Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

Aggressively mediocre movie about mall goths versus a horde of CG, positioned, both in-universe and in reality, as a stopgap while Warner/DC spins up its Justice League skunkworks. Even by that modest benchmark, Suicide Squad is inadequate: half agreeable time-waster, half utter waste of time.

This movie elaborates on the tacked-on PowerPoint-meets-YouTube backstory dossiers from Batman v Superman, turning them into a highlight, but only in comparison to the render farm sizzle reel substituted for a main plot. The actors are all fine in their roles; Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Will Smith are better than that, or at least have more screen time and character development to play with. But the movie has nothing to offer besides getting the team together, and nothing for the team to do once they are together.

David Ayer has a tendency to bring out my more reactionary impulses. I can't think of an Ayer movie that wouldn't be improved by having one of his scummy antiheroes take a bullet in the back of the head, but that's the primary charm of a sociopathic shit-show like Sabotage. The need for Suicide Squad to be a PG-13 movie with vaguely sympathetic leads means that Ayer, the king of toxic masculinity, has to pussy out, and it shows. The result is still morally repugnant, but not in an interesting way.

[DC Extended Universe, ranked]

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