After the epic failure that was Batman Versus Superman, I was rather nervous walking into this movie. I’ve been looking forward to Harley Quinn and Deadshot finally making their way to the big screen, but was concerned that DC would muck this up. For the most part, they didn’t. So GOOD JOB!
The movie is far from perfect, but damn it was a fun spectacle. Let’s start with what I liked.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Will Smith in this role, but he owned it. There is one point midway through the film where he is standing on top of a wrecked car just…well…being Deadshot as only Deadshot would be. And it was glorious and in that moment all was right with the DC cinematic universe.
Some people have whined about Margot Robbie as Harley. But I guess some people just need to whine. She made a great Harley and stole almost every scene she was in. She made me laugh. She made me cry. She made me want to punch people. My only complain with the character was not from Robbie’s performance, but the hyper-sexualization that was unnecessary. I’m not complaining about her outfit. The outfit was fine and worked. But there is a scene with her and the Joker where she is basically acting like a stripper and a prostitute, and it just did…not…work on any level. The scene didn’t really do anything insofar as establishing the relationship between her and Joker, nor did it fill in any of the blanks of her backstory. It was a strictly male-gaze excuse to have her gyrate around. It just distracted from the main story arch of the character.
And on the subject of wanting to punch people: I wanted to punch Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller multiple times. And I mean that as a compliment to her acting. It is a rare joy to really HATE a character for all the right reasons. I hated her so much in this film. This is a woman that gives no fucks about anything other than achieving her objective, and she isn’t even a bit sorry if innocent people get hurt along the way. Davis did a great job really making you realize how depraved this character is and how far she is willing to go to “protect” America.
The action sequences were very well done, with the exception of the final boss fight at the end. And I am calling it a boss fight, because I could not help but think this fight was coordinated by WOW players. It actually had the fight structure of your standard two-boss raid fight, with one boss “immune” to attacks and just hanging back while you tank-and-spank the other boss. And it literally was a tank-and-spank. But the action sequences leading up to the end were well-paced and fun to watch.
I was indifferent to most of the other characters. We’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Diablo, but I never really did. He just came across as an emo metahuman. Captain Boomerang was just “meh.” I chuckled a few times over the pink unicorn, but it was a cheap laugh that didn’t really do anything to make me LIKE the character. Katana was cool to watch fight, but she was a stock chick-with-a-sword character in this film.
Then there was Jared Leto as Joker. I’ll just say it point blank: he failed. It was painfully obvious that he was trying too hard in every scene. The ghost of Heath Ledger must have been haunting him relentlessly during filming, because Leto is not comfortable in the role at all. His performance felt more like a drunken cosplay than acting. This was just really bad casting.
Minor Spoilers Ahead
The entire Enchantress angle was terribly contrived. It never made sense to me. So, we have her heart in a suitcase rigged with explosives. But we establish in the film that she can teleport instantly almost anywhere and grab anything, so why doesn’t she just grab the suitcase? And then we know she was locked in the little statue and when the statue broke that is what freed her, but nobody thinks it might be a good idea to LOCK UP the second statue (which is apparently unsecured in Waller’s home office on a shelf, because…why? I guess it never occurred to anyone that if there was one uber-powerful immortal metahuman trapped in a statue that there could be a second? And when Enchantress went rogue, why wasn’t the heart destroyed immediately? All Waller does is stab it a few times in what appears to be a hissy-fit, but otherwise keeps it?
And maybe it is because I play too much Star Wars the Old Republic, but her villain lines at the end of the film had me thinking that Valkorion is going to sue for gimmick infringement.
Plot holes and silly dialogue notwithstanding, Suicide Squad delivered an entertaining misadventure and is worth seeing on the big screen.