Suicide Squad is big, loud, and full of star quality, but it’s also incredibly underwhelming. For a film with so much pedigree behind it, it’s quite surprising that the final product turned out to be so dull. There’s no real stakes in the film, the actors are incredibly underused, and the action isn’t very good either. Suicide Squad feels almost as if you were handed a present with some gorgeous eye-catching wrapping, but only to find out that the gift inside was a rock.
As for the plot itself, it’s the polar opposite of the ultra-colourful, in-your-face marketing campaign. After some entertaining backstory segments to each character, the narrative slips into a ‘shuffle from A to B killing generic villains’ routine, which doesn’t really ever manage to reach the heights it intends to. The best bits throughout the film are the small interactions between the characters, with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Will Smith’s Deadshot, and Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg stealing the show. Oh, and we know what you’re thinking: where’s Jared Leto’s Joker? He’s there, but he’s relegated to a sideline role that is actually quite irrelevant in the whole plot. Leto’s take on the iconic Clown Prince of Crime is interesting and unique, but he has so little screen-time that he never really has the time to pick up momentum in the role. DC was obviously laying the foundation of the character for a bigger capacity in upcoming films, but it just seems like a huge wasted opportunity.
Perhaps there was more footage of the Joker; maybe there were some more action sequence ideas cut from the script. Either way, it seems like Suicide Squad is a victim of some serious editing, and not the good kind. The film makes jumps from sequence to sequence in quite incoherent ways – throwing you into the middle of a scene with a character doing something that leaves you thinking there’s some context missing from their actions or motivations.
And this a sad shortcoming for Suicide Squad, because it undermines the efforts and true-to-form portrayals from the key cast members. The big-name actors are all excellent, but there’s just nothing for their characters to do. And this applies to the smaller-name members too. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc looks incredible, but barely does anything throughout the film; Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang is charmingly goofy, but is nothing more than some comedy relief – it’s as if the script was missing some special moments for each anti-hero to shine in his own unique way, which is what we as fans want to see.
There’s no denying that Suicide Squad is entertaining and worth a watch – DC fans who’ve already invested in the world kicked off by Man of Steel and been expanded with Batman v Superman will be queuing up to see Suicide Squad regardless of the reviews. But it’s disappointing that one of DC’s most unique and ambitious comic-book arcs was so poorly utilised, despite having all the ingredients to make it something special.
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