Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad ★½

Gonzo's 2016 Movie Rankings

Please say it's good...
Nope, it isn't.

Oh, man. So, it really is as bad as they say?
Yup.

Worse than Man of Steel?
Yes.

Worse than Batman v Superman even?
Mm-hmm.

Wow. And I was really hyped about this...
Yup, me too. Me too.

So, who are in this version of the Suicide Squad?
Rick Flag, Katana, and Belle Reve inmates Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, and Slipknot. Enchantress and Joker are not part of the team, rather they serve as the squad's primary and secondary foils.

How's Margot Robbie as Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn?
Excellent. One of the few bright spots in the movie.

Do we see her in her classic jester outfit?
Yes, briefly.

Does she use her mallet?
No, she uses her baseball bat throughout the movie, although she does hold it during the briefing scene.

How about Jared Leto as The Joker?
Oof. Out of the entire cast, Leto is the one I like the least. I guess some might appreciate his take on the Clown Prince of Crime, but me? I honestly think his Joker is terrible, especially when measured up to all of the great Jokers we've had throughout the years, both live-action and animated. Leto is clearly a talented actor—and watching the movie, one could see a great version of The Joker buried somewhere in there—but he just plays it way over the top, way past the point of being enjoyably hammy and instead landing somewhere between eye-rolling and insufferable. Chalk it up to direction, perhaps? Anyway, it certainly isn't a good first impression, especially for the very first live-action Joker to appear in more than one movie.

How long is his screen time?
Not long; around 10-15 minutes in total, occasionally popping up here and there. It may not seem like much and it may come as somewhat of a surprise to some, given Leto gets second billing, but man, even in small doses, this Joker can get quite unbearable that you'd be wishing he had an even smaller role.

How's Joker and Harley's chemistry and relationship?
Leto and Robbie seriously lack that certain "mad love" that's crucial in making the whole Joker-Harley dynamic work. And out of the few attempts at fleshing out members of the Squad, it's Joker and Harley's backstory that's handled the worst. Deadshot's works the best. El Diablo's, to a lesser degree. Flag and Moone's, not too bad. But Joker and Harley's is presented quite haphazardly and is seemingly tacked on as nothing more than a piss-poor excuse to shoehorn The Joker into the plot.

How's Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot?
Pretty great. His best role since forever.

And Viola Davis as Amanda Waller?
Incredible. Spot-on. Perfect. Davis was born to play The Wall.

What about the rest, like Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag?
Nothing noteworthy. Just plain good. Flag, along with Deadshot and Harley, are the most fleshed-out characters among the Squad.

How about Karen Fukuhara as Katana?
Woefully underused. Here, Katana serves as Flag's right hand, but unlike Flag, she's mostly relegated to the side. How does one put Katana and her freaking Soultaker sword in a movie and not give her a moment? How?!

Does Jai Courtney deliver another trademark Jai Courtney performance as Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang?
Actually, no. This is probably his most colorful performance yet, but like Fukuhara and everyone else not named Smith, Robbie, and Kinnaman, he isn't given much to do—not even a backstory—and is simply relegated as the Squad's buffoon. Boomerang is, however, given a quirk—an obsession with pink unicorn plushies, which, for some baffling reason, isn't mined for laughs.

How's Jay Hernandez as El Diablo?
Pretty good. Out of all the secondary players in the Squad, his character is given the most depth, making Diablo one to root for.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc?
Expendable. Serves no particular purpose in the Squad other than being the token "monster."

And Adam Beach as Slipknot?
Also expendable. If they couldn't be bothered to give the man a backstory, have him appear last minute, simply call him "the man who can climb anything," and then the next scene we see him in, they blow his head up, they should've just cut the character out completely and simply had Flag blow up a dummy's head instead to prove the bomb in their necks is not a bluff.

And what about Cara Delevingne as June Moone/Enchantress?
Eh, she's okay. Moone is basically Hawkeye in the first Avengers. And the whole brother thing and the now-clichéd beam of light in the sky? Yeah, Enchantress probably wasn't the best choice as the main villain. Why not introduce Cadmus (which would be a logical and perfect next step following the events of BvS) and have the Squad steal the Annihilator (which would also add a Wonder Woman connection)? Or why not just simply adapt Assault on Arkham?

How's the action?
Not much, or rather should I say nothing particularly striking. We repeatedly find the Squad fending off hordes of faceless, computer-generated minions. The fights get old fast and are devoid of any sense of thrill or danger—shocking considering the man at the helm, David Ayer, is responsible for such raw and riveting action flicks like End of Watch.

How are the visuals?
Cheap and ugly. Suicide Squad is a film of many flaws, and if we were to start at the surface level, it's a mostly un-cinematic hodge-podge that could have benefitted from having a more visionary and stylistic director.

And the story?
UGH. They say the script was written in a mere six weeks, and it shows. They say WB and a trailer company cut the film, and it shows. A complete and utter clusterfuck from the very first frame to its last.

The movie takes place at Midway City. Do we see Hawkman and Hawkgirl?
No hawk people to be seen here.

Any cameos by the good guys?
We see Batfleck thrice, and Ezra Miller's Flash once.

Is there an extra scene after the movie?
Yes, there's a mid-credits scene, but nothing post-credits, so you could leave after.

How's the 3D?
A waste of money, like the movie itself. The trailer of Doctor Strange has better 3D (and more "wow") than the entirety of Suicide Squad.

So, what's the verdict?
Suicide Squad, described in a single word, is quite simply a mess. A tonally confused, chopped up, patched up, Frankensteinian abomination of a mess. It's a trainwreck within a much larger trainwreck too grand and spectacular to look away from. It's a movie borne out of envy, reeking of desperation. It's a movie that sees a famed franchise pathetically playing catch-up rather than doing things at their own pace, and in the process, mucking up such beloved characters that deserve much better and so much more. Suicide Squad is the final nail in the coffin of the DC Extended Universe, or so it seems. Maybe next year's Wonder Woman and Justice League restores all of their goodwill and puts them right back on track. But you'd have to think, WB and DC can't possibly keep suckering moviegoers over and over and over again, and still expect people to keep coming back for more—and I imagine for most, this may have been the tipping point. Wonder Woman and Justice League might turn out to be great films, but the damage has already been done. They've already left a bad taste in the moviegoers' mouths and turned off many, potentially making the DCEU a colossal bust, box-office-wise. Don't blame the critics. Don't blame Rotten Tomatoes. Don't blame Disney or Marvel and their fans. WB and DC? They're doing all of this by themselves, to themselves. Suicide Squad is the sound of a billion-dollar giant falling on its knees and committing suicide right in front of everyone on the big screen. If you're a DC fan—a true fan—or just a fan of good comic book movies in general, steer clear and look away.

The Scorecard:
Direction: ★
Acting: ★★★
Writing: ½
Editing: ½
Visuals: ★★
Sound: ★★★½
Entertainment: ★★
Overall Rating: ★½