Movie Review: Suicide Squad

DC couldn’t help themselves.

The same way they made Batman v Superman mimic The Avengers, they had to turn Suicide Squad into a game of Pictionary.

Suicide Squad is DC’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy. The character parallels are visible but the actual characters less interesting, the story yet another doppelgänger of something Marvel has already done and to a better degree, and the synopsis as depressing as I’m making it seem.

Not horrid but certainly not good, Suicide Squad is yet another mirage in the deserted streets of DC Comics that presents false hope yet again to the fans who have been waiting since the early 90’s for something that can universally be called good theater. DC had little to no role in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, I’m not sure I would call V for Vendetta a superhero film and while I would make an argument for Man of Steel, there are plenty who wouldn’t.

Since we’re on the topic, let’s take a look at what DC has churned out since 2004: Catwoman, Constantine, V for Vendetta, Superman Returns, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and this. That’s a shoddy list, folks.

That’s more than a decade’s worth of missing the target. At first, it was laughable. Catwoman and Constantine back to back? Superman Returns, Watchmen, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern in a cage match of incompetence? Now, it’s just sad.

DC has become a vacuum for disappointment and a magnet for mockery. It’s become a charade of itself, a mime of Marvel that all the practice in the world can’t make convincing. DC used to be dark, one of the reasons Nolan’s Batman saga received so much praise and why I think Man of Steel is the closest that DC has gotten to being themselves. Like an adolescent girl, DC is preoccupied with being someone she’s not, unsatisfied with the talent she possesses and jealous of what the other girl has. This attitude isn’t the end of the world if we’re talking about a prepubescent teen. It is a problem when we’re talking about a multi-billion dollar company.

Suicide Squad is sad because it makes me acquiesce that DC may never be what it was again. It may and looks likely that it will never return. The dreams film journeymen and DC fanboys have had will never come true. All hope seems to be lost. DC seems preordained to fail us. We’re actively frustrated now but it won’t be long until that agitation breeds lackadaisical indifference and further down the road, complete neglect.

Suicide Squad‘s first half is a never-ending music montage flavored with a roulette of character expositions. Every three minutes, we’re moving on to the next stage and putting the next guy on a pedestal, giving us a brief backstory synopsis before the timer reaches three and it’s time to move on to the next contestant. It reminds me of a first-time driver who continuously pumps the brakes when there’s no reason to, the instructor heaving back and forth from the momentum shift. That is what the first half of this movie is like, disrupting any natural flow that could have been manifested.

I was looking forward to this film and I was hoping for the best but there is an active depression taking hold of me right now as I write this. DC has become obsessed with taking a razor to the fine points of their products and an ax to any tree that bears fruit. The only respite offered is that we never got to see what could have been and watch them drain the life out of it, though sometimes our imagination can be much more crippling than our eyes.

Suicide Squad should have been a chimerical bacchanal, a chaos-torn environment with unchecked villains to invest some of their own chaos. Instead, we get something that is far too well-coordinated and formulaic as we watch villainy transform into heroism. Our characters lack interest for this very reason. Will Smith’s Deadshot is never shown as a pure serial killer nor El Diablo painted as a mobster with anger management issues. Killer Croc is a vestibule for one-liners more than a character and Jai Courtney has gone completely off the deep end with his role as Captain Boomerang (what a stupid name). Jared Leto’s Joker is disappointing and a sideshow, words that no one should have had to ever communicate regarding the Joker. The Joker is not meant to be a sideshow character, ever, but you can bet your salary DC managed to pull that off, too. Rather than the Joker, we get a gangster who seems unhinged rather than a true psychopath.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the true highlight, accompanied by Smith’s Deadshot and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. Robbie’s performance is a breathing fantasy, a temptress who uses her appearance to her advantage. It’s one of the few things from this movie I will miss. Smith’s Deadshot turns into a buddy cop and while it makes no sense with the character we’re gifted, Smith is likeable enough to keep his character on the radar. He’s also slipped some of the film’s best one-liners.

None of this comes comparatively close to delivering what we should have had: an unbridled fun house. Instead, we get a film that’s far too neat and orderly, the opposite of what we are led to believe these characters are.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ghostbusters (2016)BatmanFree State of JonesThe Running Man10 Cloverfield Lane)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Batman ForeverThe CrowHardcore HenryBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and Zombies)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (UnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See YouConstantine)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Independence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the ApesStonados)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Suicide Squad: 66.

The trailer promised so much and the film delivered so little. As expected, 2016 has been yet another year where Marvel has taken a collective dump on DC and remember Marvel still has Doctor Strange coming in November to increase the size of that dump. The DCEU is in real trouble and no, I’m not looking forward to Justice League.

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