Suicide Squad Review: A Disappointing Effort

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
August 3rd, 2016

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Suicide Squad
Price:
Disappointing

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On August 3, 2016
Last modified:August 5, 2016

Summary:

Suicide Squad is a disappointing effort, which provides thrills but just fails at delivering the genre changing picture advertised in the build-up.

Review of: Suicide Squad
Price:
Disappointing

Reviewed by:
Rating:

2
On August 3, 2016
Last modified:August 5, 2016

Summary:

Suicide Squad is a disappointing effort, which provides thrills but just fails at delivering the genre changing picture advertised in the build-up.

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Suicide Squad, one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, gathers the best of DC's worst on the big screen! Our Jordan Samuel provides the official ComiConverse review.

This year has been quite disappointing for DC's Cinematic Universe (DCEU). With the poor reception of Batman v Superman, all eyes are now on the Suicide Squad. Arguably the most hyped comic book movie in years, Suicide Squad brings fan-favourite characters into the DCEU; with Deadshot, Harley Quinn and The Joker, just to name a few.

Warner Bros. are banking on this franchise to put their DC movies back on track. The trailers showed a more fun take on the genre with colourful themes. David Ayer helms the project, which has been in everyone's heads for months with the insane marketing campaign. Social media hype has been unreal and has already surpassed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I always loved the Suicide Squad concept, manly because it gave the DC villains something to do. So when it was announced, Warner Bros. were developing a movie, I was interested because it could be the film that puts them back on parity with Marvel Entertainment.

David Ayer is known for his take on character acting, pushing actors to the max, so there was lots to be excited about.

That's what made me so excited for the Squad. Cast members: Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne and Jai Courtney all have told stories about events on set. How could this not be a smash hit?

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But does the film live up to expectations, or is it another dud from the DC studio?

Find out as we review the most anticipated comic book movie in years - Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

A secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency and saving the world from an unknown but powerful threat.

Suicide Squad is a fun, but ultimately disappointing, adaptation of the source material, filled with so much wasted potential. David Ayer attempts to inject some much-needed fun into the DCEU, after the operatic take on Batman v Superman, but forgets to make a movie that will appeal to everyone.

The film is an improvement from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but not by much. It fails in the pacing and overall story departments. Ayer gives it the old college try by producing a solid film based on some of the more villainous characters in the DC Comics line-up. Harley Quinn, in particular, steals the show in each scene. We can tell Ayer loves the characters, but lacks the charm and insight needed to lift these larger-than-life villains onto the big screen. In the end, its a messy final product that fails at doing anything new.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted this movie to excel in reviving the DCEU. But after seeing this film, I cannot help but feel disappointed.

David's take on the Suicide Squad tackles some cool themes like good, evil and antiheroes, but lacks anything to differentiate it from the growing batch of superhero pictures that we have been taking in for years now. I did enjoy his colourful take on these specific characters though, with Harley Quinn being my favourite. Her lines always hit the right note.

Being known for his unique characterization in movies, one gets the impression that Suicide Squad represented a much larger challenge for David Ayer.

The squad feels functional, even if the script does not connect them smoothly. I love the dynamic between each member, something that could have been explored a lot more; instead they are often sidelined for unnecessary moments with a terrible villain.

Suicide Squad

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Suicide Squad picks up straight after Batman v Superman, as Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. Amanda Waller who is portrayed by Viola Davis, is basically a complete adaptation of the character from various other media forms. Waller has often been featured in both comics and in various animated series. I enjoyed her role in the picture, even though her character's goals and motivations weren't necessarily explored in depth.

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Cruel in her intentions, Amanda Waller was well cast, but you get the sense Davis lacks the menace Waller portrays in her other media appearances.

Will Smith play's mercenary Deadshot, the marksman and assassin, who's known for his deadly accuracy. Smith is in his element in the film, providing his most down-to-earth role in quite some time. He updates the character with a cheeky attitude, something that I really preferred with compared to his other iterations.

(Mild Spoilers Ahead)

David Ayer's writing just limits Smith from taking over the movie, as the Deadshot character did in Batman: Assault on Arkham. Hopefully DC will invest in getting the character into Batman's solo picture. Deadshot has potential, but the film didn't really give him the chance to shine.

