Justified Film Reviews: The Suicide Squad

Justin Taylor

 

Suicide Squad is Warner Brothers newest entry into their cinematic universe of DC comics superheroes, directed by David Ayer (Training Day, Fury), and starring Margot Robbie and Will Smith. Suicide Squad follows a group of incarcerated supervillains as they are recruited by the shady government agent, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to complete a near impossible mission in exchange for time off their sentences.

Given Marvel’s success with the cinematic universe format, Warner Bros. finds itself struggling to keep up with a franchise that is already 13 films in the making. This results in Warner Bros. overstuffing their movies in order to cover more ground and build up their own faster. Suicide Squad shares the same fate as the previous entry in the series, Batman V Superman. Though the film feels rushed with corny dialogue and some of the worst editing I’ve ever seen, Suicide Squad is still one of the most entertaining releases of the year. Cheesy character and an assortment of unintentionally funny moments, make this the first $200 million movie so bad it’s good.

The first 40 minutes of the movie play out like a series of uninspired music videos, cueing up an old pop song to set up a scene or introduce a character, which screws with the pacing and makes the movie feel clunky and under thought out. The editing is absolutely terrible cutting out key plot points and characters. Characters leave and reappear in the next scene unexplained or even show up without any context.

The performances in this movie vary in quality, some are great, while others fall really flat. Will Smith is surprisingly the best part of the film, delivering an entertaining performance that balance comedy and drama quite well.

Margot Robbie is effective as Harley Quinn, channeling the source material well, though the character does feel watered down at time. Viola Davis and Jay Hernandez are also great, but most of the film is centered on Smith and Robbie. The other performances are much more lackluster, either because the acting is just plain bad or the writing behind the character lacks.

Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang is given very little to do along with Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara). The highlight of the bad is Killer Croc, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje under heavy prosthetic make up. His lines are hardly intelligible, though there is only six, and all of them are really cheesy. Spouting such one liners as “not me shawty,” “I’m beautiful” and “Y’all just tourist,” Croc feels like an afterthought with no real character development, even though he was oddly funny to watch.

Jared Leto also makes his debut in this superhero mythos as the Joker. Something he had imagined to be a pinnacle performance in his career, results to about seven minutes of lackluster screen time. This hot topic inspired baddie, serves as a commercial of more to come from the franchise, but doesn’t bother to fit the character in a way that actually matters to the plot

At the end of the day, Suicide Squad feels like a half finished puzzle that had potential to be great if only more though were put into it. Despite being panned by critics, fans and film goers actually took quite well to it, making Suicide Squad one of the highest grossing films of the summer. Maybe Warner Bros. can improve on this series overtime, but if not, then hopefully they turn out as laughably bad as this one.

Grade: C+

 

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