Suicide Squad ★★

Possibly destined to be cult B-movie shlock in the future. Here’s a film so desperate to be cool that it frames practically every scene around a well known song of some kind. But it’s kind of like hearing your parents’ idea of “cool”. The squad gets fitted out with their new gear - Eminem’s ‘Without Me’ plays (“get it, because they’re back! And the song says “guess who’s back?” We must be the first film to ever think of this idea!”). You know the myriad of trailers for this film, where each one seemed to have violence alongside a contrapuntal music choice like Queen or Sweet? Well the film basically plays out like that, a mini trailer set to music for each scene rather than anything coherent.

And really the whole film feels like an overlong ad. It jumps straight in to Deadshot and introducing the other characters and I remember saying to myself “slow down” since everything was moving so rapidly. You’ve got two hours to fill! The flashbacks to how Quinn and Deadshot were captured are actually fine, but it’s kind of hilarious how the film introduces those two and then basically says “and then there’s the rest.” And that’s it, that’s all we know about everyone else! The problem is because of the nature of the film, every characters gets reduced to the odd line rather than any fleshed out development. Only Harley Quinn works, thanks to Robbie owning the role but also because the character is easily the most dynamic of the lot. Everyone else is just sort of there in the background, a pretty awful proposition when they’re supposed to be holding up the flimsiest of plots, which is at the same time incredibly lazy and egregiously ridiculous. Over-CGI’d witch/enchantress/demon thing alongside faceless, half-human blueberries? Easily the funniest parts of the film, only all my laughs were stifled as the rest of my screening seemed to actively enjoy it. It's quite humorous how we’ve gone from Nolan’s Batman films which attempted relative realism, to Batman now in the same universe as a witch from another dimension who’s over 6000 years old. It also makes half the titular squad pointless for this job. As much as I like Harley Quinn, how is she helpful in this fight? All she has is a baseball bat and a gun, I’m sure a 6000 year old enchantress is shaking in her 6000 year old boots (witch fashion hasn’t changed much). If I’m picking my team for a battle against this witch and her demon brother I’ll draft the dude with fire #1, he’ll be helpful. Maybe Killer Croc #2. I’m sure as hell not taking that guy with the boomerang, I mean really? Mr Irrelevant right there.

Let’s talk about The Joker. Or I wish I could as he was in it so little I can barely form an opinion on Leto’s portrayal. I didn’t expect him to be around much but definitely more focal than he was, especially towards the end. Honestly he was probably the best part, as the film began to drag I kept hoping he’d return soon. SPOILERS: Gotta laugh hard at the helicopter being shot down, Joker “dying” off screen and the film expecting us to be surprised when he turns up to save Harley. Why does this trope continue to exist in superhero films? What viewer is seriously going to think they killed off the most popular villain offscreen, without an appearance in a solo Batman film, after appearing in ~4 scenes? I’m ok with it if he comes back within twenty minutes or so, but to leave it until the very end as some sort of twist? Lazy. END SPOILERS As much as I found Leto’s Joker interesting in the brief time we get to see him, he suffers from the same problem everyone else does - clunky script. Every time Joker opens his mouth it feels like he’s about to say something deliciously evil and Leto delivers it as if he does but, err, he doesn’t? He just says basic bad guy shit. I think he even mentioned grape soda at some point. I’m not a comic book buff so is this a thing? Or is it just in there because Joker = purple + quirky and thus “grape soda!” There were reports of re-shoots to make the film lighter after BvS got canned for being too dark, and you can tell since there’s some very poor “jokes” in here that just feel tacked on and completely disrupt any sort of flow the film had (which admittedly wasn’t very often).

I’m not going to write any more since giving this film effort would be the complete opposite of what it gave me. A lazy, toneless film that feels completely pointless. The only thing holding it up is the performances of actors who give it their all, but the film has no interest in developing any of it’s villains, instead relying on their well-established canon outside the film to do all the heavy lifting. Just having them together, in a bid to make money, set up Justice League to make even more money and continue the cycle is all anyone behind the camera seems particularly bothered by.

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