Review: SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)

By Darin Skaggs

 

What a glorious mess that the DC cinematic universe is turning out to be. The first two, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, were confusing plot wise and just plain bad movies. Because of his flawed body of work, I blamed these stinkers on the director, Zach Snyder. With the new film in the DC world, Suicide Squad, I had hope for a decent, if not great comic book movie. The director of this project, David Ayer made Sabotage with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which was pretty good. He also made Fury which got a decent amount of praise during its initial run. As I left the theater after viewing this film I found myself just as confused with plot details and character motivation as I was with the two Snyder movies. It was clear to me almost immediately that the three movies are heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the studio which makes it another disappointment and flawed outcome of a hopeful series.

In Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) puts together a team of criminals which include perfect shooter Deadshot (Will Smith), madwoman and girlfriend to the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), fire shooter Diablo (Jay Hernandez), literal crocodile man Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and guy who uses boomerang to rob and fight guy, Boomerang (Jai Courtney). There is also archeologist June Moone (Cara Delevingne) who is possessed by a witch named Enchantress who is also initially part of the group, but goes rouge, releases her evil brother from his slumber and raises an odd army to take over the world. This is when the squad is called in to go stop her, with little information they head into potential battle.

The plot is worthless. It does not make a lick of sense. The group is claimed to be enforced by Enchantress before she goes rouge because Waller has her heart and therefor controls her. She does this by stabbing the heart with a pencil by the way. Instead Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is watching them making sure they behave, ready to blow the bombs that have been inserted into their neck. The first half hour of the movie is dedicated to introducing the main characters. They all get stylized title cards describing “fun” facts about them. Even after a lengthy set-up, when the squad is finally together we get more characters introduced. Katana (Karen Fukuhara) comes in saying she is “Sorry she is late” and getting a quick flashback scene. She does nearly nothing for the rest of the movie. We also get Slipknot (Adam Beach) who is part of the bad people group, but does not get his own intro. Can you guess who will get killed off? That is his only purpose, to prove that the squad can be killed and will be killed if need be. The script has no concern with being good or making sense. The editing is so spotty for most of the film. I would blame the studio needing set up for the next few films, but I really do not see much to be excited for. There are clearly moments of added lines, like Deadshot telling his commander to go show the witch who is boss or lines that are cut like poor Jared Leto as The Joker.

The lack of motivation and development with the characters is no diss on the actors. The performances are really trying, you see it in certain scenes. The cut scenes probably make real characters and I give the actors most of that responsibility. Others are trying a bit too hard at times. Leto, again maybe his character makes more sense in some edit of the film, is a disaster here. He is no longer chewing the scenery, he has gobbled it up and it is somewhere in his small intestine. The real sad part about this movie is unlike its predecessor Man of Steel and most of all Batman v Superman, this movie is not very interesting. At least the other two were fascinating disasters, almost giving off a so-bad-it-is-good quality. This one is dull, boring and even just lame. There is no good fight scene, the jokes fall flat and characters, as I said are not up to par. Suicide Squad is a mess, and a lackluster one. I cannot wait to forget about this film.

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