How has this happened again? This is the 3rd time in a row we’ve walked into cinema to see a DCEU movie with expectations high and walked out disappointed. Following a bunch of supervillains forced to work together for good, Suicide Squad should have been a slam dunk but it simply isn’t. Boasting a modern, successful and well received comic book ripe for a movie adaptation, the trailers for Suicide Squad were promising us a breath of fresh air into the dull, dark and drab wasteland of the DCEU. However what we received was a muddle, noisy mess of a movie.
The movie doesn’t really have a story. Things happen for sure. There’s a villain. There’s fighting. There’s one-liners. There’s lots of exposition. There’s oddly timed flashbacks played out as big reveals when we have already had the reveal explained. My guess would be that Suicide Squad was chopped to pieces and most of the film has been left to rot on the editor’s room floor. Yet for all its flaws, Suicide Squad does have positive moments. Moments where it feels like somebody somewhere at DC headquarters was desperately trying to inject some character, some life and some fun into the overall franchise. When Will Smith, Margot Robbie and (surprisingly) Jai Courtney are allowed a brief chance to express themselves, the movie begins to heat up. Yet those moments quickly receive a cold bucket of water in the shape of Cara Delevingne and Joel Kinnaman’s terrible performances to ensure we the audience don’t enjoy ourselves too much.
Because of the aforementioned performances from Will Smith and Margot Robbie, you desperately want to love this film. The duo are clearly enjoying their time in the roles of Deadshot and Harley Quinn respectively. The natural charisma of Smith seeps through Deadshot and Robbie embraces the role of the woman formally known Dr Harleen Quinzel with such enthusiasm that it’s hard not to get behind her. Don’t worry though, before I get carried away with compliments, in walk Killer Croc and El Diablo to ensure the movie represents minorities in the most stereotypical and overtly racist way possible.
I suppose I have to speak about Jared Leto’s Joker. Probably the most iconic supervillain in comic book lore, reduced here to a frustrating scant. He can’t be in the movie for much more than 5 minutes collectively, this creating a problem in which Leto isn’t given a fair crack at getting his Joker over to the audience. What he and Margot Robbie do have is clear chemistry, and despite the short appearance you buy the relationship. The movie either needed to go all in on the Joker or just leave him in the shadows.
To unfortunately sum up, Suicide Squad is, much like the squad members themselves, the best of a bad bunch. It’s a better movie than its two Superman predecessors but the wait goes on for a movie that really ignites the DC movie universe. A wait that may never end.