Suicide Squad is a 2016 action-fantasy-comedy comic book film directed by David Ayer. The film stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, David Harbour, Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara
“A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.”
After the critical mess and box office success that was this summer’s ‘Batman v Superman’, the DCEU figured that they could step their game up with ‘Suicide Squad’, a comic book film that many people fell in love with prior to its release simply because of its gorgeously edited trailers. But that’s where all of the fun stops, and it never reignites the joy that its trailers had brought. Yes, Suicide Squad only knew how to make itself look great by decorating itself through its all-out marketing that concealed how much of a stinking failure it is in reality. All the hyping up served no real purpose at all, for the film that you get to sit through is a downright mess seemingly made to trick you into thinking that DC could still stand a good chance in the comic book film business. Going all up in your face is its foolish “coolness”, a factor that it strived to brand as an asset. It places the story aside and prioritizes the unappealing spectacle-proving just how distracted it is with its desire to win new fans. The storyline is everything but coherent and neat, and the editing makes you seriously question the happenings that you see onscreen as you try to figure out how everything came together in a manner that resembles itself as a whole quite clearly. But the question one should rightfully ask is, how did the narrative end up becoming just that when it could’ve been a deeper and a personal take on such a unique and quite fresh story? With its fascinating array of characters, there could’ve been insightful explorations done.
It didn’t quite bother much to focus on them as it struggles to death in maintaining balanced characterizations. That was a major problem in BvS that recurs here-only this time, it knocks us off our feet further. Where there could’ve been more fleshing out only opened the road to more joyless fast-paced “fun” that just really went nowhere. Well, maybe into a hole going into the hell of its flaws is where it had really gone to. In spite of having a rather soulless ensemble, Will Smith and Viola Davis still managed to become impressive; something that almost every cast member wasn’t capable of doing so-mainly because of their lack of enthusiasm and dull expression of words. Some of them embraced their portrayals, but that only became visible on the surface; everything else were pulverized into minuscule confectioneries that aren’t really easy to chew and digest wholly. A lot of them were supposed to be likable considering that this is their first onscreen outing, but what is there really to like when you can’t see anything engrossing in them? There were several occasions wherein the characters’ backstories had exerted in emotions that it had been waiting to release, and this is where the good film inside of its candy-coated, tainted exterior becomes noticeable. Thematically, prior to David Ayer’s involvement, the Suicide Squad’s story is different and bold. But when it had been all executed on film, everything took a hard nosedive into a vat of acid where its finest things got immediately dissolved by vapid mediocrity.
If you were to chop up different sections of the film, you’d still get confused by the absurdity of the integration of characters and their arcs due to their hastiness to get to the “good stuff” that it brags indirectly. From that, you begin to sense Warner Bros’ fingerprint marks and the menacing presence of their taking over- even more sinister than Jared Leto’s The Joker ever was. But unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing that drags it face down to the rough ground. David Ayer’s direction is quite discombobulated; it is evidently longing for a greater eye that is keener on details and very much attentive to the essentials. The structuring of narratives aren’t firm, the action is nothing new and amusing, and the rest of the cast seemed to rock their respective suits without ever realizing the shortage of character that they could’ve drawn excitement from. Even Jared Leto whose performance was highly anticipated isn’t even that good nor genuinely imposing. For the most part, he is vexing for arguably going overboard with his portrayal; he might look demented and perfect for the role, but he had fallen victim to lack of screen-time and even cringe-worthy dialogue. So many great things could’ve been done to this iconic character, but the film chooses to throw him on the side and mess up the storyline even more with his and Harley Quinn’s hard-to-swallow romance.
Arrogance is what the film consistently mistakes for creativity, and that gave birth to a sickening concoction made up of bleak sweetness and fruitless edge. As it hammers the big picture onto the wall, we get to see the flaws and that are tacked onto it as it forgets to cover that up with its “appealing” look. Be it of cheapness or of wasted potential, these errors tend to sucker-punch you immediately with lackluster entertainment that could’ve been shunned easily if this wild card was ever played with a clear mind intact. It shoves these unsaleable attractions up our throats, and it becomes sickening to our senses. Playing music over scenes that aim to become memorable and applying overbearing style to target the general mass, it only ended up damaging itself. It is never freed from illusion and that influences the sadness of its viewers and even of its cast. This happens during the good bit in its climax before the big action begins, and this is where you could see what the film would’ve been like if it had followed its heart. But no, instead of chasing its better half, it just conforms to the regular and succumbs to self-destructive pressure. What catches up to it quickly is its demons created by those who sought for excellence and praise. The joke’s on them for trying to be like an MCU film for the feeling of disappointment blasts you away just 30 minutes into the movie.
As they tried to clean up a mess, they only created another one in the process-another one that is even harder to clean up due to its meager resources. There is basically, no easy way out for a hyped viewer to walk out of this massive blunder, and that is why one must prepare for the face-numbing slaps that it will inflict on him/her. It might leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but the headache partnered with grave disappointment that it’s about to bring is just on another level. So you better prepare to meet the “Worst Heroes Ever” in one of the “Worst Ensemble Comic Book Films” ever because Suicide Squad is basically a twisted and relentlessly amusing comic book flick whose dreams are violently crushed by its hesitant rushing to make itself as pleasing as possible. This just could’ve created the DCEU’s push-button to abort future plans and it makes us fear for the fate of Justice League, Wonder Woman and other upcoming films from their slate.
* Suicide Squad opens tomorrow, August 4 in Philippine cinemas from Warner Bros. Pictures. See it in IMAX 3D and 3D. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.