Suicide Squad ★½

Suicide Squad is not an unmitigated disaster, but that's only because it has a cast that has some semblance of coherency and personality. The obvious MVP is Margot Robbie, who embodies the cutesy, manic personality of Harley Quinn perfectly (and in doing so, creates one of the most thoroughly enjoyable comic book performances I've seen in a while). But the rest of the cast is pretty solid as well, whether it's because the actors are just naturally charismatic (Will Smith and Viola Davis fall into this category) or it's because the characters they play are just that over-the-top (surprisingly, the usually bland Jai Courtney falls into this category). True, the characters themselves have little to them other than personality, but the actors put just enough effort to make their characters interesting that it makes spending time with them a little bit more bearable.

Not that the characters are strong enough to make the film itself any good, mind you, because the film that surrounds them is an absolute wreck. The soundtrack in particular is especially awful at maintaining a consistent tone, switching from "dark and grimy" to "light-hearted fun", and it's really easy to tell that it was cobbled together at the last minute. In addition, the editing frantically jumps throughout, regardless if it's a flashback scene or a simple transition. One could argue that those elements are a reflection of the dysfunctional dynamics of Task Force X, but there comes a point where odd filmmaking decisions are just bad decisions, and the film more often than not hits that point (sometimes in the same scene, with the biggest culprits being the lengthy character introductions).

One could imagine a decent film to come out of this premise (with this same cast and director!), but the wholly generic narrative with its wholly generic antagonist prevents it from being so, if the inept executive meddling wasn't enough to do the job. All of this culminates in a film that is wasted potential above all else, and easily the most incompetently made film of the DCEU (in fact, it's so sloppily made that I'm willing to consider Batman v Superman as exquisitely crafted). There's a part of me that wants to point to writer/director David Ayer for the bulk of the film's problems, but it's such a jumbled mess that I hesitate to call this HIS movie (though I still liked this more than his morally ugly Sabotage).

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