Bottom-Line: It’s not perfect but it doesn’t deserve the slamming from critics. Entertaining throughout and should satisfy fans of comic books/Suicide Squad.
If you haven’t seen a quick review with extended talk before, the first portion will be the quick review that’s almost spoiler-free. Below (and clearly marked) will be the extended portion where I’ll talk about basically anything I remembered (so spoiler alert) that I liked/disliked of the film.
First thing – did I like the movie? Yes. Did it have flaws? Definitely. But it didn’t deserve the bashing by critics (and I don’t think that Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score is correct at all). Harley, Deadshot, Rick, Amanda, and Diablo were probably the best/developed characters of the film. There were a few issues here and there but overall their backstory and ties to the current setting of being part of the squad works. Although Boomerang and June had some backstory, it could’ve been improved. Boomerang served as great comedic relief (and of course Harley and surprisingly Deadshot) and I think Jai portrayed his dirtbag attitude well. Cara as June worked well but Cara as Enchantress did not…As for the romantic subplot between June and Rick, I actually thought it worked fine – my issue was the script for them at a couple points (ex. the first subway scene). My biggest issue with Enchantress is her story was very underdeveloped. I would’ve preferred a sequel with her being the big bad (that way this film could set up her up better) and this movie focused on another (smaller) villain (and the development of the squad becoming an actual team). Margot, as reviews/fans say, kills it as Harley and surprisingly has some depth to her character – despite being batshit crazy. Deadshot’s backstory served well and I think Will actually did great in the role. Amanda Waller is a bad ass and I wished there was more promotion of her character because she clearly has a big role in the film. She’s cold, gives no crap, and is certainly “a mean lady.” Viola kills it in the role – I just can’t fully wrap my head, however, on why she thought keeping the Enchantress (an entity whose full power is clearly unknown) instead of ridding her was a good idea. Now for Rick, I was surprised at the depth of his character. I thought it was messed up Waller purposely had Rick keep watch over June/Enchantress because she knew they would get personal – but it adds to her coldness. I had a couple problems with Rick’s comments to June (I blame the script) and the end scene with Enchantress could’ve been better portrayed. Diablo had a surprising amount of backstory to his character that was great but could’ve been better portrayed because I felt some of the emotional depth was lost. I was pretty disappointed at the lack of Killer Croc and Katana screen time – they suffered the most (along with Slipknot but as everyone guessed, he **SPOILER** died pretty early on). I also had trouble figuring out what Croc was even saying half the time – I’m going to have to watch it again. He’s intimidating but everything I read in interviews of his backstory didn’t even make it in the movie. I was very much looking forward to Katana but there just wasn’t much to her other than being Rick’s bodyguard with a soul-trapping sword.
Overall, the film is entertaining. I think it is very clear there were two directions the film could’ve gone – Ayer vs WB’s vision. The blasts of color in the beginning when introducing the squad didn’t work for me at all and I think the darker version of this film (Ayer’s vision?) should’ve been the way to go. It would’ve still had the comedic moments, that’s clearly part of that same vision. It’s the electric/fun display that isn’t working. The soundtrack didn’t fit in many parts (I’ll have to watch it again to point out what did work) but I loved the score when it was actually there. For the constant talk about how the film was bad guys vs evil, that wasn’t clearly portrayed in the final product. The bad guys part worked, the basic plot of Waller assembling a task force that she can control for under the radar work worked, but the involvement of this big evil was messy and unclear. The film is good, better than the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman certainly a different taste of the DC universe, it just suffers from an underdeveloped villain and clear storyline.
IMDb: 7.2/10 (users)
Rotten Tomatoes: % (critics) % (users)
The first thing I really want to talk about are the cameos and mid-credits scene. So first the cameo people didn’t see coming (although I guessed it when they did reshoots) – The Flash. He’s in there for only Boomerang’s capture, like 5 seconds, but it was awesome. The more I see Ezra as Flash, the more I like him (I was rooting for him when he was first cast and its grown significantly since). And yes, Ben is Batman in the film. People were confused he wasn’t and it was just his stunt double but it’s clearly him. I wanted more interaction, however, with the Joker and Batman but it was still awesome to see him go after him and Harley. As for the Harley Quinn jester costume cameo/easter egg? Loved that we actually got to see her in it. It’s simply part of her backstory and I don’t think we’ll ever see her wear it, which is fine, but I thought it was great for the fans of the original/first incarnation of Harley. Now for the mid-credits, it’s a great scene to set up for Justice League. It was also awesome to see Bruce and Amanda in the same room together – chills if you like this dynamic!
So the beginning of the film saw Waller proposing her task force plans to a couple government guys and here we get a bunch of back stories to the members she plans to use. I wasn’t too crazy on choosing soundtrack over score, I personally prefer maybe two to three songs in a movie total from a soundtrack, but the introductions to the characters worked. Waller was going over their files, why not actually show scenes? I liked the style, wasn’t crazy over the bubble-gum explosion of colors they did. But overall it’s a good setup to the film and to its main players.
