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Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

Hello all. This review initially started out as a small little segment in my What I’ve Watched Lately #1 blog. Then I started remembering the movie, and writing, and it just kept going. Turns out I had found a movie I was passionate enough about to write a full review and I didn’t even know. Lucky me, right? So now you guys get a full length review/discussion about Suicide Squad. Lucky you? Read on and find out.

I finally got around to watching Suicide Squad. When the trailers for this movie came out I got excited. This one had potential to break the superhero movie mold and give us something different in that genre for a change. It has a solid cast and a director, David Ayers, known for darker, grittier movies. I thought this might have a chance to be DC’s version of Marvel’s Deadpool or Guardians of the Galaxy; Something that feels different. A comic book movie that embraces its zaniness and has fun with itself. At the very least, I thought this could be DC’s first decent movie since The Dark Knight in 2008. . . . I was wrong!

Suicide Squad centers around a group of villains from the DC universe who are assembled to fight the ever growing threat of “meta humans”. This movie has it moments. It has parts that work, it has characters that work, it just can’t bring everything together to make a cohesive, enjoyable movie. Instead of being the renegade super hero movie that breaks the mold and goes against the “rules” of the superhero genre, it settles for formulaic and becomes another copy-paste comic book movie that seems to come fresh off the superhero formula assembly line.

The first (of many) problem with Suicide Squad is the group it centers around. This group is supposed to fight super powered “meta humans”. The inspiration for the group came from the question, “What if Superman wasn’t on our side? How would we fight him?” The answer; The Suicide Squad. They can send this group to fight the super villain. If the Suicide Squad succeeds, the people who formed it are geniuses; If they fail, the Suicide Squad takes the fall and is sent back to their prisons to rot for the rest of their lives. The concept is interesting, the execution; not so much. Half of the Squad members don’t even have super powers or abilities. How the hell are these the people you chose to fight a supervillain?! Let’s go through the list:

CAPTAIN BOOMERANG (Jai Courtney, you might recognize him as the guy who ruined TWO amazing franchises by doing Terminator: Genysis and A Good Day to Die Hard):

Gee, I wonder what this character nobody’s ever heard of does? If you guessed throw really sharp boomerangs with deadly accuracy, You were right. . . . Or I was wrong and you have heard of him. Either way this guy is lame and way under qualified to be fighting super villains. What is a boomerang going to do to Superman? Literally nothing, and that’s basically what he does in this movie.

DEADSHOT (Will Smith):

I know what you’re thinking, “That just sounds like the other guy, except he shoots people instead of throwing a boomerang, but that can’t be right.” Well it is right. He just an assassin. That’s it. He’s a guy who kills regular human being and shoots super accurately. . . pretty SUPER useless when it comes to fighting a meta human.

HARLEY QUINN (Margot Robbie):

This one is more worthless than the last two! She is just a crazy lady. She’s not even super good at anything like shooting or boomeranging. I guess she’s ok at hitting people with a mallet or a baseball bat. The closest thing she has to a super power is looking super hot in shorty shorts. I honestly don’t know what her role is on this team or what they think she is going to do against a super human. . . maybe distract them with her shorts and her crazy talk.

RICK FLAG (Joel Kinneman):

He’s just a military guy. He does nothing. This guy is vanilla ice cream without sprinkles kind of boring. NEXT!

KILLER CROC (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje):

Whoa, he’s kind of cool looking; Scales all over his body, sharp teeth, he’s gotta have some cool powers, right? Nope. He’s just a REALLY good swimmer. He’s basically an ugly reptile version of Aquaman. Pretty worthless considering their mission is in the middle of Gotham City. Oh what’d you say, director and screenwriter David Ayer? There’s a bomb that needs to be diffused, and it just happens to be in the subway tunnels, and the tunnels just happens to be flooded and submerged in water? Well that’s convenient!. . . . . and lazy writing. They had to write a stupid plot device in order for this worthless, scale covered crocodile turd to have something to do!

