Ryster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here's the thing with Suicide Squad, it's enjoyable but so very disappointing. Last year in July the first trailer was released and the film instantly went to the top of superhero films that I was looking forward to. I had grown tired of Batman v Superman, I knew that Civil War would be standard Marvel fare, X-Men didn't entice me as much as it should've and I don't care what so ever about Doctor Strange. So the fact that this was a film about villains and not heroes made it different from the rest of them and that got me interested. Now I have to admit, I'm actually fine with the dark and moody tones in the DC Universe. I think it's a nice change from the Marvel films. Sure they need some slight humour to keep it enjoyable but I like the dark atmosphere. The first trailer for this (the one with a cover of the Bee Gees song "I Started a Joke") was very doom and gloom and incredibly dark. I wanted to see that movie so much. It looked very adult and like a psychological thriller. Then the other trailers came out and they were very heavy on the humour, they were good but I still think that first trailer is the best. This got me slightly worried because what type of film were they trying to make. With David Ayer writing it and directing I thought for sure that it would be very adult and dark. Well it was always going to disappoint some audiences and I find it really unfortunate that I'm in that group. This is a film about the baddest villains around getting together to fight and they've got bombs in their necks and it's supposed to be a comedy. Like I said, have humour but this film just didn't flow well.
After an event happens that leaves the world without one of its heroes, Amanda Waller decides that the world needs a back-up team. She decides to recruit the most dangerous, ruthless and craziest villains that she can get. The group consists of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang among others. They get sent on a top secret mission before having to fight to save the world.
As I've said before, Will Smith is a very charismatic man. He's just automatically charming and instantly likeable. He also has a fantastic sense of humour which shows in this film. I didn't think that the jokes here landed that well but Smith managed to make me smile and laugh with all of his qualities. His portrayal of Deadshot was one of the best things in this movie. Out of all members of the Suicide Squad he was without a doubt the one that had the best and most entertaining action scenes. He's also one of the only ones to have a backstory and it's actually great. The scene in which he's with a certain superhero is probably my favourite scene in the movie because it's dramatic and gives so much personality to this character in just a few minutes. Margot Robbie is also great as Harley Quinn, I'd even say that she's a standout. I like the character of Harley Quinn and she's one of the only characters in this that I think succeeds in telling jokes. I mean she's the counter-part to The Joker, joke is in his title. Many people have been thinking that she's overly sexualised and while I can understand why they'd think that (she shows as much as they could get away with) it's kind of related to the character through the characterisation. If we look past all this, we can see that she does give the character justice. The accent, the look, the characteristics are all there and performed well. Viola Davis is also a standout in this movie. She's ruthless and really villainous. I thought that she was thrilling to watch at times. Jai Courtney is unbelievable in this. I don't mean that he plays the character unbelievably or anything, I just can't believe that it's him. He's actually good. He's funny and actually likeable at times. He doesn't get a lot to do (like a lot of people here) but with what he's got he does well. Jared Leto (not going to lie, kind of forgot about him for a second there) does well as The Joker, but he's got like 3 scenes. I liked his performance most of the times and I thought that he was entertaining to watch. I'd love to see more of him. Poor Cara Delevingne. I like her as a person, I think she's very likeable and I feel like she could act but here she's not great. When she first shows up she's good but once something happens, all she does is dance. It's not meant to be that but she's doing it and it's cringey. The rest of the cast (there's an awful lot more) range from alright to being bland and forgettable and at times it's not even the actors fault, it's just badly written characters.
The plot for this movie isn't good. Like the previous DC Universe movies, it's one of the main problems. The first 30 minutes is all introduction to characters and I actually liked it. It introduced some of them really well and others too quickly but it was entertaining. Then they go on a mission and to be perfectly honest it's not really that obvious. I know that it's top secret but there's basically no information for the entire second act and the payoff isn't even that rewarding, it's quite anti-climactic actually. Then the third act happens and it never feels like the end. The tone and feel of the movie is all over the place and it's really obvious that this film had problems with editing. At times it's really, really dark with scenes of Harley getting tortured by Joker, all on screen and in full view, then we get some pop or rock music over a character introduction. The whole film is like this. This is a PG-13 in America but a 15 in Britain which is very surprising. I think this film would've been better if it were made for adults. Many of the things and the subject matter dealt with in this film will not be of interest to kids, or even suitable for them. Joker is a mob boss, Harley dances in a strip club, he tortures her, Diablo has a backstory which is disturbing on paper. These things are obviously not for kids so why make it for kids. I can tell for sure that this isn't David Ayer's vision. It doesn't feel like he's directed this. This could have honestly been directed by anyone, it doesn't have any feel of an Ayer film in either the directing or the writing which is very disappointing. At least Batman v Superman felt like a Snyder movie. The cinematography is alright. Scenes do look cool and that scene where Deadshot is on top of a car is great to look at. Every scene involving The Joker is also incredible to look at as many colours are present. However the rest of this film is covered by darkness and rain and fog that many great scenes are covered and not eye catching. You can make a film that's very dark without it being night or raining. There's also scenes in which you can tell they were made the way they are to get a PG-13 rating, one being a death scene. Speaking of that, there's absolutely no impact because we haven't spent enough time with the character and there's not really a good reason behind it. Many things are said in this film but because we're never shown them happening it's not as powerful. I know this sounds like a nitpick but there's too many characters in this film. They are cool but Katana, Slipknot, Killer Croc and Enchantress hardly do a thing in this movie. They might always be on the screen but they do nothing and it's because there's too much happening elsewhere. These characters are also supposed to be the baddest of people, I didn't feel like they were once. These people aren't menacing or scary or even threatening, which they should be. The soundtrack is really good and I'll probably buy it because there's a lot of good songs but they are so blatant in scenes that they are terrible for the scenes. I don't normally go into things like costume but here I have to mention it. I think they looked great. What the characters wear is excellent with even throwbacks to comics. The chemistry between most of the characters isn't developed and due to this the ending isn't as powerful. The mid credits scene is also pointless in my opinion. Guys I hate to admit it but Suicide Squad is a major disappointment. With a rating that could show blood and give some power to these characters and giving David Ayer the final cut would've changed this, I just know it. What we have though is a choppy mix of bad jokes that aren't funny and real disturbing stuff. It's entertaining to watch, it's 2 hours of entertainment that does give enjoyment. This review focuses an awful lot on the negatives of the film and that's because there's an awful lot of them, but it does have good stuff. Good acting and the action is good. It's more enjoyable that Batman v Superman but this film is so poorly made that Batman v Superman is the better film.