Suicide Squad was meant to be a fun aside, a summertime movie that flew under the radar. Thanks to disappointing box office returns for Batman v Superman, however, Suicide Squad took on much more attention and pressure than it was meant to.
Suicide Squad is about a group of incarcerated criminals, who are released by super-secret government agent Amanda Waller. Her vision is to create a band of nutty brothers, who are so bad, they’re good. Plus, she figures if they get killed, no biggie. Each of them has a tiny bomb implanted in their head. That way, if they don’t follow the rules, they’re blown to bits. It’s a kind of hardcore leash.
I know plenty of fans who like Suicide Squad better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I think they like it better simply because it has more laughs. That’s it. The story — what there is of it — is horrible. There’s no build-up, just pay-offs. And those are predictable.
The movie spends entire music videos introducing each character. Really, a title slate for each one would have been fine. Or, how about Waller just running down their rap sheet, quick-like.
The time wasted on introductions could have been spent getting the audience invested in the team and the story. I wanted to see the Suicide Squad take on some petty criminals here and there, learning their moves, gelling as a team, then taking on a boss. However, Suicide Squad wastes a ton of time in the lead-up, and then sends them into a boss battle. Except, the boss battle is so. Damn. Long. And in the meantime, we get a couple of exposition dumps that are shoe-horned into the story.
Speaking of the boss battle, the identity of the boss is supposed to be a twist, a surprise. (SPOILERS!) How can we feel betrayed by one of Waller’s chosen nut-jobs, when we haven’t even had time to get to know her? Again, we needed to see her fighting alongside her fellow Suicide Squad team members. That way, we’re invested when she splits. (END SPOILERS)
There are too many deaths. What I mean is, too many times a character dies and then — gotcha! They’re back. Once is clever. More than that? They lose all meaning. Those gotcha moments are the result of lazy movie-making. Make a choice and stick with it!
Plus, there are just far too many characters. There are so many characters, that when one of them gets a moment, like Katana, it seems completely out of place. We are given no reason to care about any of them, except Deadshot and Harley Quinn (most likely because big shots Will Smith and Margot Robbie, respectively, made sure they got enough screen time). So, when something happens to a character, it’s like, meh.
And don’t get me started on the Joker. He should have been used much more sparingly. Jared Leto isn’t starring in the same movie as everyone else. His storyline could have been completely removed, to great effect. Or, even better, his story could have been part of the overall story. Instead, it runs parallel and just gets confusing.
What’s frustrating is that there is a good movie hiding in Suicide Squad. But writer/director David Ayer needed a tighter storyline, a better focus, fewer characters, and more fight scenes (with different villains).
Suicide Squad got beaten up by the critics, only racking up 26% on the Tomatometer. And while Suicide Squad remained at the top of the August box office, it still only brought in $282 million to date.
Thanks for reading! Get my free Guide to DC Movies.