Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
"You disobey me, you die."
Being only the third chapter inside DC's extended universe & already the first wild card in the bunch, David Ayer's Suicide Squad is DC's first major flop and is easily the worst of the bunch as there was so much excitement and possibility for it to be great, but failed really badly. I liked this when I saw it for the first time, and as time went on and I couldn't shake the bad points of the film, it hit me my original rating was wrong.
There is a good film buried somewhere inside of Suicide Squad and I really wish that's what it become but with glaring flaws everywhere & and so many bad points overcoming the good ones, it's just hard to see the good in the film. This was DC at its most obscure and crazy and the trailers sold it as that and yet when you finally see the movie, it seems like it tries too hard to be different and it really bothered me.
One of the most important parts of a film - and why a film works so well - is the story; it has to be interesting, flows well without boring parts, and keeps surprising you in a good way. David Ayer's script is one of the worst I've ever seen. There are tons and tons of moments of boring, bland, unoriginal, and it didn't flow. It dredged and I was rolling my eyes on so many moments. Ayer can't write heart inside a film, the characters don't feel connected, and he makes so many dumb moments where it wouldn't make sense in reality and it didn't work at all.
Ayer's direction here is severely flawed. I previously watched all his films last year and it was obvious he had ups and downs but he never found his footing and here it continues. Ayer does moments - especially with Harley & Joker - where it feels and just looks so stupid; I severely hated it. The way he directed the characters didn't work; they didn't seem like they actually felt what they were supposed to and if they did it was because of the actors. The action is the only good thing I can say about his direction.
When it comes to performances, this is where the film really turns into the huge 50/50. Will Smith, Jai Courtney, & Margot Robbie absolutely kill their characters and are easily the best parts. Margot is an obvious standout of the film and is the perfect Harley Quinn. On the other half, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, and Killer Croc (his name is really long sorry) are pretty bad. I don't mean passable bad, like terribly bad. Leto is so so so bad as Joker. It's not anything the Joker would do and he's so stupid. Cara isn't really bad, it's really just the character she plays, & Killer Croc is just stupid.
Ever since I first saw this in theaters I knew that it wouldn't be one of my favorites and would definitely be the upset in the DCEU. After watching all them it's clear how separate this should be from the rest. The writing/direction from Ayer is seriously poor, the performances are scattered all over the place, & the only redeeming quality throughout the whole film is enjoyable action. David Ayer's Suicide Squad isn't just a bad comic book film, it's a bad film in general, and left me so disappointed.