Suicide Squad Opinion - A Ridiculously Pointless, Genuinely Skippable Film
Suicide Squad marks a nearly unprecedented low point for the DC cinematic universe with a near absolutely untraceable plot, shoddy editing and the most fucking useless and pointless villain to ever grace a comic book film.
For years I've been on team DC. Even in 2012, when we had both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises come out in the same year, I insisted upon my allegiance to the greatness of DC's gritty universe (Even though I acknowledge both films were more or less equally awesome in their own unique ways). Even during Zack Snyder's relatively mediocre "Man of Steel" in 2013, Hans Zimmer's beautiful soundtrack managed to keep me on DC's side. But after these past 3 years of Marvel and DC filmography, I regret to say that I'm officially switching to team Marvel, and Suicide Squad marks the inflection point of said change. Even calling it a film is a liberal use of the term. For the second and third act of the film I stared in wonder, trying to figure out what in God's name was actually going on. The vast majority of the characters are absolutely useless and forgettable. One of these forgettable acts was the super hyped Jared Leto Joker, which unfortunately turned out to be a forced, extended cameo that DC and Warner Bros. decided they must throw in to boost ticket sales. Suicide Squad marks a nearly unprecedented low point for the DC cinematic universe with an absolutely untraceable plot, shoddy editing and the most fucking useless and pointless villain to ever grace a comic book film (Even counting the villain in Thor 2. Forgot who it was? Exactly!). Most notably, it manages to be even more of a mess than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Side Note: I honestly felt more entertained by this amazing trailer for Suicide Squad than the film itself). For all the promise that the previously linked trailer gave, Suicide Squad ultimately falls flat on its face with a ridiculous, almost plotless plot and renders 80% of itself completely useless and safe, as opposed to the risky edgy film we thought it was going to be. Oh, and also, yet another pointless 3D release.
So much to unburden, but as always lets start with a quick spoiler free recap of how this shit starts. The first act of this film is the almost decidedly obligatory ensemble introduction montage and I say decidedly because the scene around which this montage takes place is Viola Davis' character Amanda Waller literally taking out oddly blatant "TOP SECRET" files of the characters one by one and placing them right in front of some other government dudes to introduce them to the characters. This introduction montage, with its on-the-nose repetitive song cues, lazy narration and straightforwardness, is unfortunately the strongest part of the film. But it does have an entertaining moment: Will Smith's character Deadshot successfully bargaining for a 100% markup on his hitman fee with his client while his target is about to walk out of his line of sight. But his character isn't the only character who is more investable emotionally than the rest (that being because the rest are absolutely useless), the one exception along with Smith is Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, who manages to be a scene stealer for both her psychotic performance and because the camera more often than not pans along her body in a way that a 15 year old boy would find sexually gratifying (In fact, at one point, the Joker literally calls her "the itch in my crotch", which isn't so bad of itself. The problem is that Robbie is sexually fantasised over even outside of the Joker's perspective). However, apart from this, Harley Quinn is the primary reason to watch this film due to the energetic insanity Margot Robbie puts into her role. Her unpredictability is what makes her character exciting and interesting to watch because her actions and motivations change by the second. There are a few more characters that get their own montage and introductions, but they are just thrown into the mix to get the squad going and are almost intentionally forgettable.
Its what follows this first act that really destroys this film's potential. The primary antagonist of this film is an ancient witch who is literally named "Enchantress", I'm not even kidding. (Also, one of the Suicide Squad members, a Japanese sword wielding woman, with the Japanese flag literally printed on her mask and arm-band, is literally named Katana... Because certain types of Japanese swords are called Katanas. BRILLIANT!) For the umpteenth time in a row we get a villain who just wants to destroy the world and end humanity for some lazily manufactured reason the screenwriters could come up with. For the umpteenth time we get a villain who brings heavy destruction to an urban area with little to no point. For the umpteenth time we get faceless minions that the main characters must destroy countless numbers of, quite easily, in order to get to the boss level of the game. Worst of all, we get a villain with no perceivable rules or limits on her powers or abilities. She can teleport to any place in the goddamn world(even demonstrating that she could teleport to Tehran and retrieve their government's secret missile thing or something to US government officials...), so why she doesn't surprise Viola Davis' character with a sudden teleport and kill her and reclaim her freedom is truly beyond me. The only reason the film provides us is that Viola Davis' character retains possession of the witch's heart, and therefore owns her. Waller keeps the heart in a suitcase with a passcode or something, and that's what stops the witch from escaping. I know, even I'm getting tired and feeling really stupid just writing this shit, but bear with me. You must know of the horrendous film that is Suicide Squad.
But of all the hype surrounding this film, none of it can even compare to that of Jared Leto's Joker. Leto, who won an Oscar alongside co-star Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyer's Club, had apparently gone full psycho for Suicide Squad, remaining in character throughout the shooting of the film, and reportedly even sent weird fucked up gifts(dead pigs, used condoms... WTF!) to his co-stars in an attempt to make them organically react to his character in the film, I guess? The point is, all of this news and hype is enough to, in the least, expect that the Joker will play a big part in this film and that we have a legendary performance to look forward to. I'm here to regrettably tell you that the Joker is nearly superfluous to the plot of this film. He rarely appears in the film, mostly in the dream-sequence flashbacks of Harley Quinn for purely expositional purposes. When he does appear on his own, it almost feels like the audience is expected to be awed out of obligation due to the legendary screen time the character has had on previous films, most obviously in Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger's previous portrayals. The Joker's inclusion in this film comes off as more of a slightly extended cameo appearance than an actual principle character, and Leto, although he has one or two moments of pure gold Joker insanity that are entertaining to watch, ultimately doesn't add anything new to this treasured DC character. He sits at restaurants engulfed in jewellery and sociopathic tattoos that scream crazy, gives a constant crazy face, and expects the audience to go "Wow, its the Joker!". Yet again, DC/Warner actually expects us to believe that they would really kill off an uber main character, and yet again they fail spectacularly on that feat.
At the end of the day, the most memorable event that took place in the theater was the Dunkirk teaser, and also probably the Fantastic Beasts trailer. DC have spectacularly failed to grasp on a golden opportunity to cement itself as a worthy competitor to Marvel with a film that objectively fails on its promise(aka previously linked trailer) of a risk taking, edgy Deadpool-esque anti-hero film of nihilistic horror and mayhem that could have signified a successful and brilliant change of tone and pace for the DC cinematic universe. If you do still decide to go and watch this, the only things you have to look forward to are Will Smith and Margot Robbie. As stated in the title, I'm officially on team Marvel now, I liked Civil War, but I am still holding out a tiny bit of hope for DC by way of the 2017 summer release of Wonder Woman, which could be really good if the film matches the trailer in quality. But for now, sorry DC, but you are henceforth Alfred standing at the Wayne family gravestones apologising for your failure to keep Bruce alive in The Dark Knight Rises(I would be the Wayne's graves in this analogy and Bruce at this point, apparently dead, is the DC cinematic universe). Your only hope is an epic comeback reveal of awesomeness in the future.