Suicide Squad IMAX poster

Dead on Arrival

by

Believe me, no one was rooting for this movie as much as I was. That first trailer was great, probably created more hype for DC than Batman vs Superman. All the pieces were there. A great action director in David Ayer, the man behind Fury, End of Watch, and Street Kings; a star studded cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie; a goldmine source of the Suicide Squad, a covert team of Super Villains saving the day, and after the abject failure that was BvS, Suicide Squad was the movie that was supposed to save the day, and bring hope to the DCEU.........So what the hell happened?

To me, Suicide Squad is a clear example of too many cooks in the kitchen (word to Adult Swim). David Ayer had a vision, Zach Snyder (producer) had a vision and, arguably the most influential party, Warner Brothers had a vision. All these cooks spoiled the broth, and what we ended up with is a mess of strange editing decisions, obvious reshoots, conflicting tones, and half baked ideas.

Early reports about pre-screening of the film indicates that the movie was initially more serious and dark, but at least consistent. It's obvious that this film was reshot and cut to all hell. The movie goes from gritty as hell, to B-movie literally from scene to scene and if the movie chose one or the other, it'd be better. It feels like the movie wanted to put a puzzle together, but mixed up all the pieces with another puzzle, and decided to just roll with it. At times scenes just felt out of order, or redundant. One scene that stood out in the beginning was Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) pitching the her idea to colleagues at dinner, then the next scene is her doing it AGAIN at the Pentagon. This leaves us as an audience with is a confused plot, tone, and a lack of development or motivation for many of the characters.

Speaking of plot, the script is a mess. I've no idea if this was due to Ayer's original script, or the re-writes and editing, but at times the plot feels non-existent. Basic premise is that, shady queen, Amanda Waller creates The Suicide Squad to fight against possible threats now that Superman is dead. The team includes Deadshot, El Diablo, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, and Slipknot (kinda). The team would have included Enchantress, a ancient magical meta-human who was being controlled by Waller, but she decided she had enough and decides to kill all humans because reasons. Now with a vague danger imminent, spec ops specialist Randal Flagg takes the Suicide Squad, his team, and Katana, a swords woman (her relationship with Flagg is never really explained) to fight the bad guys. Oh and also the Joker is in it. Right off the bat the villain is uninspired and motivation is wonky. An ancient evil doing evil because evil. Also we don't get to see much of her doing stuff. She's supposed to bee this all powerful witch but most action is done by her minions, which wasn't interesting, and even when she does fight, she's just teleporting around, kung fu-ing everyone. Vague faceless goons fighting the team in hand to hand combat gets old after the 3rd time it happens . So far DC is 0-3 with their villains.

Now you might be thinking, "well at least the joker was good, right. RIGHT??" Well yes...and no. Jared Leto does a good job as the Joker, no doubt about it, but he's an after thought in the movie. He's only in it for about 10 minutes, mostly in flashbacks for Quinn's development. His presence like unwanted intermissions to the main plot, which again, wasn't that good to begin with.

There are a few thing I liked about the movie. Will Smith makes Deadshot his own with his old-school charm, Margot Robbie is spot on for Harley Quinn, Viola Davis is Viola Davis, and you know every role she touches that she'll knock it out of the park. I was surprised with how much I liked Jay Hernandez as El Diablo. He does a good job at getting you to feel sympathetic for his character in comparison to everyone else. Unfortunately none of this is enough to save this movie. It's disappointing that this film turned out the way it did. Hopefully the original cut will surface at some point, because the movie as it is ain't good

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