Suicide Squad is the third and latest entry into the DCEU, and is about a bunch of bad guys that are rounded up to fight for someone else. And just like this year's BvS, this movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews by the critics and was divided among the fans. I was super curious to watch it because unlike many, I actually enjoyed the DCEU till this point. Enjoyed both Man of Steel and BvS. But unfortunately, this one's a mess.
The majority of the movie just feels choppy, editing was all over the place. Like they had a final product but because of disagreements, they took out a lot of scenes, shorten the runtime, and added others, making a giant choppy mess in the end. Scenes don't properly flow, including the flashbacks. Some scenes feel like they were added later (Probably the re-shoots) and they definitely didn't fit, particularly the elevator scene with Harley. The songs were all over the place as well. Some worked with their respective scenes, but most of them didn't, and again it felt like something added later, to give the movie a more jolly feel. And difference between development given to each member of the squad is astounding. Some were completely left in the dust, while some got a bit of line here and there, while some got a lot more development. Basically, to me it felt like that the movie reeked of studio involvement.
Also, the focus was just off. Movie is called Suicide Squad yet there is a whole lot of other stuff that gets way too much screentime. The whole end of the world plot was totally generic, uninteresting and unnecessary. The villain wasn't good, and the movements were weird, and not in a good way. Joker-Harley romance was also something padded on, and could have been removed in exchange for more screentime with the squad.
Speaking of the Joker, he and his whole weird mafia/gangster lord type vibe didn't work for me. Jared Leto felt like he was trying too hard at times. There were moments where I saw the Joker I wanted in him, but those moments were swiftly followed by over the top feel that he gave most of the time. And that laugh....Yeah NOPE!!
Even the action was mostly OK, apart from a couple of good scenes. There was no proper thrill, no proper buildup. Too many cuts. Say what you want about Snyder, but you have to admit that the dude can atleast direct amazing action sequences.
And all of that sucks because there is stuff in the movie that works, like the main squad. Will Smith as Deadshot was great. He played his usual cool self and it worked. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was sexy and mostly good, because there were few instances where her dialogues gave me cringe. These two had a good chemistry together too. Also liked other members like El Diablo, Killer Croc, and captain Boomerang, all of whom were likable, had some fun moments etc.
Plus, among all the mediocrity, there were glimpses of what the movie could have been like. Fun moments between the squad, some touchy moments, rare cool action sequences, full group scenes or rather a scene, the bar scene and such.
Ultimately, The movie is like a mediocre cake covered with a thin layer of good frosting. The overall taste isn't bad, but it isn't good either. You enjoy the good frosting for a short while, and then have to deal with a whole lot of mediocre tasting body of the cake. I was disappointed. I really REALLY wanted to like this film. Pushed back all the negative or positive criticism and went in with an open mind. I'm not too hopeful what the extended cut will improve as 13 mins of footage isn't much, and I'm guessing it is Joker footage mostly.
It's funny that after watching this, I respect MCU more now considering what they were able to do with the more risky project: Guardians of the Galaxy.
Blog Post Link: http://reviewsreactor.blogspot.com/2016/10/suicide-squad-2016-movie-review.html
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Suicide Squad has a horrible script. First, there was the story--such as it was--itself: A super villain with the power to end the world goes to work in a universe that has established Batman and Wonder Woman. So what do the authorities do? Call up Batman and Wonder Woman? Of course not! Hire a bunch of criminals to save the world.
It would be like if the U.S. was invaded by China, and we went and got the Taliban to protect us.
So, from the very bones of the story, the movie fails. Add in a tell-and-don't-show approach to characterization, and horrendous dialogue, and this film was doomed before it got off the printed page. I really wanted to like this film, but I just couldn't.
So, let's go back to the tell-and-don't-show approach to the characters. Instead of seeing and experiencing anything, we're told what such-and-such is all about. It's an incredibly boring and lazy style of writing. Look at he scene where the principal characters all sit around and tell stories while they have a drink. But that's the thing: They shouldn't be telling us anything. Everything that is told to us as if we're a classroom of elementary school students instead of adults who can put two and two together, should be revealed through each character's dialogue and actions. But that would require some actual writing. This movie seems like it simply filmed the first draft of the screenplay. And then there's the dialogue itself. "I've already killed one family; I won't kill another." Who wrote this? A high school kid who thought he was being deep? Flagg refers to the love of his life as the girl he "was sleeping with." Serious? You're risking your life to save some broad you're banging? And then after two hours of watching Harley pine for Joker and reject the rest of the members of her "squad", she's finally given the chance to be with the Joker and live happily ever after. Well, despite everything we've seen for the past two hours alluding to the fact that that is exactly what she wants, she rejects that for "her friends." She's never shown any sort of friendship so far in this movie. But, dialogue.
It's typical fill-in-the-blank writing. So, Harley didn't show any love for her "friends" but did for Joker. And then chose her "friends" over the Joker. So, I guess it's up to the audience to "fill in the blank" and decide what Harley's change of heart was all about? It shouldn't be the audience's responsibility to do the writer's job.
The characters themselves were boring and uninteresting. Despite wasting the first 20 or so minutes on the film trying to make us love the psychotic Harley Quinn and mass murdering Deadshot, I didn't care. I just couldn't care for anyone or anything happening. It was like there was an invisible barrier between me and the screen. I just couldn't get into the movie. And since no one other than Harley, Deadshot, and Flagg got a pointless backstory introduction, the audience feels, subconsciously, that these are the characters that will carry the story. They don't. The only character that was even remotely interesting was Katana. And despite a few flashes here and there of decent martial arts and kenjutsu action, the character is wasted.
And speaking of wasted characters, let's talk Joker. Jared Leto was upset how much of the Joker was cut from the film. If you can cut such a big name and charismatic character down to the point where the actor playing him complains, and still get away with a finished film, the problems with the script become apparent. Joker was wasted in this film. You cut him out entirely, the overall story doesn't change. So, why include him in the first place? Because shared universe...maybe? Or something? I don't know. And neither do the filmmakers.
And while I know almost everyone on the planet--including those who despise the movie--praise Margot Robbie's Harley, I found her shtick getting old rather quickly. And then to top that off, she reneges on her established motive, thus making her a totally pointless character.
And, before we move on from the topic of bad characterization, what was with Amanda Waller (a good guy...I guess?) executing FBI agents? I feel like I missed the most important scene in the movie--the one that shows something that makes the entire movie make sense. But then again, Amanda Waller doesn't make good choices. She has a folder, inside of which is a list of the upcoming DCEU characters: Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, etc. She actually has dinner with Batman. But she puts the world's fate in the hands of Diablo, Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Deadshot. It's like calling the police because of a problem, and then scouring death row for the people who will actually solve this problem. Yeah, I'm confused too.
But let's go to the ending. Because the ending shows us one thing: That the Suicide Squad's involvement in all of this was totally pointless. Simple bombs end up saving the day. Bombs. Man made, average, everyday bombs. Satchel charges. Any idiot in a uniform can detonate a bomb. So, why let out a bunch of mass murderers to save the world, if saving the world only involves setting off satchel charges? I mean, why not call the Air Force in, have them drop a couple of bombs, and send a guaranteed-to-be-disappointed-audience-anyway home early? One phone call to the Pentagon, and the ENTIRE MOVIE is UNNECESSARY. But, DC.
In the end, this movie was a total disaster.