By Mandela Wells
Around the end of 2015, I had a number of films I was looking forward to seeing. This list included “Deadpool,“ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,“ “Captain America: Civil War,“ “Hail, Caesar!,“ “Triple 9,“ “Finding Dory,“ “X-Men: Apocalypse,“ “Birth of a Nation,“ “The Girl on the Train,“ “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,“ and more. At the VERY top of the list was “Suicide Squad.“ Yes, I had been waiting a loooooong time to see this film. I went in thinking this was gonna be the movie of the year, that Jared Leto would produce another great Joker incarnation, and that Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and everyone else would give us fantastic portrayals of these famous DC villains and anti-heroes. Boy oh boy, I was wrong! Although this is the first time supervillains have been the ones you’re rooting for, just like “X-Men: Apocalypse” this film falls flat on its face.
“Suicide Squad” is the origin story of the titular bad guy super team, aka Task Force X. The ruthless and cold hearted Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) enlists a unique group of criminals to battle against an unearthly foe. This team comprises of Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and Slipknot (Adam Beach). The team is led by soldier Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) along with his bodyguard Katana (Karen Fukuhara). The film also features The Enchantress (Cara Delevigne) and The Joker (Jared Leto) who makes things a bit difficult for the team who has to pull off this mission that nobody would have ever thought they would want to do.
You know, disappointment is something that really hits you in the gut, and “Suicide Squad” did that here, very disappointing. I had been waiting all year for this. I mean I’ll say this, it wasn’t terrible I’ve seen worst comic book films but this was no where near great. The films editing was very sloppy. There were many scenes that needed to be in different places in the film. The flow of it was very shaky not to concise. The writing was also very sloppy. There were aspects of this story that needed rewriting and some of it didn’t even make sense. Also, some of the dialogue was lazily written too. A particular character gets underutilized here I wont say who but I was not happy with that.
In terms of acting, Will Smith gave a decent effort as a comic book bad guy, or at least an anti-hero, but he came off more so as just a really complex superhero. He really cannot shake off that hero vibe he always has. I wasn’t too thrilled with Jared Leto’s Joker performance. It might have been just because he wasn’t in the film that much, but either way I still prefer Heath Ledger’s performance better. He played the Joker with more precession and focus. Leto’s Joker actually could have been the film’s villain and maybe we could have gotten something better. Then again though this performance doesn’t really give much hope for that.
Margot Robbie was not bad as Harley Quinn. She was pretty witty but she has done better than this. Physically however Robbie’s action scenes were impressive and I didn’t think there was much to Harley’s fighting style until I saw this. Viola Davis was pretty good here but I was hoping Amanda was gonna be a little bit more cold and badass to watch. Jai Courtney was actually the only one who came off as a real villain. He was a douchebag but provided an aurora of bad that was needed for a lot of these guys. The rest of the cast was decent but just didn’t bring it like they needed to.
The tone of the film was the only thing perfect in this film. It wasn’t as dark and grim as “Batman v Superman” and it had more of a fun vibe. Pretty fun soundtrack too, as 21 pilots‘ “Heathens” is my favorite song on there. As far as writer and director David Ayer goes, his direction in this film is a far cry from his masterful and intense work on Fury. He gave it his best shot but came up short here.
Please skip “Suicide Squad,” you deserve a better class of criminal than this.