From the director of Fury and End of Watch, David Ayer presents Suicide Squad to DC audiences on a silver platter.
It was given a rating of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, even with Oscar winner Jared Leto, and Oscar nominees Will Smith and Viola Davis as leading characters. As Rotten Tomatoes puts it, Suicide Squad “boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they are not enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.”
They couldn’t be more right on how messy the “plot” was. It begins with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, a United States Intelligence officer determined to secretly create a group of super villains currently incarcerated at Louisiana’s Belle Reve prison to defend the world against another alien attack. These dangerous DC bad guys are literally roll called on screen, educating the audience of who they are and why they are being recruited for the “Suicide Squad,” giving an overload of exposition in the process.
The members of the Suicide Squad are Deadshot, played by Will Smith, an assassin who bargains with Waller to get his daughter into a high-class college or else he won’t join. Waylon Jones (also known as Killer Croc) is played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who has a scaly skin disorder with super strength and has a hunger for not only live animals but also humans. Chato Santana (also known as El Diablo) is played by Jay Hernandez, who is cursed with the abilities of the devil and holds back on his powers of pyrokinetic nature until provoked by fellow squad members.
Margot Robbie is perfectly casted as the deranged Queen of Crazy, Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel, or “Harley Quinn”. Finally, who better to lead and control the squad than Rick Flagg, played by Joel Kinnaman, and his right-hand squeeze Dr. June Moon/ Enchantress, played by the lovely Cara Delevingne. There are a few more characters that are a part of the squad but whose roles became very irrelevant to the movie (i.e. “The guy who’s good at climbing stuff”).
So, is the Joker played by Jared Leto the evil bad guy in this movie that the squad fights like the trailers lead on? Unfortunately, no. The actual enemy is the Enchantress and her huge monster of a brother trying to destroy the world, because being controlled by humans is not something these ancient beings enjoy. The Joker’s subplot was minimal and constricted by Ayer into a love story between The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Audience members who are not well-versed on DC Comics lore and the Batman storylines will not understand the context of why the Joker is a crazed gangster trying to break Harley out of prison. These viewers will likely compare Leto’s Jokers to Heath Ledger’s cut-faced, purely sadistic Joker from The Dark Knight. Ledger’s Joker was memorable and beautifully accurate, which made Leto’s job that much harder. However, Leto’s Joker is correct in many aspects to those of us that are geeky comic book readers. There are many different iterations of the Joker. Leto’s is a newly formed origin Joker that is only described as a psychotic mobster boss, and his cut content and the false advertising leading up to it only makes audiences crave to see makeup on Heath Ledger’s face again.
Could the movie get anymore degrading? Indeed, it does. Deadshot’s background story is built upon tremendously in the film on why he hates Batman and his love for his daughter. Here is the snag in this; Deadshot is a cold assassin, and there is no true indication of why he does the things he does, so why not have the audience see him as that? Because that would be too accurate, right David Ayer?
Killer Croc’s role was completely forgettable. He is the most dangerous creature, having taken on tough foes like Bane and wants to kill and eat everyone, but instead he just sits in a bar with a jacket and gold jewelry with the squad. Is there an epic fight between Croc and another huge evil dude where Croc is the crazy killer he is? Nope, he just swims in the sewers, stands there, and fights a few of the messed-up humans (that look like boiling charcoal and get destroyed like charcoal) Enchantress conjured up. Disappointing.
The only shining light about the movie that had me still intrigued was Margot Robbie and her successful role as Harley. She had the mannerisms that accurately depicted Harley Quinn. Her voice, her smile, and the way she jumped into this womea’s Stockholm Syndrome mind and performed it to the tiniest detail is amazing. Bravo to Margot for saving this movie from bombing.
Suicide Squad was alright, but I refer to Rolling Stones Magazine on the final thought, “Forget Batman vs Superman- at least it tried. This botch job makes Fantastic Four look good.” My only question is which Fantastic Four? Or does it even matter?