Before we go any further, there WILL be spoilers below – if you haven’t watched the movie yet and don’t want some twit ruining it for you, please come back after you’ve seen it. Okay?
If you’re still here, let’s get started!
Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a Marvel girl through and through, but from all the hype and the trailers for Suicide Squad and its team of super-villains, it looked like it was going to be pretty good.
Sadly, it was not.
Don’t get me wrong, it was watchable and sort of entertaining in a predictable kind of way, but I had so many issues with this film that it isn’t something I would go out of my way to see again. And that’s a shame because the premise was sound, the characters were all interesting ones, and it could have been something spectacular.
My first problem with it came right at the start. ‘House of the Rising Sun’ by The Animals played, and there’s a lingering scene with Deadshot in his cell, looking all wistful and thinking about his daughter. And that was fine, a good introduction to the movie.
But then you’re slammed into ‘You Don’t Own Me’ by Lesley Gore while being introduced to Harley Quinn, and then into ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ by The Rolling Stones, and you start to think ‘Hang on a mo, was there even a composer for this movie? Some incidental music would be much appreciated right now because this is beginning to sound like Now That’s What I Call Suicide Squad 71…’
And it carries on with over twenty songs in all, including AC/DC, Black Sabbath and The White Stripes. Cult song after cult song is chucked in, some of them consecutively, until about a third of the way through the movie when they start to peter out a bit before disappearing entirely into incidental music for the last third or so. It was jarring. The incidental score is there to enhance the action without taking too much of your attention away from the story, but slapping in these songs one after the other is just too in-your-face and doesn’t necessarily match what’s happening on-screen.
Still, maybe the composer was on holiday for the first half of the movie and they were a bit stuck for music or something.
Now, before I continue, I will say that I never got around to seeing ‘Batman vs Superman’, so it’s highly likely that this is the reason for me having no clue why on earth Amanda Waller thought that putting together a team of super-villains for protection was a top-notch idea. There was a vague mention of Superman clearing off, but Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman are still around, surely? In fact, the movie has scenes of Batman capturing Deadshot and Harley Quinn (that single punch to the face was brilliant!) and The Flash taking Captain Boomerang into custody. So… maybe just rely on trusted and proven super-heroes rather than dangerous psychos, Amanda?
Yes, she plays the ‘plausible deniability’ card and says that a team of super-villains could be blamed and thrown under the bus if they get caught. And yes, that would work if you ship them off to other countries to commit espionage or assassinations, as they did in the comic books. But to then immediately have them save the world from two very powerful entities with the Department of Defence fighting alongside them? That’s not exactly a throw-them-under-bus situation, is it? The Suicide Squad should never have been activated for that– they should have just called Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman and said ‘Hey, could you give us a hand with these two supernatural bastards who are intent on destroying mankind, please?’
Onto the characters, and they made a great choice with the ones they chose for Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn is awesome, and Margot Robbie really was fantastic in her portrayal. But why was Harley Quinn there?
I imagine the conversation between Amanda Waller and the top brass went something like this:
Waller: “We need Deadshot.”
Brass: “Yes! A crack shot who is lethal with any weapon, including a potato cannon, will be vital to our team.”
Waller: “And then there’s Diablo and Boomerang?”
Brass: “A guy who can conjure fire and another who can break into any building, perfect!”
Waller: “Let’s get Killer Croc, too.”
Brass: “Brute strength and fearsomeness, awesome.”
Waller: “And we’ll need Harley Quinn.”
Brass: “Erm, why?”
Waller: “She’s good with a gun and a baseball bat.”
Brass: “Well, we already have Deadshot, and a baseball bat isn’t exactly a deadly weapon, is it?”
Waller: “She’s completely crazy and hears voices.”
Brass: “I can’t see that’s going to help us in any w…”
Waller: “She wears hotpants and tight outfits.”
Brass: “She’s in!”
And don’t get me started on Rick Flag, I have never seen a blander portrayal of a character in any comic book movie than the one given by Joel Kinnaman. Half the time I had to keep reminding myself which one was him. Twice I forgot he was even there.
The Enchantress, played by Cara Delevingne, wasn’t too bad at the beginning of the movie, but by the end she was just plain ridiculous. What the heck was with that awkward jerky dancing as she stood in front of her machine? Were they supposed to add CG energy ribbons tugging at her in post or something? Because I think someone missed the memo about that.
And The Joker? There’s already been a lot said about Jared Leto’s Joker, so let’s just leave it with the fact that I grew up with Cesar Romero’s Joker, therefore a Joker who’s more of an asshole gangster-pimp isn’t really my cup of proverbial tea.
While there were some good scenes, like the one of Deadshot standing on top of a car mowing down bad guys with his guns, a lot of the fight scenes were confusing given that there were so many characters to keep track of. Add to that the mish-mash of tossed-off backstories, randomly-inserted flashback scenes that made no sense to the main story, numerous clichés (the slow-motion bullet fall from ‘The Matrix’ anyone?), and predictable story twists, and you have Suicide Squad in a nutshell. It was incohesive at best, clumsy and rushed at worst.
And come on, a guy with a fluffy toy unicorn obsession? Did they even watch ‘Deadpool’?
But my main gripe concerns that bomb.
I can see what they were trying to do, here. A lot of films employ the tactic of showing you a scene from one character’s point of view, then later on letting you see the same scene from another character’s point of view, and this second scene ties the story together because you suddenly see what was really happening. It adds to the story and makes you think ‘Oh wow, now I get it!’. Take the movie ‘Snatch’ for example – it utilised this technique a number of times, and very successfully.
So in the first scene, Rick Flag takes the Enchantress underneath some building that the Incubus is stomping around in, with the sole purpose of stopping him. Then we see Amanda Waller receiving a phone call from him where he tells her that the Enchantress has buggered off.
Not much later we see exactly the same scene and, heavens above, there’s been a little bit more added to show that he actually had a bomb which the Enchantress deactivated before she buggered off. Now they can use this bomb to destroy the Incubus and the Earth will be saved, hurrah!
But what did this second scene add to the story?! I will tell you. Absolutely sod all!
We kind of worked out that he had a means of destruction with him because that was the reason he went underneath the building to begin with. And honestly, if they wanted a bomb that badly they could have just had the DoD fly one in for them in a helicopter. They had enough of them flitting about.
But no, they had to use that one. And was this because it was a super-awesome bomb that was going to dramatically blast way into the sky and destroy the Incubus? Nope! It just farted out a few flames in the corner of the room they were in. Bloody hell. We essentially had to watch the same scene twice for no good reason.
Anyway, I could write more but this is getting a bit long. Suffice it to say that the movie did get one thing completely right. They created a Suicide Squad of criminals that they could use in dodgy situations because if they died, nobody would care.
And why was that right? Because by the end of the movie I really didn’t give a shit about any of them.
Rating: 4/10 Axes