This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jonathan Boehle’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I try not to be a nitpicky viewer. I really do. Anyone that's read my reviews on here has probably noticed that I don't talk a whole lot about the machinations of plot with movies, because I'm not that good at discussing it. And hey, pretty much every fictional tale can have "plot holes" or "gaps in logic" if you look hard enough. So most of the time I don't care. But holy moly this movie has some issues that I just find myself incapable of getting past. A friend of mine commented before this movie came out that while the idea of bad guys being used on a task force was an idea just dumb enough for comics, it seemed like a bridge too far for a live-action movie. And I'm kind of inclined to agree. Even with the movie having Viola Davis to sell the idea (and she's one of the movie's greatest strengths by far), the movie never constructs a convincing pitch for why this is a good idea in any world, even one where you have Superman as a viable threat to society (the fact that this is a universe where Superman is an obvious threat to society is another issue with this Expanded Universe, but I'll leave that be).
Then there's the way the antagonist is handled throughout the movie. The Enchantress has has possession of this body for a long time, long enough that the government could find out that said person was possessed, then said government could find her heart, use it to exploit her, then get a soldier to fall in love with her so he's "emotionally invested," and then use her to convince the government to create a squad that could take down this potential threat...and then AFTER ALL THAT this superbeing finally gets the idea to break out and raise all hell even though it seems like she could have done all that at any time? And even with all that time the government couldn't find the time to put up better defenses? Seriously, both sides of this conflict just come off as very poor planners. And yes, most supervillain plans in comic book movies are gonna have enough poles if you look hard enough, but even as this movie was going on nothing was adding up for me, and when the gears of the plot are this poorly covered, it just becomes really hard to get invested in the conflict.
Also: why is Harley Quinn recruited to the Suicide Squad? I mean, I know why she's in Suicide Squad (because they need a brand name character with pull to anchor the movie, plus she gives an excuse for Joker to appear), but what does she bring to the team? Deadshot has perfect aim, the flame guy can create big flames, Killer Croc can swim like a pro and seems to have bulletproof skin, even Captain Boomerang has a nifty boomerang...Harley Quinn has a baseball bat that she swings and a revolver that holds six bullets? And not only does she bring nothing to the team, she is an immediate threat to the mission by getting The Joker to come rescue her (think to a cell phone whose existence in the movie is a total mystery, and WHY DIDN'T ANYONE SEE AND TAKE IT), which is a conflict that could seriously be cut out of the movie without being missed, aside I guess from it inspiring Harley to approach the Enchantress with the temptation to bring back "Puddin'," but even that is a hollow moment because OBVIOUSLY THE JOKER IS NOT GONNA BE KILLED IN HIS FIRST OUTING. Give that moment to Diablo (whose family is actually dead for sure) and it would improve the moment. Margot Robbie is a great deal of fun in the role, but she brings nothing but avoidable conflict and some problematic gender issues that many have already addressed.
Oh, and what was up with Adam Beach's bad guy? He's thrown into the squad at the very last minute with a moment where he punches a unnamed woman soldier for "having a mouth" (haha, regressive attitudes towards women in charge, hilarious!), then he very quickly tries to plan an escape with one of the other members (I don't even remember which one), and then he is unceremoniously killed in a moment that is suppose to set the stakes for the other members, but his character is so poorly set up and handled that it carries zero resonance (and he's the only member of the squad to get killed, which just makes it look even dumber).
But even past all the plot bullshit, does this movie have redeeming features? Well, the characters are interesting, but Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and the team leader are the only Squad members that I felt were given much of a chance at development (that opening intro of the members by Viola Davis was basically 30% Deadshot, 35% Harley, 20% Enchantress/squad leader, 15% "and the rest!"). The soundtrack is fun, albeit a bit obvious at times. I laughed a number of times, although I'm having a hard time recalling the funniest lines that weren't in the marketing (I did laugh though). Action sequences are also there.
But seriously, this DCEU needs to get its shit together.