the sky (Original, right?) and make weird hula dance moves. The climax is a cgi heavy, anticlimactic dud that left me with my head in my hands. Just a mess.
Some of the action scenes are cool and work, but they are scarce and far between the narrative mess this film has. Add to that all the action comes against cgi creatures, so again, no stakes are felt. Once again, I have to applaud the marketing team for making it look like a lot more cool stuff was going down in the trailers. Bonus point for hiding the villain. They knew what they were dealing with.
Overall, Suicide Squad is a complete and utter mess. Aside from Smith and at some points Robbie, the cast underwhelms. Characters are introduced in a pop music filled flurry, leaving no time to establish them as a functioning team. The villain is a total miss fire on all accounts. The action is sporadically entertaining, but the horrifically sloppy narrative and cgi globs prevent those from saving a disaster of a film. If you're on board for a complete mess with last second jokes, I can see people enjoying this one. I on the other hand, was left sourly disappointed and at a loss for what had just transpired. By far the biggest disappointment of the summer.