Stephen Robert Smith’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think it's safe to say that the DC movie universe haven't exactly been plain sailing thus far and there was a lot riding on the success of 'Suicide Squad' both critically and commercially, especially after the way 'Batman v Superman' divided audiences. That film took some very bold and strange creative choices whilst trying to create a good foundation to build this franchise on (the extended cut, in my option is much better). But having said that, the marketing for 'Suicide Squad' was fantastic and did a great job of getting me excited for what was to come, it looked bright, fun and lots of action.
From the offset it was nice being introduced to this bunch of misfits characters, some of which I wasn't familiar with beforehand. The title cards at the beginning were lots of fun and did it's job explaining who everyone was, I'm still not sure why the film didn't open with this, instead decided to opening with a couple of out of place shots features Harley Quinn and Deadshot, it didn't need this and was left questioning even more about who was editing this. Editing has been a problem in the past for DC movies and it seems to have carried on into 'Suicide Squad', this is a problem than can be easily fixed, but doesn't seem to be addressed.
This is probably the most comic book movie in the DCU so far, everything from the characters origins, the weapons and the vast amount of colour that's spread across the screen in all its glory. This really makes 'Suicide Squad' stand out on its own and make it feel a little different whilst still being part of a much bigger plan.
The actors do a great job, well the ones who are given enough screen time to make an impression do. This was always going to be a very Will Smith centric story, he's your star, the name, he's the money, but he does a pretty good job, sure he's being the most Will Smith he's been for sometime but that's what he's there for and that's what he was brought on to do. Margot Robbie is certainly the stand out here and does a fantastic job of bringing Harley Quinn to life, she loses herself in the role and will definitely make you see her in a new light. After that the rest are sort of lost in the shuffle, this was always going to be a risk with so many characters and a pretty limited running time, Joel Kinnarman, Jai Courtney, Scott Eastwood and Viola Davis all do fine with what their given but they are left to fight over the scraps, and yes this includes Jared Leto as well.
There was a lot of pressure on not just Jared Leto but the filmmakers as well to try and create something both different and unique with a character that has been seen many times before and played by many top quality actors both live action and animated. I personally liked the casting choice, I thought Leto would surprise a lot of people, he's the kind of actor that can lose himself in a role and create something very creepy indeed. Unfortunately the only thing surprising was how little he was in the film, you had to expect this was only going to be a small role from the start and they were saving him for other movies, more likely a Batman solo film, but this was ridiculous. I can certainly why Leto is angry at how the film turned out, it looks like he was led to believe he was going to have a much bigger role, dedicating a good six months of his life to creating this persona only to find out he didn't make the cut and was only in a handful of scenes. Even the scenes that remand could still be removed and the movie would still run the same. The whole thing seem like a wasted opportunity. Will Leto be back? I'm not sure.
Not having the Joker as the bad guy was fine, but with this absence there isn't really a villain to speak of which leaves the third act falling a little flat and ending up being a GCI fest with not much going on expect bright lights and blue beams. It really struggles to get over the finish line and ends with more of a whimper than a bang.
'Suicide Squad' does a good job of fleshing out the DC universe, adding 'new' characters and trying something different, and it has to be applauded for that. Not as good as I was hoping but not nearly as bad as I had heard, the action was solid with some really impressive scenes mostly involving Deadshot. I think this takes another step closer to finally have one well made, coherent DC film.