[This post was originally written 29th August 2016]
I honestly thought I was going to come out hating this more than I did TERMINATOR GENISYS (funningly enough also starring Jai Courtney). But to my wonder I didn’t; although I didn’t love it either.
There are clearly two movies in here. One David Ayers’ serious take on supervillians forced to work against thier will, battling with the struggles with what makes them ‘bad’. The other, Warner Bros. fun side step into the DC Universe full of colourful bad guys that just can’t help themselves. Each one has its charms, but they don’t mesh as well as a big budget project like this should.
Lets deal with the awful elephant in the room. Jared Leto’s Joker is awful. I haven’t been a fan of his atall (I still can’t fathom how the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars is an Oscar winner), and his interpretation of the baddest of bad guys does him no favours in this regard. He distracts from the film, taking me out of the moment i’m trying to enjoy. Although I am very much looking forward to Ben Afflecks Batman kicking his grilled-teeth face in.
Quick note, Batman never gets old. Ever.
Harley Quinn is a damaged psycho, played very very well by Margot Robbie. Quibbles I have with her, too over-sexualised, and the extremley violent and abusive relationship between her and the Joker is glossed over which is a missed opportunity. There is a dream sequence, of all things, that reveals her true desire, almost bringing the much needed tragic element of her character back to the fore.
Will Smith’s Deadshot is pretty much the star of the movie. Smith’s charisma elevates the movie a little more than it should. He sells Deadshot perfectly, reaffirming that it has been a long time since this Will Smith has been in the cinema.
Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller is the Devil. She is brilliant. But then again, its Viola Davis, she is brilliant in everything.
Of the side characters, Katana is underused; Killer Croc is overused; El Diablo feels too one note, with a tragic backstory added on to give some weight to the final sequence (when that really should’ve been given to Flagg and Moon/Enchantress); and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang is fantastic. Honestly, he is a perfect sleazey weirdo with a really pointless special ability. I think Ayer realised this and tried to make him as dirty and ridiculous as possible, but was forced to dial it back by WB. (The pink unicorn thing though, DEADPOOL’s was better)
On to the Enchantress and her brother. Or rather not, as whilst her abilities and motivations were solid, her end-goal was too on the nose. The relationship between her and Joel Kinnemann (apparently Tom Hardy’s role) wasn’t allowed to breathe. Her brother is a poorly designed CGI wreck, and only there to add to the, quite frankly flat, finale.
There were music choices used to sell moments, but this honestly felt shoe horned in, only distancing the two movies apart.
WB wanted to blow the whole comic book adaptation wide open with it, but it isn’t going to do that. They added in the ‘metahuman’ talk, added with the Flash cameo, and the end credits sequence purely to remind the viewer that this takes place in the same universe as that film you all watched earlier on in the year.
Next time they assign a very talented director like David Ayer to a weird project like SUICIDE SQUAD, they should just allow it to be what it is. Not force it to be something it isn’t.
This is meant to be a reaction to BATMAN V SUPERMAN, but it comes across as a confused bastard child of that universe. A weird one though, which redeems it.