A lot of film makers will tell you that you only need to make one incredible film and then the rest will work itself out like an automatically solving jigsaw puzzle. This logic can be carried on for those studios trying to establish a franchise or a cinematic universe in a way that produce one good film and the audiences will flock to the next one. Now I say “universe” in quotations because so far DC’s foundations of a cinematic universe are like a child trying to jam a piece of a jigsaw that clearly won’t fit properly. Suicide Squad then feels like a great successor to Batman vs Superman in a way that it is trying to be DC’s answer to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the similarities are there, a bunch of criminals doing some good for the world and one of DC’s lesser known comics. it feels privileged to see a studio having a crack at creating a superhero film with characters that aren’t as well known as the comic studio’s front runners.
But while Guardians of the Galaxy was a quirky film set in a series that was intended to be quirky, Suicide Squad tries to be a quirky film in a series that was already set up as a dark themed franchise. David Ayer was clearly forced into making this film more charming than it was supposed to be (even if that wasn’t the real reason for the re-shoots) which is a very big U-turn on what was promised to the paying customer.
However, credit where credits due, without the re-shoots he might not have been able to have brought the maximum effort out of the actors who were clear in their dialogue delivery and facial expressions. The standouts of the film certainly go to Will Smith and Margot Robbie whose performances and interpretations of Deadshot and Harley Quinn carried the film and was one of the few reason that the film will hold your attention.
The fact the film tells you the characters are bad guys and that they stay the bad guys by the conclusion was a good choice as if they had ended up the good guys by the end they would have fallen into the cliche traps of the superhero genre. Even Amanda Waller who is a government official and supposed to be one of the good guys is perhaps the evilest character in the film. Menacing, devious and smart are clever traits that work well together and suit the boss character. The only seemingly good guy in the film is Rick Flag portrayed by Joel Kinnaman who main goal is overused but presented in a clever way.
The same cannot be said for the other members of the team however. Whilst Deadshot and Harley Quinn had more character depth and ambitions, the other characters felt like a weight on the films shoulders, this is even including the Joker. Jared Leto’s hard work and dedicated method acting seems satisfying enough to say he did well but it was missing embodiment. Heath Ledger gave a legendary performance and is accepted by many film enthusiasts as the inimitable Joker. Jared Leto doesn’t have the same embodiment and although many expected him not to surpass Heath Ledger’s Joker, we were tolerable for him to attempt to be acceptable as the clown prince.
The tone of the film was very confusing at times, as mentioned they are quirky moments, but at times the film tries to revert back to what the DC cinematic universe was set up to be. Altogether resulting in a simple watch and listen film rather than a watch and listen and be involved with film. It also made me forget the mission objective but my questions were answered when the film reminds you half way through, which is a big mistake for David Ayer as no-one likes having to repeat themselves.
But the biggest crime the film commits is a horrible first impression as the character are introduced in the laziest way a filmmaker can do it in, by flashbacks and text to explain each character. There is simply too much of this used in the first 30 minutes of the film, surely the people behind this could have found a more interesting way to present the characters to the audience without resorting to scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to do this.
Overall, it attempts to bring a lighthearted approach to a DC film, but its execution of its lightheartedness is overshadowed by slyly slipping back to the old ways, resulting in a film that won’t blow you away and leave you thinking that this is the start of a new beginning for DC. Also, if the film had had more cliches, the final rating of this film would have been much, much harsher, but luckily cliches are kept to a minimal. Here’s hoping that its next release of Wonder Woman will finally get the ball rolling for DC, the question is whether the viewers and fan base of DC will walk in with the mentality of third times a charm or three strikes and you’re out.
Final Rating: 5/10 – Average
Have you seen Suicide Squad? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments.
Next Time: Pete’s Dragon