Suicide Squad Review: The Real Joke's On DC And Jared Leto

Suicide Squad Harley Quinn
Warner Bros. Pictures

It's hard to find any underlying point to the mess that the film is, but if you really break down the nothing plot, slapdash editing and half-assed action, the overbearing "message" seems to be that "it's good to be bad". Well, I'm sorry to say I disagree. This is just bad and, bar a couple of moments in the final act that had me in stitches at its ineptitude, it's not a remotely fun ride.

That theme isn't even reflected in the characters either. They may be inmates of Belle Reve (a super prison for super villains) and Will Smith's Deadshot repeatedly growls out that him and his team are "bad guys", but none of Task Force X are really straight-up villains who could ever pose a threat to this world's emergent Justice League. If they weren't wearing dark clothing and constantly telling us about past crimes (but, importantly, not showing us), you could mistake them for a low-rate Avengers.

Warner Bros. Pictures

The most all-out evil of the lot is Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang, but he's really just a bit if a dick, not caring for anyone and always able to magic out a tinnie (still, he's probably the best of the lot, even if Jai Courtney's performance is a little obvious). Harley Quinn probably ranks second, mainly because she's only in the team for her psychosis, but it's aimless and doesn't offer any real reasoning for why she's there at all (don't worry, I'll come back to her). After that there's El Diabolo, who is a tortured soul after a family tragedy. And Deadshot, who's even more of a tortured soul after a family tragedy (a forced Will Smith character development that always feels out of place). Killer Croc is a tortured soul too, ostracised because he looks like a lizard (although he later on develops amphibian traits). Oh, and I almost forgot Slipknot, which is kinda fitting given the movie's complete disregard for the master of knots.

This variance would be fine if the film wasn't cloyingly desperate for us to think they're all-out bad 'uns, but there's little difference between the inmates and their captors; Rick Flag, the team's gruff leader, who could have been interesting if his motivations weren't reduced to being a soppy romantic, nor Amanda Waller, the puppet master who brought them all together who's set up as an antagonist, but is really a neutered presence, like the others all talk and only tepid bite.

No, this is a film where the protagonists are anti-heroes at best, so ultimately falls into the same basic comic book structure you know: there's a truly evil big bad to stop (who operates no different to a video game boss) and they'll only do it by becoming friends (even if any glimmer of camaraderie is forced).

Clicked next for the final part of the review.

Contributor
Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.