Andrew | A.J.’s review published on Letterboxd:
Normal is just a setting on a dryer!
Suicide Squad is an odd movie. Not in the "look at how quirky this is" way (Guardians of the Galaxy), but in more of a Fantastic Four and Batman v Superman way. Take that however you like.
Jared Leto, who plays The Joker in this film, described his character as a "beautiful disaster".
The same can be said for Suicide Squad, a noisy, well-intended film with a lot of narrative kinks and story issues.
Suicide Squad is driven by two things: its cast and its director.
Let's go: Will Smith as Deadshot, the man who cannot miss, Jared Leto as The Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, an Aussie with attitude as well as some deadly boomerangs, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, a woman wielding a blade that traps souls, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jay Hernandez as Diablo, who can shoot fire from his man-mitts, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Adam Beach as Slipknot, and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, the no-bull soldier trying to keep them all in check.
The cast is all wonderful. Smith brings charisma and humanity to Deadshot, Margot Robbie brings so much crazy to Harley Quinn (along with other things), Joel Kinnaman is really great as Flag, Viola Davis is badass and intimidating as Waller, Jai Courtney is remarkably good, and Jay Hernandez is a particular standout as El Diablo.
Most outstanding is Jared Leto as The Joker. Leto is stunning and transformative, but maddeningly underused. For a performance so hyped about, he's rarely here. The silver lining is that he wants to do this again.
David Ayer's directing is great, and his action is fun to watch. His dialogue is flawless. Coming off of End of Watch and Fury, he has to tone his content down but he keeps his general tone of the content alive.
It's the editing that makes Suicide Squad a curious beast. The first half-hour is a complete mess, so much that it becomes confusing as to when the story is starting. Warner Bros. pulled a similar number on Batman v Superman, tearing out important chunks of the film so as to achieve a running time. Suicide Squad has plenty of great scenes and a couple of lame ones. The order in which they occur is the problem.
The villain is underwhelming. Coming off of Jesse Eisenberg's wonderful turn as Lex Luthor, Jr., we are treated to some random, Thor 2-like monster dudes who want to do things. Although their motivation is explained and through very good dialogue, it's just lame. I guess in a movie full of great villains it's hard to have a good villain.
Suicide Squad has a fantastic soundtrack, colorful characters, energetic directing, a wonderful sense of humor, and it's a love letter to the fans. Not exactly a coherent movie until a certain point, but a very fun one.
This movie uses Black Skinhead, which automatically upped the grade some. Slightly better than Civil War, slightly below Deadpool.