I just got out of seeing Suicide Squad and thought I would do a quick review. The movie has a decent cast but a generic plot. Character development is given, predominantly, to Harley Quinn and Deadshot. The other characters remain undeveloped. Unfortunately, even the developed characters in this film are boring.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Suicide Squad, they are a group of super-villains from the DC Comics Universe, press-ganged by a woman named Amanda Waller into running clandestine black ops operations for the U.S. government. In exchange for completing these operations, the group gets time shaved off their various prison sentences. To ensure their compliance, each member of the group is fitted with a remote-controlled explosive that can be activated by Waller or the squad’s field commander, Colonel Rick Flag.
Many people, after seeing the film, have compared it to The Magnificent Seven. This is not an accurate comparison, in my opinion. No, the Suicide Squad would more accurately be compared to The Dirty Dozen.
Both films are about convicted criminals recruited to carry out a suicide mission, but the 1967 film does a much better job of telling a story. Suicide Squad’s story is hampered by its cast of unsympathetic characters and a predictable story that, to be honest, drags at times.
I think the cast tried to work with what they were given, but that wasn’t much. And some of the performances are just flat-out bad.
Margot Robbie certainly has Harley Quinn’s look down, but not her ephemeral zaniness. Will Smith plays Deadshot like he plays every character. Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang was serviceable, but unspectacular, while Karen Fukuhara’s Katana remains pretty much a cypher throughout the movie. Adam Beach’s Slipknot makes no impression at all, while Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Cara Delevingne’s Killer Croc and Enchantress both make terrible impressions. Adewale because he doesn’t do anything at all, while Delevingne’s character, who is central to the plot, is plastic and two-dimensional. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag is an atrocious stereotype while Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller is not so much menacing as simply ponderous. The only performance that stood out to me was Jay Hernandez, as El Diablo, who managed to make his character seem genuinely repentant, if not very sympathetic. As for Jared Leto’s Joker? The phrase ‘chewing scenery’ springs immediately to mind.
So, was Suicide Squad a good movie or a bad movie? Well, while it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, it was nowhere near as good as it could have been. This movie might have been much better if it had just been a balls to the wall action romp, without any attempt at character development to make the bad guys more sympathetic. Also, I’m curious about how much better or worse the movie was before cuts were made and reshoots were shot? Did it flow better? I suppose we’ll have to wait for the DVD release.
For now, on a scale of one to five, I would give Suicide Squad a two. Skip the theater for this one, and catch it on Blue-Ray or Netflix instead. You’ll probably thank me later.