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Suicide Squad Review: Boring. Heroes. Ever.

 Suicide Squad movie review

After a unique, rowdy and colorful marketing campaign for SUICIDE SQUAD you go in expecting that. Instead you get a tamed version of a superhero movie, and the PG-13 rating might be to blame. I was really rooting for the David Ayer film to succeed so it was a great letdown.

We've come to expect gritty, dark, and subversive from the END OF WATCH and FURY helmer David Ayer, but we get none of that in SUICIDE SQUAD. These so-called supervillains seem harmless and there's zero chemistry among the ensemble. We get a lot of backstories but not enough interaction and motivation to really care about these people.

Individual performances stand out like Margot Robbie’s very entertaining Harley Quinn, although her accent is not consistent, and in some scenes she’s a love struck, weak minded-woman. Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller is the real villain here, and she’s one scary boss lady who was underserved in the story. Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo is the most sympathetic and relatable while Jai Courtney’s Boomerang didn't get enough screen time or dialogue to play up an interesting character. All of Boomerang’s funny bits are in the SUICIDE SQUAD trailer and television spots, as is all the best parts of the movie.

Suicide Squad Jared Leto Joker Harley Quinn Margot Robbie

Other than those characters, the rest of the cast are bland and boring. Will Smith’s Deadshot is two-dimensional. Smith had more fun with another anti-hero as the drunk and scruffy superhero in HANCOCK. In SUICIDE SQUAD, Smith plays it safe.  As Deadshot, he’s the sanest of the bunch from beginning to end with no progress or story arc much like everyone else. Jared Leto is wasted as the demented Joker with nothing much to do except establishing a not-so-credible love story with Harley. Batman felt thrown in simply to tie in with other DC properties. 

I hate to bring Marvel into this review but GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is essentially the same concept and it was done well. The charm of the film was the interaction between the band of interplanetary misfits and seeing them grow as a group. The character’s quirks are carried throughout the Marvel movie as gags. The action was secondary and the villain wasn't all that great, but those characters had great chemistry and the film was overly entertaining.

That’s what’s lacking in SUICIDE SQUAD. Although there are a few quips between the stars, there's no throughline.

These DC “supervillains” in SUICIDE SQUAD have been locked up in solitary confinement and abused by the guards. They should have some serious issues and anger towards Waller, her team, and society at large. The group accepted their assignment and each other too easily.

Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman and Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje in Suicide Squad

Everyone was betting David Ayer’s SUICIDE SQUAD was going to be the breakout hit that Warner Bros needed for the DC Extended Universe, but it was such a disappointment.  As a fan of Ayer’s previous work (FURY, END OF WATCH, STREET KINGS), the helmer seemed like the perfect candidate to bring the DC supervillains to life on the big screen.

Did the studio machine get too involved with SUICIDE SQUAD? Did he go soft with the PG-13 rating? David Ayer has made a career of writing memorable anti-hero characters such as Denzel Washington’s award-winning turn as Detective Alonso Harris in TRAINING DAY, Keanu Reeves in STREET KINGS and Kurt Russell in DARK BLUE. His last film, FURY is one of his best and features an impressive cast in one of the most intensive scenes from a David Ayer film. Brad Pitt, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman are an unhinged tank crew sitting around a dinner table in a war zone but the real battle is among the group. Now why couldn't have Ayer unleashed that kind of tension among Task Force X? You have to wonder if he had full control since SUICIDE SQUAD doesn't feel like an Ayer film.

Another huge problem with the movie is that there is nothing at stake. SPOILER ALERT. The trailers highlight the misfits but it never clearly identifies their exact mission. Now it's clear why. Task Force X is pulled together to fight against Enchantress played by model turned actress Cara Delevinge but the powerful sorceress is a weak villain. Her story is glossed over, and worst of all, Delevinge is wrong for the part. She doesn’t have the range yet to play June Moon and her evil alter ego, and foremost, she looks too young to be an archeologist. When the squad battle Enchantress and her army, there are laughable moments with Delevigne’s body movements and awkward stances as she summons the dark forces to the city. The whole action scene came off like a poor imitation of the climactic scene in the original GHOSTBUSTERS when Gozer, the sexy demon, opens the portal to the underworld.

Not only was Enchantress a weak villain but WTF was up with her army of boysenberry-faced soldiers? When they first appear on screen to fight the squad there is no explanation as to what the hell these goons are. Later we watch Enchantress turn human soldiers into these boysenberry armies in an unsatisfying and lame manner.

There’s a long laundry list of what’s wrong with SUICIDE SQUAD, but it would require a thesis. Not everyone disliked the movie. A colleague's teenage son enjoyed the film so perhaps the younger crowd will get some enjoyment out of this unsatisfying movie.


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