Josh Barton’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Worst. Heroes. Ever."
The DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe) hasn't really got off to the greatest of starts with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I liked the former but the latter was disappointingly poor, with critics not really taking to either well at all. Now we have Suicide Squad, a film that many felt could potentially put DC back on track with their cinematic universe.
With director David Ayer pulling the strings and the likes of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Viola Davis starring, Suicide Squad was easily one of my most anticipated films of 2016.
After the death of Superman, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is convinced that she has the solution, should something of Superman's power want to threaten the world. Her plan is to assemble a team of the most dangerous criminals to take on any threat too great for regular soldiers.
Task Force X or Suicide Squad, as they name themselves, is made up of; Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Slipknot (Adam Beach), each and every one of them under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) who, like Waller, sees them all as expendable.
When an unworldly threat arrives, the squad try their best to get the job done however, their villainous nature and the Joker (Jared Leto), looking to get Harley Quinn back, might just throw a few spanners in the works.
Just like the film that proceeded it in the DCEU, Suicide Squad is a mess of a film that literally allows the audience no time to breathe, shoving the characters down their throats and forcing them to fall in love with them right away. David Ayer's narrative is so rushed, getting to the finale within around forty-five minutes, meaning there's no real time for any sort of character development. His film also has quite possibly one of the worst villains in the history of comic-book adaptations, and that's not even an exaggeration.
The film is also edited really badly, chopping and changing so much that you'll start to get a headache, and not just in the action sequences. Ayer's script is really disappointing, considering the fact this was rated 15 in the UK, yet nothing here made me feel that was warranted. There's also the fact that every moment that should have got a major laugh was ruined by the fact they were all seen in the trailer. If you've seen all the trailers you've literally seen the whole film.
The thing that annoyed me the most about Suicide Squad though was the soundtrack, which I was really looking forward to see how Ayer would incorporate it into his film. Now, Marvel didn't event the usage of a cool soundtrack to accompany a film but, in Guardians of the Galaxy, the musical choices made perfect sense with what was going on in the relevant scene. In Suicide Squad, random songs play at random times and it just ruined some scenes in particular.
Coming to the performances, which are easily the best thing about the film, Suicide Squad has some form of redemption. Viola Davis is great as the intense Amanda Waller, as is Will Smith as Deadshot. Harley Quinn was always going to be a tough character to bring to life but I felt Margot Robbie did her enough justice, whether it's enough to warrant a solo film is questionable mind. I actually really enjoyed Jai Courtney's performance as Captain Boomerang which is quite something considering I normally can't stand the guy.
Cara Delevingne, who hasn't had too much acting experience, can be used as a bit of a scapegoat as her performance isn't great however, I feel that was more down to how awfully written her character was. Joel Kinnaman doesn't really do anything wrong as Rick Flag, it's just unfortunate that he had to step into a role that we could have potentially seen Tom Hardy in if he didn't have to do reshoots on The Revenant.
The use of the Joker is something that has been bugging me ever since I left the cinema. Jared Leto had huge boots to fill after the perfect performance Heath Ledger gave as the iconic villain in The Dark Knight and I think Leto did well. My main issue was that he just wasn't in it enough for my liking. The Joker has to either be the main villain or not in the film at all, not a side character who pops up for a couple of scenes throughout the film. I was intrigued by what we did see of Leto and it would be great to see him go up again Ben Affleck's Batman in a future film. You can't even consider judging him as the best representation of the Joker until we see more of him.
There are some Justice League cameos in Suicide Squad, one lasting a split second and the other featuring Batman. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but the appearances Batman makes did feel really jarring and out of place. I loved him in Batman v Superman but not quite so much here in Suicide Squad.
While Suicide Squad does offer some form of entertainment, like other films in the DCEU, it does so with glaring issues you'd think they'd learn from. It's not the end of the world mind, remember the MCU had two not so well received films that followed Iron Man and look what they've gone on to achieve. It just means a lot rides on Wonder Woman so no pressure DC.