DIABLO (Jay Hernandez):

FINALLY!!! Somebody with super powers, somebody who could actually hold his own in a fight with a super human since he IS one. I bet he will do a bunch of cool stuff and make this mission a whole lot easier. WRONG AGAIN! This guy, the only one of the bunch with an actual power, refuses to use that power because he doesn’t like hurting people!! David Ayers want us to believe it’s because he lost control in his past and accidentally killed his wife and kid. You’re not fooling me, Ayers. I know the real reason; He won’t use his powers because if he did, he would just kill everyone, they would breeze through the mission, and it would become painfully obvious how useless the other members are!

There they are folks. The Suicide Squad. The group of people the government has assembled to save the world from super villains. You know, just in case the ACTUAL superheroes are too busy to deal with the enemy like in this movie.

There are SO many more problems with this movie. The plot is a jumbled mess filled with too many flashbacks and subplots that exist only to please fan boys (ooh look it’s Batman YAY. Hey cool, Joker is in this movie YAY!). They couldn’t decide on a tone; They hired David Ayer to make a gritty, dark movie about psychopathic murderers the government uses to accomplish dangerous missions, but that’s not fun, and you can’t sell that to the kiddos, so let’s make it sarcastic and colorful like like a teenager who thinks they’re edgy because they shop at Hot Topic.

Speaking of Hot Topic, what’s up with The Joker?! I know Jared Leto had some HUGE shoes to fill following in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, and I understand that he couldn’t just rehash the same stuff those two did with the character, but what the hell is THIS Joker? This guy looks like he works at Hot Topic but, like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas, as far back as he can remember, he always wanted to be a gangster. To achieve that dream of his, he gets a bunch of weird tattoos, throws in some "sweet" silver teeth, dyes his hipster haircut green, and frequents night clubs wearing a leather jacket (hold the undershirt please. Cool guys don’t wear shirts, just jackets). I can tell Leto tried and I commend him for going where he did to create his own version of this character. I just think he failed. He feels like he is trying WAY too hard every time he is on the screen.

I don’t want to be unfairly harsh to this movie so I’ll admit there are some things that are done well. Mostly, the characters. “But you JUST said all the characters are dumb and useless!!” Yes, I did. . . And they are, but only in the context in which they are presented. When you tell me these are the people you picked to battle super humans, I’m not buying it. It doesn’t make sense. But, if you put these characters in their own movies, something on a smaller scale where they fight within their weight class and deal with real human beings instead of super humans, I would watch those movies. (Ok that only applies to Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. All the rest are just plain stupid or boring in any context). The relationship between the characters works for the most part and some of the jokes and banter are fun.

Also, some of the action scenes are pretty cool, and by “some of the action scenes”, I mean the scenes with Deadshot. As much as a guy who shoots guns wouldn’t stand a chance against superhumans, I will admit this dude is BADASS! He is the best at what he does and he knows it. Smith plays the character with cockiness blended with some Fresh Prince charm and swagger. Smith as Deadshot works perfectly, nearly as perfect as Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and I would love to see a standalone Deadshot movie to let Smith explore the character deeper.

Overall, this is another DC Comics movie that has tons of potential but fails to deliver in the worst way possible. It feels like writer/director Ayers had a lot of cool ideas for the characters, and some cool scenes involving the characters, but he couldn’t figure out how to write a script to bring all of that together in a way that makes any sense at all. Nothing meshes well. As much as this movie wants to be a game changing, edgy, rebellious, toss the rules out the window type of movie, it just ends up being just another factory line comic book movie that checks every box of the comic book formula. There’s nothing new to see here, and it doesn’t do the stuff we’ve seen before well enough (or fun enough) to warrant a viewing. Unless you are a comic book movie die hard, pass on this one.

RATING: 3 out of 10

Sorry to disappoint you guys. . . . Wait, I didn’t disappoint. . . That review was awesome(I hope)! So I guess what I really mean is, I’m sorry DC disappointed you YET AGAIN. This one had potential, as most of their movies do, but once again the execution was poor. Or maybe I’m wrong, and I’m just a curmudgeonly old man yelling at Suicide Squad to “GET OFF MY LAWN”. Either way, leave a message in the comment section. What did you think about this movie? What was I right about (hopefully something)? What was I wrong about (probably lots)? Let me know what you have watched lately, let me know what I should watch, let me know what you want to read about next. As always thank you for reading!

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