Noah Teuber’s review published on Letterboxd:
12/29/16 Edit: This review is no longer accurate to how I feel about the film. As you may have seen, I have dropped my rating to one star. It would be best to view this review as me struggling to accept how horrible this film is.
8/5/16 Edit: I originally posted this giving the film three and a half stars. It has since dropped to two and a half. The more I think about Suicide Squad the more it infuriates me. The only thing that stops me from going to one and a half is Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Damn. I was really looking forward to this. Suicide Squad was in the top 5 of my most anticipated films of the year. The trailers were so excellently crafted that even when the overall response to Batman v Superman was muddled, it seemed like everyone was confident that Suicide Squad was going to deliver. In some ways it does. It hits some of the most crucial aspects it needed to nail. But in the end it left me wanting more.
Let me address the positives first. Harley Quinn is one of my favorite DC characters ever and Margot Robbie was born to play her. She is everything I wanted out of a live action Harley. Her devoted relationship with the Joker is established right away and her personality is that of a completely mental yet smart woman. The way she acts, facial expressions especially, is completely Harley Quinn. She is by far the best part and I walked out of the theater wanting more of her. Give her a solo movie, please.
Will Smith makes for a great Deadshot. I was worried he'd steal the focus of the film but he really doesn't. The film doesn't really focus on one character at all, to be honest. They make Deadshot and Harley Quinn out at the beginning as our two main characters but it never really feels like it. These two are given more screen time, that's for sure, and I loved watching them interact with each other and the rest of the team but something felt missing. It's hard to explain.
I really don't have much to say about the rest of the team. They're there. They do some stuff. It's fun to watch but I never felt attached to anyone other than Harley and Deadshot (but mostly Harley). Jai Courtney gives probably his best performance I've seen, I can say that. But I really can't say much of anything about the rest.
Jared Leto's Joker isn't in the film nearly enough for me to feel confident on having a clear opinion on him. I loved what I saw- he's very much a well-respected mob boss of a Joker- but I need to see more. He's great in the few scenes he's in but I'll have to wait for the next movie, presumably the Batman solo film, to really see what he's made of.
I feel like explicitly saying who the villain is would be a slight spoiler since the trailers don't really give it away so I won't. All I'll say is the villain is very subpar. It's just there cuz they needed a villain. I think they could have done a few things to make it more compelling than it actually was.
The action is accompanied by a killer soundtrack that adds a lot of energy but if you took the music out I think it would have come off really bland. I know what you're thinking- taking the music out of any scene of any movie would make it bland, but I dunno. The music is the highlight of the action instead of being a great supporting aspect, if that makes sense.
Suicide Squad's most glaring issue is that it isn't sure what it wants to be. Judging from the trailers it looked like it wanted to be DC's answer to Guardians of the Galaxy- a fun action flick with a great team of lovable characters and lots of humor, but with the DC twist of being slightly darker. The end result is stuck in the middle.
There's some pretty good humor but there's not nearly enough of it, but at the same time it isn't nearly as dark as Batman v Superman. I would have been way better if it had chosen a tone and stuck to it. There aren't nearly enough character moments to give you a real reason to care about them all. There's flashbacks and moments that feel completely out of place and unnecessary. I can't go into details without spoiling so I'll save going in depth for my spoilers review.
Judging from what I've said I know it probably sounds like I didn't enjoy Suicide Squad but I did. I really did. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is so on point that I will most likely go and see it again on the big screen. I just had very high expectations and for the most part they weren't met. After those incredible trailers I thought this was going to blow my mind and be absolutely amazing but it just isn't, no matter how much I want it to be. I'm having a hard time gathering all my thoughts, I'll have to talk about this again.