Suicide Squad was a movie that at the start of the year I wasn’t all that hyped for. But as the months went past and the marketing started to kick in, a week before the movie I was completely pumped to see it. Fast forward a week later however, and we were faced with negative reviews from the critics, a fan petition to take down Rotten Tomatoes and director David Ayer having to come out to defend his movie. I’d be lying if I said that all these external influences didn’t play into how a viewed this film.
I’ll start by talking about the things I really liked about this film, in which there was so many of for me. I thought the characters were outstanding for the most part. Bar a few which I will touch on later, I thought the way the characters were cast and written was really close to spot on. What they did which I really enjoyed is wrote to cater the cast. Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and surprisingly Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang were all standouts for me personally. I thought they all had their roles to play as the leader, the whacky one, the controller and the comedic relief respectively and they all nailed them. However, I think my favourite character was Jay Hernandez as Diablo. I thought they way they fleshed him out as a character throughout the movie was perfect. His scene in the bar where he tells his story was by far the most emotional point of the film and was one of the stand out scenes of the movie.
What the characters did the best that for the most part is what I liked most about the film was the chemistry they all had together as a group and in smaller pairs. I thought the Suicide Squad itself worked together fantastic. Rick Flag worked perfectly with the group and perfectly as Amanda Waller’s personal slave. The relationship between Harley Quinn and The Joker, who I thought was very underused, was fantastic and is the relationship that I felt I wanted so much more of.
As most people know by now, there is two major cameos from Justice League members and I thought they were really well done and well used. We got to see Batman do what he does best by throwing a few punches down with Deadshot and car jumping onto the Joker and Harley’s car. We then got to see our first ever look at Ezra Miller’s Flash in action (I’m still not counting the CT vision) and he looked amazing.The after credit scene too was great as it did what Marvel has done well with their credit scenes in how they use them to further the cinematic world.
Now to the negatives. Personally, while I understand that for the most part, film is up to opinion, there was just some things that for me was straight out bad film making. I thought some of the editing and shoot selection of some of the scenes was just awful. When the squad get into their first fight with the round headed things, it is shoot in a very dark setting, which I didn’t at all mind. But when thy do scenes like this, they need to make sure as the audience we can actually see what’s happening. At times it was so dark mixed in with the dark figures made it extremely hard to follow what was going on. There was another moment again with the editing was the ending where Harley appears to be giving into Enchantress and they have a quick shot to the sword. Up until that moment, I was going along with her buying into a new life with the Joker but once it cut to the sword, it blew the surprise they were building up to.
Something that for me was a massive negative, because of what was happening outside of the film itself, was to do with something David Ayer said in response the the critics. Like Synder, he said this film was made of the fans. I knew this going into the movie and I think it effected how I saw some things in the film. My knowledge of the Suicide Squad is limited with the bulk of it coming from the CW’s version of the Suicide Squad. The problems I ran into with this was there were things such as Amanda Waller and a name drop of ARGUS that I knew all about and understood who and what they were. To someone who didn’t know this stuff, I thought overall it didn’t leave them confused. However there’s a flip side to this where things happen where if you are a fan and know what is going on, it annoys you because it isn’t true to the basic source material. There was two major examples of this. One was how they called the Suicide Squad a team of metahumans. As a fan, I know that Diablo and Killer Croc are the only one’s considered as metahumans. The second example of this is when they make it appear that the Joker dies, who himself was someone who you had to have previous knowledge of to understand who he was. But when they staged his death, another who has the slighted idea of the who the Joker is, knows they aren’t going to kill of the biggest DC villain after very limited screen time. To me, I really had a problem with Ayer coming out saying this is for the fans and not the critics but then tries to just slide things past you as a viewer.
Something else that I thought real made this film suffer was the trailers. As we know, the trailers were outstanding and sold us on this being the first lighter, funnier DC film, which I was okay with. But what happened is, all the lighter, funnier parts throughout the whole film was shown in the trailer. On top of that, there were so many scenes in the trailers that I was looking forward to seeing in the film but we never actually got. When they are trying to sell us on this film, it was disappointing not to see them in the film themselves.
The music is something that has really split the audience. I think we can all agree the songs themselves are fantastic, but I thought at points there were poorly used. I agree that there were some scenes where the music was perfect, my favourite one was Harley Quinn fighting in the elevator. But there there was other scenes such as Eminem where I just felt out of place. There were moments where they used score and I felt that I was more invested into those scenes where when they used music at points I was completely taken out.
Finally, the villain. I feel that this was by far the only thing that everyone seems to be onboard with. She was awful. While that first reveal of Enchantress with the hands flipping over was by far one of my favourite scenes of the whole film, she was just such a weak villain. Honestly, if a weak villain was the only major problem with this movie, I’d be able to look over it but it is, and because of that, for me it was that nail in the coffin that took this movie from being a really good movie to a, it was just alright.
Overall, while I’ve dished out a lot of negative on it, I had fun with this movie. I’m someone who sits on the side that really loved the dynamics of the team and loved everything about the Suicide Squad itself, but the story, villain and some of the directing choices really let the film as a whole down. With reports now coming out that there is another version of this film floating around somewhere, which seems to be something the the DC films are starting to have in common. Like I mentioned, there were many scenes from the trailers that didn’t appear in the film which I really want to see, so hopefully, there is going to be some form of ultimate edition on the Blu Ray like BvS. On a side note though, this is my favourite theatrical DCEU and this was one of those situations like BvS where it was expectation verse reality.