Suicide Squad

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Margot Robbie steals the show as Harley Quinn, she is crazy and so much fun to behold in this picture. Robbie robs the other squad member's of their own moments, which is perhaps understandable, it just sucks that the film she stars in doesn't click well in the end. David Ayer gifts us with the character's origin piece in Suicide Squad, something I wish could have been done in a solo picture, as it felt like an incredible story that could have justified its own film.

Margot Robbie is a force to reckoned with but, she is forced to the sidelines for the Joker. I did have issues with the overly sexual nature of her dialogue, coming off sometimes as cheesy sexualized fan-fiction. Harley Quinn, as a whole, is the best of this picture, and hopefully someone at Warner Bros. can develop a franchise around her before it's too late.

Joel Kinnaman is the worst element of this film. He feels so generic as Rick Flagg, which is not surprising as few have cared about the character before. Kinnaman should have been recast, because he just lacks the charisma needed for a black ops agent.

Rick Flagg's story had potential, but David Ayer felt the need to present us with a generic hero-type instead. Flagg could have been the commanding force, but he just feels like an afterthought when all of these other characters have so much personality.

Kinnaman should stay away from superhero pictures, and stick to small TV roles, because he was terrible here. Jai Courtney plays Boomerang the ridiculous villain who uses deadly weapons (Boomerangs) to cause trouble, Jai is back again with his signature wooden delivery.

Boomerang gets his moments with some good comedic timing, but ends up feeling very two-dimensional, even though his love for unicorns made me chuckle. Ayer just makes Digger a wasted part of the Squad, who is only there to provide the laughs during the two-hour runtime.

Jai is fine, but really could have done much more in the picture.

Jay Hernadez and Adawale play both Killer Croc and El Diablo. I won't go deeply into their roles, as one is very scarcely used, while the other will spoil the entire film. Just expect some very mediocre characters, who really don't add anything to the already mixed-up team.

the-joker

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Now on to the most talked about role in the film, which gives us a new take on a beloved character. Jared Leto plays the infamous Joker, who is used very sparingly, but is quite good in the role. One scene in particular being quite unsettling.

A more comic book accurate take on the character, Leto's Joker provides a different interpretation on the role, which has been a recurring one in cinema for decades and in comics for the last  75 years. I liked the master criminal version shown in the film, hopefully we'll see him again because this take is one of the most comic accurate seen on film.

Ayer brings out the best version of the character in a while, but Leto never surpasses the legacy of Heath Ledger's The Dark Knight performance. To me, Ledger remains the benchmark. The Joker is okay in the picture, his role is MacGuffin for Harley Quinn's origin which limits Leto's screen time.

Ayer's writing is quite disappointing for the character, because it never let Leto have room to do his thing. The romance between him and Harley was so poorly executed, because neither one of the actors had a connection - it also was very childish.

I would have preferred Joker to be more like his comic version during the relationship, instead of this very silly teenage romance seen in the picture.

All in all I hope we see more Joker in the solo Batman movie, because this was quite disappointing for his first appearance in the DCEU. Let's pray the Warner Bros. will adapt A Death in The Family in 2019 so we can see Leto act his ass off

The action in the film is decent, but never really reaches anything overly original or surprising. I also could see the budget constraints coming through in the final act which featured some dodgy looking CGI effects. Editing was also a problem in these scenes, with some quick cuts ruining what could have been a perfect fight scene towards the end. This really detracted from the action-heavy expectations set-up in the trailers.

Music was good but certain songs did feel a bit unnecessary, Ayer did something similar to what was found in Guardians of the Galaxy for the 90's kids instead. Eminem and Queen are played thought the 2 hour run-time - which added to the fun tone

In the end, Suicide Squad is fun, but ultimately a disappointing effort for the DCEU.  It has some strong ideas with the Squad dynamic being interesting, but it just stumbles on screen. Ayer might have to take a break from big budget films making after this project.

This has really has gotten me worried for the future of this studio, which has produced underwhelming results for two feature films in a row. I am forever optimistic and will flock to the cinema as a fan of these characters, until some day we get a DC film that will rock in every aspect

Perhaps Wonder Woman will be the saviour? Only time will tell I guess.

Have you seen Suicide Squad?  What was your take on the film?

Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Jordan Samuel is a Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel

Suicide Squad

  • 2

Disappointing

Suicide Squad is a disappointing effort, which provides thrills but just fails at delivering the genre changing picture advertised in the build-up.

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