I guess it would be more appropriate to say that I didn’t hate Suicide Squad.
Would it have been better if Tom Hardy played Rick Flag? Yes. But, did Joel Kinnaman’s hairline make me feel better about myself? Absolutely Yes. Was Cara Delevinge a horrible villain? Yes. Could 90% of the Joker’s remaining screen time been cut? Yes. Is a crocodile person a shitty character? Most definitely yes. Was this movie good? No. Was this movie entertaining? Eh…Yes. Did Margot Robbie put the “hot” in hot pants? Also yes.
Suicide Squad failed to meet the sky-high expectations that come with a blockbuster of this caliber paired with this seemingly great (good?) cast. Opening weekend brought in just north of $134 million, beating the previous record for an August release held by Jurassic World by an insane $40 million and it still fell short of the $140 million that was anticipated.
Those monetary goals alone are enough to cause a movie to fail before the first screening, but then when you consider the star power attached and this movie was never going to be enough. Then toss in how the cast embraced these characters in a legendary way with Jared Leto sending people dead rats and used condoms while never breaking character (bet you feel pretty stupid now after your 7 minutes on camera) and Margot Robbie permanently scarring everyone with “SKWAD” tattoos, you kind of figured this would be an epic piece of art.
Jared Leto went as far to say they cut so much of the Joker’s scenes that there’s enough footage to make an entire movie. And to that I say please, dear God, no. Maybe with more Joker featured Leto’s random hysteric laughter and the scene where he and Robbie submerge themselves in some vat that is never explained wouldn’t have been so annoying, but in its current form the little Joker we got was even too much.
On top of that, take the viewers’ and critics’ expectations and the diabolical combination of Guardians of the Galaxies’ success, Batman v. Superman’s failures and the folks at Warner Bros. wetting their pants for 6 months straight and no wonder this movie end up being a Frankenstein’s monster of a disjointed cinema fuckery.
D.C. had a real chance to differentiate themselves from their counterpart in Marvel. I don’t know where this notion came from that the age of the dark superhero movie had come and gone. Instead of owning the inherent darkness of its universe, it tried to conform to the lighter appearance of its rival and that cost them big time this year.
But, with that said this movie wasn’t entirely the dumpster fire its 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes makes it out to be. Sure, the movie peaked early and David Ayer’s original version was probably much superior (or at least I sure hope so), but there were definitely extremely enjoyable moments.
In particular the first half hour or there about where Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is providing us background into why these particular villains are being chosen and what landed them in jail was definitely the peak in terms of interest. The thought of preparing for Superman or a Superman-like character that is more terrorist than hero is extremely fascinating.
But, After that it was all convoluted action and plot holes. And it pains me to say that this high point of the film was “cut down to just a fraction of its original length,” according to Dana Schwartz of the Observer.
The most redeemable portions after this early sequence was the back in the forth between Will Smith and Robbie (wish they had more chemistry like this in Focus). Aside from those two and Davis, Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) stole the handful of scenes he was in as Griggs, a prisoner guard, and provided the comedic presence that helped lighten up the movie. If only they had relied on him and Harley Quinn as the sole sources instead of force feeding us quips and hijinks throughout the film then perhaps a good balance could’ve been struck.
The most disheartening part of Suicide Squad was for sure what it could have been. If Ayer wasn’t forced to create a more lighthearted movie last second we could’ve found that sweet spot between The Dark Knight and Sin City and got the *brace yourself for a horrid cliche* gritty movie we wanted. But the suits interfered and seemingly ripped out its soul in an attempt to create a style of movie we’ve seen for the last infinity summers all while failing spectacularly to meet the bar that had been set by its predecessors.