Later, the story leads to an actual meeting with the two government men who was with Waller, proposing her idea. June does her little magic trick to further sell Waller’s case. Her transformation into Enchantress was pretty cool and creepy but just overall, Cara as Enchantress didn’t work for me. She was fine as June, I liked her as June, but she was awkward to watch as Enchantress. I also didn’t like the fact they used someone else’s voiceover when she evolves (lol sounds like a Pokemon). Either let Cara voice the character, transform her in a different way, or just use a different actress with the voice. It wasn’t working for me. This is my big issue with the movie – her role as a villain was messy and underdeveloped. 1) Why did June, an archaeologist who should know about handling artifacts, BREAK THE FUCKING ARTIFACT. It would’ve made sense if the Enchantress entity whispered her to it but I didn’t hear anything. Perhaps that suffered with cuts. 2) Why did Waller think keeping an entity under her control, whose power she didn’t fully understand (the binder was “all they could find”), was a good idea? 3) So Enchantress and Incubus was once worshipped as gods (makes sense given the archaeological finding) but why destroy the world? That needed to be cleared up desperately. They said, I believe, that humans now worship machines instead of them – so destroy everyone and be malevolent? Again, Enchantress and Incubus needed a better storyline, one I think could’ve worked if they used this film to set her up as the villain in a sequel. And, we could’ve seen a better, emotional development for the audience of Rick and June’s relationship.
Back to Waller – we see task force being assembled/tested/injected with neck bombs. It’s basic in that we’ve seen it in trailers and we know what goes down – they’re being prepped to be puppets for Waller out there. What lacks, however is a clear mission for the squad. Yes, Flag purposely didn’t want the team to know but it left the audience going ?? As for seeing the team actually go to work, it was entertaining and awesome to watch. Their fight scenes against Enchantress’ “eyes” was exciting to watch. And seeing Deadshot take charge over the bad guys, in that they need Rick alive in order for them to live, and shooting all the eyes while on top of the car was fun (I need more adjectives) to watch. It explains a bit in the film why Deadshot doesn’t wear his mask but Harley calling him (and later the rest) pussies was hilarious. A lot of people take his and Harley’s interaction romantically and although I see it as a bit flirtatious, it was a simple relationship to me and I was fine with that.
Oh Joker. Jared Leto shared that a lot of his scenes were cut from the film. I don’t think they did enough. Now before you scream at me, there’s was just one scene I had issue with – Joker gunning the force to rescue Harley. They could’ve completely eliminated what I found an unimportant scene. The ending where Joker breaks in to get Harley would’ve been fine by me. Of course, the beginning with him being in her backstory (and the ACE chemicals scene) was fine along with his scene with Griggs, but I just found his scene attempting to get back Harley and then seemingly “die” (he didn’t) was just unnecessary to the plot. As for advertising/promos, I really wish they cut back on the Joker for it and instead focus on aspects of the movie that was much more prominent. I’ve seen complaints about the relationship between the Joker and Harley and his abusiveness toward her but I want to point this out – this is the first time they’re in this universe, the first time we see this pair in live-action. The movie did fine hinting towards his abusive, twisted control over Harley and we can definitely see hints of Harleen still there – which makes me believe that if a sequel occurs, we’ll see her realize her worth and she’s not a thing for Joker to abuse. But just talking Jared’s performance in the role, I thought he was great. There wasn’t much to see to really judge him as the clown prince but I think there’s a promising future for him hopefully in a Batman solo. Now for Harley. There isn’t much too say because it’s simple – I thought Margot did great in the role and she proved to be a great yet complex character. I loved that you can see hints of Harleen still in there and I think that’ll be developed more in the future along with herself distancing from the Joker. She may be crazy but she certainly knows where she stands in the world and how they view her and the squad. She might be bad but you can’t help but feel empathy. I’m hoping that spin-off female ensemble with Harley will actually happen! One complaint I have is towards the female characters of the film – what’s with the outfits? Amanda’s was fine, Harley is passable given her character, but what of Enchantress and Katana? Meanwhile the men are fully clothed. If a sequel happens, hopefully this changes up.
I thought the action sequences of the film was great and especially liked Deadshot’s scene on the car, the squad formation around Flag, and the final battle. Although I didn’t care for the villain(s), it was cool to see the squad attempt to figure out a way to end Enchantress’ destruction. I also thought Enchantress’ disappearance act while fighting the squad was pretty cool. It was also neat that Ayer put Waller in the action as well, despite being immobile for most of it.
Now just on the film itself – I didn’t think there was anything really special on its making. The cinematography was good, shots were good, direction good, and editing was alright. Nothing really stood out to me in this aspect of the film. The CG, wherever it was, was surprisingly good but I loved Ayer’s use of practical effects. My biggest problem was the lack of emotional pulls where it should’ve been. You can tell when a scene is supposed to make you feel something but it just didn’t come through. For example, el Diablo’s backstory and sacrifice. I liked his character but his backstory of why he doesn’t want to use his abilities again just doesn’t pull emotionally. It’s a complicated backstory but either the direction or the acting just didn’t do it justice. It was still upsetting to see him go (?) but could’ve been so much heavier.
That’s it on my thoughts of the film. Let me know what you thought of Suicide Squad!