The third instalment in the DC Extended Universe, following on from this year’s Batman v Superman, and directed by David Ayer, Suicide Squad follows a group of imprisoned supervillains who are recruited by a secret government agency, led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), to execute a dangerous black ops mission to save the world from an enigmatic, insuperable entity in exchange for leaner sentences. Bringing together some of our favourite DC supervillains – including Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), The Joker (Jared Leto), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) – will the mission lead to success or chaos, as the squad realise that they weren’t picked to succeed, but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail?
After the disappointment of Batman v Superman, we all put our hopes in Suicide Squad to put DC back on the right track. But then the negative reviews started rolling in, and we quickly realised that this wasn’t DC’s year.
Some of the reviews for Suicide Squad have been shocking, but they must all be taken lightly because there’s much to disagree with when it comes down to the quality of this film. Some may see no good in it, some will find the characters interesting enough, whereas others will see it as a blast of criminal entertainment.
A fan of David Ayer‘s work, I had high hopes that he would successfully bring the dark qualities to this instalment, just as a DC film needs. But whilst he did that well enough, he forgot about much of the rest, and even lapsed in many basic filmmaking skills.
With a horribly messy plot and shoddy editing, not allowing the story to flow from one scene to the next or explaining what’s going on and why, Suicide Squad is quite a shambles in terms of structure and story.
The one thing that I didn’t have a problem with, however, was the efforts in character development, which were fine for the time given to introduce all of these new characters and for them to inevitably ‘save the world’.
These characters are the reason why this film succeeds more than it fails. Smith as Deadshot and Robbie as Quinn, especially, lead the film with brilliant strength. Leto as The Joker is sure to split crowds, but when he teams up with Quinn, it is only their chemistry that provides the fun and quirkiness to the story that we were promised.
What I would have loved, however, was for a whole film dedicated to these introductory scenes, showing us how the Suicide Squad were captured, more about Deadshot and his family, the relationship between Harley Quinn and The Joker, and detail into why the world is in such desperate need for these bad guys to save them, because a single sentence referring to the death of Superman in Batman v Superman is simply not enough.
But, if this were to happen, then a second film would need to be made that centred only on the Enchantress, and this is where the problems would once again arise. It is this section of the story that prevents Suicide Squad from becoming anything more than average. We needed to know more about her character, past and present, to understand why she suddenly wants to take over the world, and why we should see her as such a feared villain because, as it is, her character felt quite irrelevant and almost impossible to be afraid of, which comes as quite a shock when you realise that she is actually central to the whole of the film’s premise.
I enjoy Delevingne as an actress, but she wasn’t able to bring anything to this one-dimensional villain, unlike she was able to with the other side of the Enchantress’ character, June Moone, because the Enchantress was so poorly crafted.
With a better villain and some detail to plot structure, Suicide Squad could have been an improvement for DC. They even tried to inject some humour just like the Marvel franchise has succeeded in doing, which DC hasn’t made any attempt to do so far but, more often than not, this humour came across as awkward rather than funny.
Despite its flaws, Suicide Squad will leave an impact because of its brilliant soundtrack, whether that’s the only positive you will take away from it or not.
With brief roles from Ben Affleck as Batman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, too, you may, just like myself, still find yourself looking forward to what DC have to come nevertheless.