Eric Lees’s review published on Letterboxd:
Suicide Squad succeeds in what it sets out to do. It made me want to kill myself.
>I want to assemble a task force of the most dangerous people on the planet who can follow me around all day and defeat the superpowered world destroying monsters that I directly create due to my own complete incompetence. I'll tell them that it's a fail-safe against Superman even though he could obliterate them all in seconds.
>Our team will include a guy with a boomerang, a guy with ropes, a crazy girl with a bat, a sniper, and a girl with a katana. That seems like a pretty reasonable counter to godlike beings with unlimited power right?
Suicide Squad is the newest entry in the DC Extended Universe, which two movies in is already dead on arrival. Many were banking on this being the savoir. Luckily, it's just as much of a mess as the others. Nice to know WB and DC are consistent. It's the perfect example of studio meddling at its worst, at times echoing Fant4stic.
The editing is absolutely atrocious. Boasting not one but SEVEN editors, there is no sense of cohesion throughout the whole picture. Much of it feels like an extended trailer, with jumpy cuts and pop music blasting, because WB actually hired the teaser trailer editors to help try to save this mess of a flick. I don't know what they expected.
I can honestly say Suicide Squad has the worst soundtrack I've ever experienced. Skrillex, Rick Ross, 21 Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Eninem, Grimes, Panic! at the Disco (who cover the legendary Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody even though the original version was in almost every trailer), White Stripes, etc. It's like a mixtape of everything awful with modern music. The few songs in it that are good, such as Sympathy For the Devil, are in it for so brief of a time you hardly have the time to recognize the song before it jumps awkwardly into another. Within the first 20 minutes, there's maybe 10 pop songs that appear immediately after one another. None of them accompany their retrospective scenes. An example of such a misuse is when It Ain't Me by Fortunate Sons plays during a flashback of Killer Croc fighting some dudes.
And speaking of flashbacks and first 20 minutes, said 20 minutes is nothing but exposition. It consists of two characters sitting in a diner going through and awkwardly trying to establish various members of the Squad. It's tedious, uninspired, and lazy. "Here is Deadshot" *flashback* "Here is Harley" *flashback* "Oh and have you heard of Captain Boomerang? *flashback*. Funny thing is they don't even set up the entire squad in this scene. Not only that, in the following scene, the audience is taken into Arkham Asylum where the Squad members are re-introduced, like we might have missed it the first time.
This is due to the too many cooks in the editing room and the loss of crucial footage. Related to this, by now you've probably heard of how 50 minutes of Joker footage was cut down to 7. People should consider this a blessing, because this is without a doubt the worst version of the Joker ever put to screen. Jared Leto's Joker is nothing but a fuckboy juggalo, a tryhard Marilyn Manson fanboy who thinks that getting grillz, wearing gold chains, and unbuttoning his shirt makes him look cool. His scenes are brief and spread out with absolutely no correlation to the plot and he is almost completely absent in the second half. He does not have any memorable scenes or lines besides the one from all the trailers, which is just ripped right out of Kubrick's The Shining. Another major issue I have with Joker is his relation to Harley. Joker is meant to be annoyed by Harley, using her rather than engaging in synergy with her. In this cut of the movie, they are two peas in a pod that can be purchased at your local Hot Topic for 50% off with a purchase of a clearance My Evanescence t-shirt. DC just does not know its own characters, which is a big shame since they have a plethora of good ones to choose from. Speaking of misunderstanding characters, Captain Boomerang is like a Brony or something who has, and I quote, "fetish: pink unicorns". Okay? But why?
A highlight is Will Smith. He's an awful Deadshot, but you can tell he is really trying, which is a surprise. It's a shame no one else does. Every character just awkwardly stumbles around set piece after set piece with no clear direction. Any character who isn't Deadshot or Harley is completely ignored. Some characters, like Katana and Killer Crocs, have probably less than 5 lines in the whole flick. For a team movie, all the characters should work as an ensemble, not be ignored for whoever has the highest bill. We as the audience cannot truly believe they work as one unit if we hardly see them act as such. Oh yeah and there's a main villain named Enchantress, who I can't say much of since she's in like 6 scenes. What a presence for a main villain.
Almost constantly characters are behaving against what the flick has set them up to be, and their ultimate turn to being "good guys" does not fit the narrative at all and leads to yet another hamfisted "power of friendship" victory. Margot Robbie is endlessly annoying, so much so that the only funny thing she does is get punched in the face by Batman. Oh yeah Batman just kinda shows up in a few scenes, very briefly. I wonder how movies like this would fare with someone who never watched any of the previous ones. Suicide Squad feels like a sequel to a film that never existed.
I don't get the point of Hollywood companies hiring small time directors with a clear vision only for them to fuck it all up in post production. David Ayer is another victim to this cycle. From Training Day to End of Watch, the man has a real clear vision and sense of what he wants to show and accomplish. Brutal, bloody, ruthlessness and highlighting the filth of his surroundings is his style. It seems appropriate for something like Suicide Squad, but the final product contains none of Ayer's style. It isn't even fair to call it his film since it has been so butchered and bastardized.
It's obvious which scenes were reshot in an attempt to add more humor and create something comparable to Guardians of the Galaxy (both films even use Spirit in the Sky), but in doling so Suicide Squad misses the point. What makes Guardians so enjoyable are its relatable and refreshing characters and its use of pop music to highlight the emotion you're meant to feel. The use of music also makes sense thematically as Star Lord is an 80s manchild who clings onto his nostalgic childhood and cherishes a mixtape of 80s pop songs. None of this context is in Suicide Squad, and it just comes off as desperate. Even some jokes that would be funny ("Clear my browsing history!") are not so because of how painfully out of place they are.
The finale is an unholy mess that highlights the worst of superhero movies. It's incoherent CGi vomit at mach speed. Characters disappear in the fray. Overusage of slo-mo is irritating. A characters sudden usage of a never before seen power that was never set up is mind boggling and screams of deus ex machina. Once again a superhero movie finale has a "we have to stop the blue laser" finale. What was the most recent superhero movie to have this finale? Oh, Fant4stic? Hmmmm.
What's so irritating is there is a good film hidden somewhere in here, at least I hope. It is very clear that WB is to blame for how much of a clusterfuck it is. If you have the time, read online how many scenes were cut out. They include: A tragic backstory for Killer Croc, a Joker and Batman fight, more development of Slipknot, a love triangle, Boomerang being much more of a depraved maniac, Joker abusing Harley, and a climatic final battle between Deadshot and Joker. As it stands now though, Suicide Squad is an absolute mess that has no idea what it wants to be. It's a mediocre cosplay fan film, it's an excellent 2 hour Hot Topic commercial, but as a way to "recover" the DC universe by trying to go in a more Marvel direction, looks like the joke is on Warner Bros.