SUICIDE SQUAD Review - Mostly Fun But Lacking Connective Glue

Suicide Squad stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Common, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Joel Kinnaman, Karen Fukuhara, and more, in a film directed by David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch, Training Day).

Oh, yes, Ben Affleck as Batman and Bruce Wayne, gets some screen time too.

In case you did not know, this film is about a secret U.S. government group getting a bunch of super human criminals to do their bidding. In order to get them to comply with the government's requests, they've been promised reduced sentences and oh, they have micro explosives injected into their heads. That way, if they go off-script, their handler blows their head off.

It's compelling.


The film starts out in a lengthy expose of introducing the various criminals, one by one, on who they are and how they got caught. Then we watch Amanda Waller (Davis) convince the government to form this team of super criminals with the reasoning that if an evil Superman ever showed up, who would defend the country?  (Personally, I don't think any of these goons, put together, would even slow down Superman, but that's just me.)

Coming out of the first act and picking up the story in the second act, the evil that opposes our team of "good" guys shows itself and takes over the city.

The second act also shows the team come together and begrudgingly learn to work with each other and their handler. Without killing him that is.

Then our team goes into action to kick some ass.


If this film was put together by the same guy who helmed Training Day, End of Watch or Fury, then WB/DC must have been riding a tight kind of shotgun on Ayer. I think I saw hints of his work in there, but this jumbled mess did not feel like something he did.

This film also spotlights the talent or lack thereof of a good film editor.

The film was a fun & action filled, I'll give it that. The introduction scenes of the criminals had the feel of the music laced trailers, so I am presuming that these were the reshot or added scenes that we had heard about being injected, after WB took a slam for BvS. Except these were more subdued than the trailers.

When our big bad guy shows up and takes over the city, I just did not feel it. He showed up, walked down the train tracks and into a tunnel, skewering a train. The next thing you know, they're saying terrorists have taken over the evacuated city.

The other half of this bad guy team felt like it was the evil ghost that took over the city in the original Ghostbusters movie, I mean literally. Except, with subdued acting.

When our anti-heroes encounter their first swarm of bad guys, they do it a rather ill-lit, jumble of a mess action scene. I really would have loved to have been able to see the action just a bit better because it looked like the fun really started to happen.

I just had to assume it was a fun scene.


If you like Will Smith, you'll love him in Suicide Squad as he delivers a very usual Will Smith characterization in the role of Deadshot. But it was nothing we haven't seen before from him.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn did her best to bring the insane ex-shrink to life. Quinn works on paper perfectly, but there's a lot of work to be done to translate it to film.

For those fans out there who bitched and griped that there was too little Joker, I have to wonder what film they went and saw, unless they wanted Suicide Squad to be entirely about the Joker, because he was in it plenty. I mean, for a film about a group of super criminals that has nothing to do with the Joker, he was in it a lot.

And Leto's Joker was just fine, but he has a lot to live up to and all the hype about his version might have been overdone.

I happen to like Joel Kinnaman and one day, he'll be in a really, really good movie. But he pulled off his role of Rick Flag wonderfully. I think he found his calling as a bad-ass military group leader.

My favorite character for me, turned out to be Diablo, played by Jay Hernandez. The character had a compelling story, a fantastic skill, and a few wonderful surprises up his sleeve.


All in all, I wanted to like Suicide Squad, but there was something missing in the glue that was supposed to connect the scenes to the other scenes, or the glue that pulled you in to care and worry or be involved in the action on the screen.

I can't put my finger on it, but I think this was the same effect that took place in Batman v Superman, where things took place in the story without explanation and only fans of the franchise might know how it happened or why it took place, leaving regular movie-goers scratching their heads. But this applied to many moments in the movie.

Yet in one example where our "terrorist" took over the city. He was awakened, told to go feed, and next thing you know, without seeing very much, the city was evacuated and he had taken over. Wait, what?

And his sister, The Enchantress, was so over-acted, with so little energy that it was more distracting than engaging.

One of the things I REALLY LIKED was how DC did not keep us waiting through 20 minutes of credits for that after-credits scene. We got that delivered to us in perfect short order, so we could then get the hell out of the movie theater and back into life.


When I was done watching Suicide Squad, I did not come out of the theater with that "Wow, that was a blast," kind of feeling. I came out of it feeling like I do after dutifully watching another episode of my favorite TV series, turning the channel and moving on to my next DVR'd thing to watch.

It was a fine time killer whose marketing over-sold the enthusiastic energy a bit too much. I know DC had to do something to sell the film, but they should have left the film to its original feel of watching murderous, ill-trusted characters be the dark and deadly characters they are.

DC/WB picked the wrong film to try to spruce up with sprightly humor marketing.

If I had to score this movie on a scale, despite wanting to really like it, I'd have to say I got a little too subdued, was not engaged enough to get excited about everything taking place in the movie and was not unhappy about getting out of the theater.  I would give this a popcorn-6.

But I'd give the all the fun trailers a popcorn-9!!! Then again, that's what marketing is all about... snagging your attention, getting you into a state of high-energy kind of anticipation, and wanting to see a product.

The marketing did its job. I'll give it that. And I'm not sure I'll ever trust their marketing again.

I don't think I wasted my money, but I think I would have been happier hitting up a steak house for the bucks.

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