Everyone that knows me quite well, knows that Comic Book films are my thing. I watch them all, all the TV series and read as many of them as feasible without spending my entire paycheck on them. I am a little bit addicted. So as expected, after a very hyped campaign, I was very excited for the new DC installment of baddies turned good for a film, Suicide Squad. All my dreams were about the come true, DC was going to show off Marvel with a cast of villains that were going to be witty, smart, and ultimately WIN! It was going to revolutionise comic book cinema. It was going to be dark, gritty and epic. It was going to be all these things and it failed, miserably.
** Spoiler alert!**
Here is where it all went wrong. Firstly, if you have seen the numerous trailers for the movie, Leto’s new portrayal of the iconic villain, the Joker, was pegged to be the most terrifying of all. With news of Leto’s method acting technique getting the best of him and almost driving him insane, audiences were expecting the Joker to play a much more prominent role. And why wouldn’t they? Not only are we looking at the re-introduction to a major DC character since the death of the late Ledger and his incredibly dark and involving interpretation of the Joker, but also he was featured in almost half of the trailer! He was so heavily shown that audiences were led to believe that he would be the villain of the film. How wrong we all were! In fact, all the hype around the character, the fact that Leto apparently drove himself to brink of insanity leaves me feeling incredibly disappointed, because hey ho, he wasn’t that great! Yes he cackled in a creepy way, but actually as far as intimidating goes, he was far from it. This film only introduced his obsession with his partner Harley Quinn, and she in fact was much more creepy than he was! I am so phenomenally devastated with Leto’s flat performance, considering as I said before, he went practically barking mad. Well, it didn’t work, maybe method acting is not his thing after all.
Cara Delevingne! Again with the confusing trailers! Let’s see, in the entirety of the trailer, which struggles to showcase all the characters as there are many to introduce, Delevingne is only seen once – ONCE! Which many audiences were grateful for as she is not an actress, but indeed a model, and really no one expected her to be the villain. As in she was actually the villain of the entire movie, with two plots to follow, two parts to play and yet, I still cannot quite believe she was truly elected for such a demanding role. Delevingne’s performance is by far the most awful in comic book history. What were they thinking? She is meant to be the major villain of the entire film and she simply cannot carry it. The issue is that this is even more evident by the fact that she wasn’t heavily featured in the trailers. Also, they put her side by side with Leto, who not only comes with a background of critically acclaimed performances, but embodied the much loved Joker who historically is worse of the worse of bad guys. Enchantress just would not have had the same weight nor influence in getting those audiences booking tickets. It was all an elaborate marketing ploy to get you through the door, when in fact we saw very little of Leto and too much Delevingne! Big mistake. Finally, who on earth is her brother? The big metal thing that seems to be killing off all of the main characters, who is that monstrosity? And why is he not listed on IMDB? AND WHAT IS HIS NAME?
Okay let’s move on from those two big disasters to talk about the biggest let down of all. I believe I could have loved the Joker in this and I could have even loved Enchantress, if the plot was not a total shambles and the cinematography of this movie was all over the place. Ayre, writer of two of my favourite films The Fast and the Furious and Training Day, left me bitterly infuriated with this movie. I cannot believe how disjointed the film felt, with visible plot holes and cuts. It is a real shame that everyone knows that something was clearly wrong with the original cut of the film as the intended May launch date was postponed to August so that they could record some more scenes. I am curious what the original cut was missing as this second one seems to be missing lots! Do you think there was a re-write? I almost believe there was, as it is clear that some of the original scenes from the first trailer went missing. I honestly do not know where it all went wrong but Ayre had everything, from a strong cast, to incredible story lines that he could have intertwined so beautifully to make the movie a comic book success! I felt the loosely put together plot, the 20 minute introduction to the characters that almost took away from the film, the lackluster and forced chemistry between June/Enchantress and Griggs, this unexplained brother and the lack of any information in general, disappointed DC fans or at least me thoroughly. You had it all and you still could not deliver.
I have to say that amongst the terrible choices made for this film from a written and directorial perspective, some saving graces did exist. I think Margot Robbie stole the show, with most of the witty comments and craziness being given to her. Her delivery if Harley Quinn was impeccable, with a good dose of madness, gumption and simply love for her Joker, Robbie delivered a balanced performance but mostly carried a film which was struggling bringing it to the forefront. Robbie’s Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot were the two characters that in a movie so filled with people and overshadowed by a huge star cast, delivered a full story and arc to their characters, actually developing them in the short amount of scenes and speech they were given. A movie that relies so heavily on CGI and fantastic combat scenes, and yet these two really demonstrated that they are able to take their character and still make it work even if they are not meant to be the focus of the story. Another pleasant surprise was Jai Courtney’s Boomerang. The Aussie villain was hilarious, his one liners perfectly timed in the midst of all the rubble and his commitment to the role and pink fluffy unicorn making for some of my favourite scenes of the film. These 3 I am really looking forward to seeing again in the DC sphere. I think Leto will be able to deliver a good performance if provided with a bigger chance of character development and a stronger script.
All in all, the entertainment values of the film for me did not outweigh the huge disappointment I felt when watching it and it saddens me that DC had everything to give audiences a brilliant movie and really did crawl themselves into the comic book moviesphere with this one. This film that could have delivered and stolen fans from Marvel over the DC, this film that had so much hype and publicity and, perhaps unintentionally, deceived its public. This film that was meant to be the saving grace of DC after the awful movie that was Batman vs Superman. It is a shame but it won’t stop me from watching the next DC installment and probably commenting once more on their epic failure OR on their actual, unlikely success.
3 rotten tomatoes out of 10 for this one.
Both images featured in this post were found on Google and do not belong to me.