Suicide Squad – TEG Movie Reviews

David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” has currently brought in over $300 million at the global box office.  

{Warning; This review may contain spoilers to Suicide Squad.}

Yesterday I went to the cinema to watch one of this summer’s most hyped comic book movies. “Suicide Squad“, a film set to get us all cheering on the bad guys whilst they kick some ass and hopefully get DC back on track to catching up to current superhero cinema behemoth Marvel in terms of developing a cinematic universe. It’s certainly doing a good job at the box office, shattering records left, right and centre whilst already surpassing the $300 million mark at the global box office. Despite the mediocre reviews I still went in with high expectations, ready to see and judge for myself. However unfortunately, I left the cinema a little bit disappointed.

Now, although I did leave the film feeling disappointed and well… weirdly drained? That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy parts of this film because the truth is that there is a plethora of fun, entertaining aspects of this film to enjoy. Just not enough.

Pretty much straight from the off, we are hit with a soundtrack that gets you smiling and nodding along – the film’s soundtrack is a breath of fresh air when compared to Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” and this years “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice“. I believe at one point I even quietly celebrated to myself as three great songs followed one another in the film. I personally think Suicide Squad‘s soundtrack may even be a rival to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (although personally, I prefer Guardians as The Jackson 5 always win me over).

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s make-up took 5 hours to complete for shooting.

Matching it’s great soundtrack is the movies costume design, the squad looked the part! And I believe that this was easier to achieve because of the lighter tone of the film, an example of this is Harley Quinn’s outfit or maybe one of The Joker’s several attires (we’ll get back to puddin’ later on). Witnessing Margot Robbie pick up the black and red jester costume from the 1990’s Batman cartoon made my eyes light up! Whilst Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje‘s Killer Croc had a glorious 5-hours worth of prosthetic make-up, which I loved, the other standout was the first costume of Enchantress, one that I wouldn’t be surprised to see plenty of other (hopefully less supernaturally powerful) women dress up as this Halloween.

I felt like the whole cast did a good job performance-wise, even Batfleck was great for the whole minute he’s in the film. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag proved to be a likeable counterweight to the Suicide Squad, who were likeable assholes that really did make it feel good to be bad, Margot Robbie and Will Smith‘s chemistry shined throughout.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie had something special together.

Margot has really captured Harley Quinn which makes me very excited to see her appear in future films in the role and Will Smith’s Deadshot was performed and developed well through flashbacks – I really appreciated the father-daughter relationship and bought into it as emotional initiative for “the world’s most wanted hitman”. This luckily more than allowed me to forgive him for that cringe-worthy “So what are we? Some kind of Suicide Squad?” line that made everyone facepalm in the trailer. Although this is a group film – you can’t help but feel that Will Smith holds that leadership aspect and therefore, see a lot more of his face than other characters. Viola Davis put in a good performance, however I felt that the script tried to hard to make the audience hate her and sympathise with “our new favourite bad guys” and therefore this led me to be slightly put off. A fair shoutout to Jai Courtney on this one, I thought he was great as Captain Boomerang and his wonderful little pink unicorn, the simple fact that he’s transported to a mission briefing in a body bag before climbing out and punching the nearest guard was beautiful.

Now I’m going to explore the aspects of David Ayer’s comicbook feature that annoyed me a little bit, and to start it off I’m going to stay on the topic of performances…

Jared Leto’s portrayal as everyone’s favourite Clown Prince of Crime was something that a lot of us were interested and excited to see. It is the first live action interpretation of the character since Heath Ledger’s absolutely incredible portrayal in 2008’s The Dark Knight, so having Leto take on the roll, and also having his commitment to it be well documented online, was something that was hyping audiences up for Suicide Squad. The Joker’s large presence in the films marketing campaign  and his trailer-stealing appearance of the first trailer added more fuel to the fire. So when I left the cinema the other day only having seen “Mr. J” for around 20 minutes I couldn’t help but feel disappointed and slightly lied to.

Jared Leto’s psychotic Joker only appeared on screen for around 20 minutes, disappointing a lot of audiences.

“Is he better than Heath Ledger?” – you can’t really answer this question, but I’m going to anyway and say “No, he is not”. Both of these two portrayals of the character are very different to one another – one is very, scarily real and the other, Leto’s interpretation, is very comicbook-esque. For what I seen of Jared Leto though, he was great as Harley’s Puddin’.  If I have to be completely honest, I almost wish we got a Joker & Harley Quinn movie because the scenes of them two were electric. Margot Robbie recently said in an interview that they had to leave out many of the scenes between them as it was taking away from the main story so I guess we may have to wait for one of Batfleck’s solo films to get a real feel for our new “gangster” Joker – and it’s something I am very looking forward to.

It frustrates me that Joker had so many scenes cut when they should have just cut Karen Fukuhara‘s Katana out of the film altogether as SHE DOES NOTHING THE ENTIRE FILM. I’d have happily cut her out completely and have an extra 15 minutes of Mr. J causing chaos and seducing Miss Harleen Quinzel with that slow, creepy laugh of his.

Enchantress, the villain of this film played by Cara Delevingne, is a witch who has consumed Dr. June Moone and wants to… wipe out all of humanity? I think. I can’t even be one hundred percent sure because I actually stopped caring about this. Because the film is heavily set in a deserted city, it doesn’t show you any humanity. You’re not ever reminded of the near 8 billion population of earth or even the near 20 million population of New York City. I do like Cara Delevingne, however her performance in this film is just not good enough and I’m afraid that she didn’t have a good character(s) to even work with. Dr June Moone is the key to Rick Flag’s heart, however you just don’t feel any connection between the two as the only real affection you see between them is narrated by Viola Davis in one of many expositional voiceover sequences. So her love story didn’t hook me, her plan to wipe out humanity with (surprise, surprise) a big blue beam firing up into the sky didn’t hook me either but at least her costume won me over, right? Well yes it started to but even that is quickly replaced with a far less impressive one afterwards. Could they just not be bothered with doing the make-up or something? I don’t know. All I do know is that Cara sadly disappointed me in this one – the CGI for her character didn’t help her out either.

Dr June Moone was sadly a less-than-worthy match for our Suicide Squad.

The first act of this film was very exposition heavy, however I did enjoy it and it did it’s job fine at introducing me to our new rag-tag team of psychopaths. Once we got the ball rolling I really did enjoy myself watching the film throughout its second act – however the problem is it’s final act, because it just never seemed to end. I only know this because I found myself awkwardly tilting my watch in the cinema, trying to catch some light so I could tell the time, trying to figure how long I’d been watching and if it was close to ending. This was simply because I didn’t care about the villain or many of the consequences of if she had succeeded. This painstakingly slow third act hurt a little more too when a seemingly never-ending slow motion scene occurs near the climax of the story. It wasn’t a cool slow motion scene you see in other comic book films such as Quicksilver in FOX’s X-Men franchise or the use of slow motion in the Judge Dredd reboot, it was bordering on cringey.

Overall, I see glimpses of opportunity and promise in Suicide Squad. The pacing dragged it down and if David Ayer had chosen to pursue a more interesting villain than Enchantress then who knows what could’ve been. I feel like we’ve got quite a few performances to look forward to in future installments – installments that look to be slowly learning from each misstep. I’m rating Suicide Squad:

5 out of 10!

Go support the film by going to see it in the cinema and casting your own decisions on it. If you’ve already seen it, what did you think? Let me know.

Thomas E. Griffiths