Suicide Squad review

Suicide Squad is the third instalment in the DC Extended Universe and after the less than lukewarm reception of Batman Vs. Superman this film better be good or the internet may explode. To some degree this is the DC’s attempt at Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, a lesser known comic book with lesser know characters. So this is risky, to say the least. But don’t worry they have sprinkled in Batman and everyone’s favourite clown prince of mayhem the Joker, to make sure everyone knows what universe they’re in. So is this Superhero Dirty Dozen film any good? ……oh dear…. I hear the internet rumbling!

The film kicked off with a customized Suicide Squad IMAX countdown, which looked amazing and I was pumped. However, soon after hearing seemingly the 50th chart topper during character intros or back stories I realized the directors must have got a memo from the executives. “Be more like ‘Guardians’” they said, I can hear it now “They have a great soundtrack, we must have a great soundtrack, but which songs? F*ck it! All of them, put in all the songs”. What they’ve missed here is that a soundtrack doesn’t make a film, it has to work as part of the film along with its many elements. And herein lies the main problem with Suicide Squad –  it lacks one of the biggest and most important elements of a film, a decent screenplay. There is no strong narrative and the motivations of the characters don’t make sense. There’s plot holes the size of bloody Gotham! Towards the end of the film we are told these super-criminals are now friends and have bonded to the degree that they consider themselves family, when exactly did this happen? Did those scenes end up on the cutting room floor? I’ve read reports of re-shoots that cost in the region of $10 million to add more humour in the film, but this ‘humorous dialogue’ now just feels crow-barred in and falls flat.

I mostly feel bad for the film because the cast is great and it looks good. The detail that has gone into each villain visually is amazing, with so many nods to the original comics there’s a lot for hardcore comic book fans to enjoy by seeing these beloved characters on the big screen. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are definitely the two leads and convey hit-man Deadshot and loopy Harley Quinn very well with what little they have to work with. Jarred Leto’s Joker is great and some of the most enjoyable parts of the film are with him and Harley Quinn on screen together but with so little screentime it’s hard to tell if his incarnation is up to par – so more Joker next time please. All the supporting cast are also strong, however, Viola Davis’ character Amanda Waller is a government funded dickhead who just annoyed me. Waller explains to a bunch of government army guys why we should put together these criminals and then does it again in a war room with some more government army guys. This is the same scene! Stop wasting my time. Anyway, if she cares so much about humanity why is she so murdery? No wonder Edward Snowden ran off to Russia if that was what his boss was like.

Put simply Suicide Squad is style over substance. It’s like fifty pop videos and movie trailers mashed into one, while you wait for someone to say anything of any actual meaning. Suicide Squad is the sort of film you can watch very drunk and have the same experience, in fact that may enhance it. Suicide Squad wants to be the darker more adult take on a comic book movie but the problem is adults need more than flashy bright colours to keep them happy. A disappointing film that had so much potential. Let’s just prey to the Gods of Themyscira that Wonder Woman isn’t as pile of dog shit please, please, please, please……

Reviewed by Ian Wright

2 stars