If nothing else it’s nice to see Will Smith having fun in a big budget blockbuster again.
Suicide Squad is the third entry into the DC Extended Universe and takes place after the events of this year’s Batman v Superman. David Ayer writes and directs as Will Smith and Margot Robbie star as members of a group of villains hired by the government to take out a threat in exchange for reduced jail sentences. Jared Leto and Viola Davis also star.
Like everyone else who has access to the internet, I enjoyed the series of trailers for this film (usually set to Queen songs) and the idea of antiheroes being the focal point of a film seemed fun. Plus I love David Ayer’s End of Watch and Fury, so I really thought this would be the first official good film of the DC Universe. I thought…
Suicide Squad is a frustrating film to say the least. Much like the first two installments of the DC series, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, there are nuggets of greatness in this. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are having a ball playing psychotic killers (one much less sane than the other) and Jared Leto ‘s Joker makes me excited for where he could take the role in future Batman films (even though he’s a glorified cameo here). However these fun characters are lost in a muddled cloud of CGI action and an unfocused narrative.
Like I said, Smith and Robbie and really the whole cast do fine work. Some performances are better than others (or more audible, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc mumbles everything) but overall these are all interesting characters that even if we aren’t quite emotionally attached to, still root for.
It would have been so much more rewarding if we had gotten some of these characters in previous films before they had to team up, but because DC is in overdrive to catch up with Marvel we don’t get that luxury. Instead we get forced (and sometimes awkward) exposition-by-file reading, and it’s just a rushed intro.
The film has a very simple plot, it’s essentially a rescue mission with a doomsday clock, and yet I had no idea what the actual hell was going on half the time. The villain of this film is a witch and her ancient demon brother and they want to create a portal to do…something (?) I really couldn’t tell you, the film actually never discloses her plan besides “rule humans” and “create a zombie army.”
Oh, and I’ll just congratulate Cara Delevingne on her Razzie win now because her performance as the witch is so laughably atrocious that every time she opens her mouth it detracts from the film and makes the scene and any dramatic heft that had been building impossible to take seriously.
I wanted to like Suicide Squad, I really did. But it is so inconsistent and so frustratingly bland that I cannot recommend it be viewed for $10, unless you are the die-hardiest of Suicide Squad comic fan. If you catch it on TV in six months then sure, give it a view for Robbie and Will, but it is a huge letdown and yet another stumble for the DC Universe and Warner Bros.