Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad ★½

Equal parts complete disaster and wasted potential.

The first half is utter garbage. There's no other way to put it. It's bad enough that the pre-title scenes are a mess, with very quick introductions to Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) saying "Well, let me tell you this story herp de derp", directly followed by the title, but then we get a barrage of mindboggling decisions. Some characters get introduced multiple times, while some characters get barely introduced at all (Jared Leto's Joker literally pops up at random at the start of one scene, with no proper introduction whatsoever). Some scenes feel severely cut down or very noticeably reshuffled, to the point that it becomes distracting.

And the pop songs, Jesus Christ, the pop songs...the first ten minutes alone contain ten different pop songs, I kid you not. It gets particularly bad when songs from other movie trailers, most notably Kanye West's BLKKK SKKKN HEAD from the The Wolf of Wall Street trailer and Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky from Guardians of the Galaxy (and its trailer) - no doubt the critical and financial successes of the latter (along with maybe Deadpool) being the reasons why Warner Bros possibly re-edited the first half of the film like crazy in a bad attempt to make it more fast-paced and thus more market audience friendly.

Nothing flows together well. The first half of Suicide Squad is edited to absolute mush, to shit. Some of the worst editing I've seen all year. Worse even than Batman V. Superman's editing, which was already pretty bad.

Luckily, things get a little better from there. The editing doesn't feel nearly as bad anymore, most of the characters get a good deal of development and some actors get a moment to shine, there are some decent fight scenes - though why nobody has compared the CGI in this film to the CGI in Gods of Egypt yet is a complete mystery to me, it's embarrassingly bad at times - the film slowly stops throwing pop songs at you every two minutes, and there's a bit of a Carpenter's Escape from New York look and feel to the visuals, which I greatly appreciated. The film has a moment to breathe, which in turn feels like a breathe of fresh air after the haphazard editing in the first half.

However, it's too little too late, because the writing wasn't all that good to begin with. Why would the Suicide Squad be a good replacement for "indestructable alien god" Superman? What does the villain want? Why is Amanda Waller stupid enough to create the film's central problem all by herself? Why is the Joker in this film anyway!? The Joker has nothing to do with anything, save for the very end and one flashback scene. Plus, Jared Leto as the Joker is baaaaaaad. The worst portrayal of the Joker ever put on film, probably. Oof, man; such a far cry from Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Leto's Joker is forgettable at best, cringeworthy at worst.

At first, I was convinced that Suicide Squad would end up being the worst film of this year that I have seen, but the second half redeems it...somewhat. The concept is great, and even some parts of the execution are great: I like the visual style and there are some fun performances here. Yet the execution still leaves a lot to be desired, despite the fact that I can see a perfectly fine and original superhero film somewhere in here. I'm in no rush to hate DC movies, hell: some of my favorite superhero movies are DC movies, and overall DC offers movies with more interesting visuals, better soundtracks and more original storytelling than Marvel. Just like Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman, however, Suicide Squad is a frustrating film to say the least.

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