FRIDAY NIGHT/MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Suicide Squad” stars Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air [TV series], I Am Legend), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus), Joel Kinnaman (Robocop , Run All Night), Viola Davis (The Help, Prisoners), Jay Hernandez (Hostel, Quarantine), Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns, Pan), Jai Courtney (Divergent, Terminator Genisys), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost [TV series], The Bourne Identity), Karen Fukuhara, Jared Leto (Requiem for a Dream, Dallas Buyers Club), Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Batman v. Superman), and Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino, Fury). It is written and directed by David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch). Convicts including Deadshot (Smith) and Harley Quinn (Robbie) are recruited by the government in order to stop an ancient threat who plans to destroy the city.
You all know how I feel about DC: I love the characters (more or less) and the universe, but when it comes to Warner Brothers’ new cinematic franchise, I could care less. “Man of Steel” was a rather underwhelming experience, “Batman v. Superman” was an atrocity, and now we get to “Suicide Squad,” the first film in this cinematic universe to not be directed by Zack Snyder, written by David S. Goyer, or starring Superman. I was never really interested in seeing it, as the trailers didn’t do much to make me want to see it in theaters, but I ended up doing so anyway because of how my friends wanted to watch it with me. I was in for the hangout with buds, so if this movie actually exceeded my expectations, than that would be a plus. Did it? Not really. I didn’t walk into this already shutting it down; I wasn’t already planning its score. I kept an open mind and held my tongue, because I don’t want to come off as a DC hater. Although Warner Brothers is improving, this release fails to live up to its name, with most issues revolving around its story. I’ve heard of this group of criminals before the movie was announced. I never read the comics, but I was given enough information from people to get an idea of what I was diving into. This is an interesting clan of villains. There’s many of them to learn about and connect with, like Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Too bad that they were really the only ones focused on. Yes, there are other characters, and yes, they do have some of the spotlight, but a majority of this film goes to Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Is it a celebrity thing? I don’t know, because I thought that the other criminals could’ve been brought out more in this. The actors that filled the shoes of these figures were pretty good. They all had good chemistry and made the story entertaining, for the most part. If only the character development was shared just as much as the talent. When studying the story, it’s hard to even think that development was even thought of. Even though we were given information on the criminals early in the plot, it was all done in a way that one character told the audience all they needed to know, instead of us figuring it out ourselves. I don’t take too kindly to this strategy, as it makes me feel like the writer is lazy. So, once the characters are given their introductions, we are then thrown into the threat. It caught me off guard because the villain actually started destroying the city in the middle of the flick. I thought that the fight for the town would take place at the end, but it was stretched out for a good hour. This is fine, I just didn’t like their approach, and that is because of the editing. Think of it this way: you have construction paper and scissors. Instead of cutting out something inventive, you snip at the edges and jab at the paper in random ways. That is how this movie was pieced together. The first forty-five minutes, especially when they were introducing the characters, was warped. Fast cuts, several songs, all being thrown at me, consuming me and giving little room to breathe. This lasts for what seems to be an eternity, and it takes until the last thirty minutes or so for the editing to be controlled, minus the confusing final fight (I couldn’t tell what was going on, and the fact that they fought in a heavy mist didn’t help). What this does to the plot is make it empty. With everything being jumbled and having very little scenes that don’t have fast cuts, I can barely invest myself into these characters and their situation. Everything was sprung onto me sporadically, and I am mainly trying to keep up rather than live in the moment. There are exceptions to this, mainly the bar scene. We get insight to our crooks and learn something about them from their standpoint, not another character talking for them. I loved these parts and they worked well. I wish they had more moments like this, but they barely did. They all had to work fast to beat this bad guy, who was essentially Zuul from the first Ghostbusters. At least her plan mimicked it; and the look of it resembled last year’s “Fantastic Four.” The bad guy was a generic baddy, as well as her master plan, so the threat level never felt too high. Of course, you also had the Joker (Leto) thrown in there, but he was more of a side attraction than a villain. Did I like Jared Letto’s interpretation? That’s a hard question. He definitely got lost in the role, but I was never into the grill and tattoos. I’d like to see more from him, though, so I can get a better feel for his character. Batman (Affleck) also made an appearance in this, and it was rather short-lived. What makes things funny is how he doesn’t help the Suicide Squad in their mission. I know, the Avengers don’t even assemble to help their members in solo films, but the fact that they had Batman capture some of the bad guys should give him reason to be somewhere in the battle. In the end, this movie had its moments. I was more impressed by this entry than “Batman v. Superman,” and it even has some thrills. The characters are cool to watch, but the story does it no justice, and the editing only makes it more garbled than it needs to be. If you’re really looking for a great comic film about criminals teaming up for good, I’d point you to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a far better release than this. FINAL SCORE: 70%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: