Suicide Squad ★★½

Suicide Squad has just signed its own death warrant.

It’s that time of the year again when a DC superhero movie causes a rift between critics and audiences. I’m neither a Marvel nor DC guy. I’m just a film buff who welcomes every superhero movie with an open heart and always gives them the benefit of the doubt when they get panned. But boy does the critical consensus this time actually reflect my feelings about this movie! I actually enjoyed Batman vs Superman, but Suicide Squad didn’t fly with me AT ALL.

Let me put in this way. Metaphorically speaking, Suicide Squad looks like a tantalizing dessert that makes you drool over for a while. But it quickly melts into a puddle of gunk and leaves a bad taste in your mouth once you taste it.

It’s too caught up in its own gonzo edginess and flashy elegance, too lost in its own web of jumbled storylines. Ayer drops the ball after the first five minutes. Then he files down the film’s eccentric edge in the second half, plunging the whole thing into a generic, intoxicating, colorful mess. Let me break it down this way. Bear with me. Item number 4 and 7 CONTAIN SPOILERS!

1. The first act felt like an extended sneak peak at all the ‘scumbags’ that are the suicide squad before the actual movie. Characters are introduced with a bad taste. The screen freezes for a few seconds to feed us their criminal backgrounds with colorful texts that you don’t care to read.

2. Ayer also makes a fucking mix tape in the first half an hour! There’re too many soundtracks going on in the first act. Guy should’ve just focused on making sure that the film is a consistent piece of cinema instead of turning the whole theater into a nightclub. I felt fucking punch-drunk watching the film.

3. The opening title felt oddly misplaced as hell. After expository scenes with DEADSHOT and HARLEY QUINN, you get another expository scene with Viola Davis’s AMANDA WALLER, who walks out of the car, hinting at some screwy ideas she’s come up with. Then.. tada… “Suicide Squad”! WTF?

4. [SPOILER IMPLIED] And how come Waller can’t see the flaws in her plan? She should’ve known the consequences of unleashing someone as dangerous as ENCHANTRESS. No human beings can control a magical creature, especially one with its own agenda.

5. Ayer loves flashbacks. Yep. Brace yourself for loads of them. The patchy editing and muddled storytelling don’t really add to anything but the tonal incoherence of the film.

6. He also turns the movie into an urban-apocalyptic event in the final act, hastily whipping up tension that never feels high and plunging it into a boisterous, shoddy CGI fest. The third act felt like it’s a Ghostbuster wannabe.

7. [SPOILER ALERT] Some of you have probably learned who the main villain is. And this is such a nonthreatening, cringe-worthy baddie. Cara Delevinge is not convincing enough as the ghoulish sorceress. The model-turned-actor just doesn’t have the caliber to pull off a role as challeging as this.

8. The movie’s saving graces are Will Smith and Margot Robbie, who look like they had the most fun. Smith supplies the film with the much-needed charm and is a joy to watch as DEADSHOT. Robbie, donned in skimpy clothes that look slightly less dowdy that the equally skimpily-clothed Enchantress, aces as the deranged, depraved barbie-doll HARLEY QUINN.

9. Jared Leto’s method-acting effort was not in vain. I have to give him some credit for committing to this massive undertaking and for trying to crawl out of the shadow of Heath Ledger's superb performance. But given the amount of screentime he’s got in the movie, he didn’t really need to go full method and scare the fuck out of the cast with his stinky gifts. WHY SO SERIOUS?

10. Viola Davis is winning her first Oscar for Fences anyway so she’s fine. But she's pretty fierce as the tough-as-nails Amanda Waller.

If anything, see it for Margot Robbie and Will Smith. Suicide Squad still offers a considerable amount of entertainment value. Sadly I think the end result is disposable and will stick out among many people as another failure in Warner's attempt to expand the DC cinematic universe. But I do hope we get to see more of these baddies in the future in a better movie.

But really, go see it yourself!

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