Scooter!’s review published on Letterboxd:
In elementary school, I learned (like most people do) about bullying. Did you know that being a bystander is bad, just as bad as being the bully? Please.
Since its release, the cinematic helicopter crash that is Suicide Squad has been bullying unwitting audiences, myself included. If you have seen it, I understand and yes, I do feel your pain. If you haven't, please continue being a bystander (I'll explain later), and together, we can end the bullying that is the theatrical reign of Suicide Squad.
Don't you realize? You, yes you! Don't you realize that by choosing to see Suicide Squad, you have signed up for a heck of a rough housing! Suicide Squad will expose its ugly self in front of you, and you can only watch while it insults your intelligence for more than two hours (in case you forgot, they're the bad guys).
And like a real flesh and blood bully, the root of Suicide Squad's conflict is internal. It just wants to be loved, at least liked. No DC Extended Universe movie has had the privilege of being universally liked before! It doesn't want to be a Batman v Superman, it wants to be a Guardians of the Galaxy! That's what the people want, right? A colorful and punky superhero movie...?
The desire for Suicide Squad to be an colorful splash on the dull canvas that is the gritty DC Extended Universe must have been a delayed reaction. The resulting movie, however, only finds color in a CGI sky portal, unfitting pop music, the Joker's vomitous wardrobe, and Harley Quinn's hair. The rest of Suicide Squad is constituted of a dreadfully plain color palette. Hey David Ayer, E.L. James called, she wants her fifty shades of gray back.
Punk is wild. Good punk is exciting. Great punk is revolutionary. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is hardly even punk. It's not wild or crazy even if a nameless prison guard says so about everyone in Task Force X. Even if the movie was wild or crazy, it is in the wrong ways. The story (if one could call it that) is so nonsensical and misguided that any related wildness or craziness that one could associate it with is a detraction to the movie's quality. It's fitting that a movie about bad guys (everyone on the squad gets a chance to tell the world that they're the bad guys at one point or another) turns out so bad.
Will Smith is Deadshot, an assassin who does his dirty work for money. I can't help but think the principle here also applies to his performance. Margot Robbie is the iconic Harley Quinn, who is both captivating and annoying. The jury is out on whether or not she did a good job. Same goes for Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang. Viola Davis is Amanda Waller, and she does alright with the single piece of direction she was given: be menacing. And just because they (Jared Leto and Cara Delevingne) are playing bad guys doesn't mean they had to give such bad performances. Jay Hernandez is fine as El Diablo. Everyone else plays disposable characters in what are also disposable performances.
Suicide Squad should have been a really great movie. But it's a victim to the "catch-up to Marvel" strategy of the DC Extended Universe. The movie cares about the quantity of the comic book characters it plays with instead of the quality of how these characters should be treated. When I say it should have been a really great movie, I mean that it should have been a really great theatrical movie (watch me eat my words when the inevitable director's cut turns out to be good).
If you've stuck with this "review", I thank you. What follows is a little bit of proposed activism. If you've been watching television, surfing the web, or breathing as of late, odds are you have seen some of the (admittedly fantastic) ads for Suicide Squad. No matter how tempting it may be, do not see Suicide Squad. It is a bad movie - it is less of a movie than it is a stew, a crock of ideas and scenes cooked up in a script that was written with as much care as the Cincinnati Zoo gave to a certain gorilla. Yes, Suicide Squad is that bad. Adopt a dog, read a book, or try that gnocchi recipe you saw in a Facebook video - do anything that isn't seeing Suicide Squad. In this real-life scenario, you can end bullying by simply being a bystander. Remember, they're the bad guys.