Thoughts about Suicide Squad

After a couple of weeks of waiting, I was finally able to see Suicide Squad. Here are some of my quick thoughts about the movie, so be warned if you haven’t seen it because I will divulge spoilery things.

I really, really wanted to see this film after that first trailer hit. It seemed like the perfect tone for a movie about a bunch of DC super villains that didn’t take itself too seriously (like those other two films). But then the movie dropped, and so did the negative reviews. I heard it was a mess. This is not what I wanted to hear after the lackluster Batman v Superman. I had such high hopes for Suicide Squad. So, were those hopes dashed? Well….

First, I really liked Will Smith’s and Margot Robbie’s performances. I can see why the movie opened with those two in the prison, but it felt like filler (or perhaps a reward for time served…?) considering the montage we got of them and the rest of the squad during the dinner scene with Amanda Waller, which, by the way, I found extremely annoying because she was talking while chewing (it’s a pet peeve of mine). Not to mention the “show me what you can do scenes” after we’d already been shown, for example, what Deadshot can do. At one point, I wanted to look at my watch to see how long the set up for this movie was because it seemed like a long time.

No sooner does Waller get permission to create her Task Force X, she needs to deploy them because of one of her assets, the Enchantress, has her own plans. I guess that’s why she’s asking for Bruce Wayne’s help during the mid-credit scene (though was it Wayne’s help she wants, or Batman’s)? Oh, yeah, Ben Affleck is doubling down on his involvement in the DCU movie franchise. Not only does Batman appear in not one, but two scenes in the movie, we get to see Bruce discussing his plan to form the Justice League with Waller.

The rest of the movie is spent by the Squad retrieving a VIP and then taking on the antagonists of the film. They do end up bonding some (mostly Deadshot and Harley), and there are some further character backstories that are revealed that help endear these scoundrels to us, even if the placement of said flashbacks were sometimes awkward.

Speaking of awkward, the Joker. I know many fans, after they saw the first pictures of the DCU movie version of Mr. J, cried foul, but I thought it might be an interesting new take on the character. That is still true, but Joker felt shoehorned and, with few exceptions, superfluous in this film (and he’s not the only one). He should have been relegated to flashback scenes only, though the one scene we get with Harley after she believes Joker has died was one of the more poignant in the film. I still would have preferred less Joker and more of the main cast.

In the end, of course, our anti-heroes save the day, and even get some perks, if not their freedom (Suicide Squad 2?). Overall, and at the risk of repeating what you may have already heard/read, the film felt like an edit or two away from the final version that we should have got. We certainly had some good acting going on from a few cast members (sometimes Smith would just make a face that gave us more than any bit of dialogue), but it wasn’t enough to make this rise to the level to which I had hoped it would be.

Some other things I liked about the film:

  • the Easter eggs I noticed (like the John Ostrander building)
  • the use of Midway City (God, I really was hoping for a Hawkman or Carter Hall cameo)
  • the transformation of June Moon to Enchantress in the room with the military brass was kind of creepy, actually
  • ok, I liked the Enchantress character effects in any scene before she’s working with her brother
  • what happens with El Diablo made me want to know more about him
  • the other DC hero cameo that I did not know about

So, I enjoyed it, despite its many flaws. I’m still hopeful that Warner Bros will figure out how to do good DC superhero films, so if I have to watch some not so great ones that still entertain to get a good Wonder Woman (whose trailer also looks really cool) and Justice League film, then I’m fine with that. But don’t just take my words for it–go decide for yourself.

What are your thoughts about Suicide Squad?

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