We all know the history of Suicide Squad’s production. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) went through meticulous preparation for his role as the Joker, including mailing a live rat to his onscreen girlfriend, Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street). Women all over were cosplaying as Harley Quinn months before this film even was completed. A group of fans formed a petition to shut down RottenTomatoes after critics gave it a 35% rating only three days before its release. So now, it’s time to ask: was it worth all the hubabaloo?
First off, let’s get all the positive qualities out of the way. Lots of effort clearly went into the makeup effects, especially on Killer Croc and Harley Quinn. With such a colorful set of supervillains, I can see how some teenage boys could get super excited to see them all flaunt their stuff against all these loud neon shades.
Sorry, I got no other praise beyond that. This squad is an edgier version of Guardians of the Galaxy, except without any of the fun, fascinating imagery, impressive CGI, or anything else that makes this stand out as its own entity. Like any other action movie these days, it resorts to constant close-up motion sickness in all the action scenes, overusing noisy colors and upbeat pop music to add flavor. The entire first forty-five minutes is a meticulous bore to manage through, as it overuses backstory exposition and flashback on every single character. And yes, I do mean… Every. Single. One. Anyways, after this torturous, lengthy intro, the movie finally gets started with the villains gearing up for their mission under the supervision of the CIA. It’s a pretty wild ride if you are an expert at keeping track of ten different subplots from one-dimensional characters fighting for the audience’s attention.
The team is not going to be remembered within an hour after the first meeting. From what I remembered, there was a masked Japanese warrior named Katana (Karen Fukuhara) whose husband is trapped in her sword. There was also an offensive Australian stereotype named Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who exists for no reason besides comic relief. Then there was Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who does next to nothing memorable besides being rolled in a restraining harness like Hannibal Lecter. Then there was the skeleton-tatted El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), who tries to stands out with his surprisingly tragic backstory, but can’t make up for it due to his bored performance. Then there was the overly sexualized Harley Quinn, who really should’ve been the main character, not just one of like, five, leads. Then there was the governmental supervisor of the squad (Viola Davis) who likes to control them as their god. What a serious actress is doing in a paycheck-motivated role I have no idea.
These criminals are given the task by the government to save the world from... well, actually I’m not sure. They don’t make it entirely clear what their mission is. I guess it’s to rescue a colleague? I guess it’s to stop some Aztec enchantress in her motiveless mission? I honestly have no clue what these writers were going for.
The squad members themselves are not even worth cheering on, nevermind the fact that they’re horrible criminals who supposedly deserve no forgiveness. Time spent on their backstories is given both too much time and not enough time. We know about what some of them are, but we never have any clue as to who they are. Yeah, Deadshot wants to be with his daughter, but why? What makes his setup different from the countless other father-daughter struggles we’ve seen in better movies? Yeah, Harley has a strong fascination in the Joker, but why? What motivates her to want to partake in an abusive relationship with a mad man?
Now as for Jared Leto’s highly anticipated performance as the Joker, I hate to break it to you: he let me down. With all we have heard about what he did to prepare for his role to make it his own, the crew barely gives him any useful material to work off of. The only feel of disturbing madness that he achieves is that of your sanity when watching his arm-flailing performance. Leto always acted like he hated the role he was playing, but was trying harder than necessary to look like he was into it. I’m serious: he was embarrassing to watch, especially with his ‘lil monster (ahem) girlfriend sharing the screen with him.
It’s hard to praise much of anything about this mess, not one actor seemed to be having fun in what appeared to be a desperate attempt by the studio to look relevant. You know, it’s like that annoying kid in your grade school class who copies other students‘ work and loudly proclaims how awesome he’s being. But the good news here is, there is nothing forcing you to have to listen to that noise. So you can just turn that streaming device off and let Suicide Squad fall into obscurity.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Jedeikin, Desi. 6 Crazy Ways Jared Leto Prepared to Play The Joker. Smosh. Defy Media, 3 Aug 2016. Web. <http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/6-crazy-ways-jared-leto-prepared-play-joker>.
Lady Geek Girl. Sexualized Saturdays: Suicide Squad and the Harley Quinn Problem. Lady Geek Girl. WordPress, 27 Jun 2015. Web. <https://ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/sexualized-saturdays-suicide-squad-and-the-harley-quinn-problem/>.
McCluskey, Megan. Suicide Squad Fans Want to Shut Down Rotten Tomatoes Over Bad Reviews. Time. WordPress, 3 Aug 2016. Web. <http://time.com/4436621/suicide-squad-fans-rotten-tomatoes-petition/?xid=time_socialflow_facebook>.
Suicide Squad, 38 of 564. Digital image. IMDb, 2015. Web. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1386697/mediaviewer/rm4009563392>.
Suicide Squad. DC. Web. <http://www.suicidesquad.com/>.