Suicide Squad Review


By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Marvel or DC? It’s rare that you get someone who says they like both equally…those people are called sorcerers and are not to be trusted. But it is true – people are either pro one or the other, and heated debates pop up online about which franchise is better. Well, let me clear up the mysticism about which is better: in terms of box-office earnings, and critic ratings, and enjoyability (is that a word? If not, it is now!) of films, Marvel is, hands down, the winner. So what does DC do to try and turn the tables? They hire David Ayers (Fury, End of Watch) to direct (he also wrote the script) a film where we root for the antiheros (paging Mr. Pool), bringing in a few DC characters people will know in the Joker and Harley Quinn, and throwing them into an action fest. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you DC’s latest release, Suicide Squad.

Superman came and went, and now the world knows there are others out there with powers. The problem is, not all of them will be good and willing to save humanity like Superman, thus the government needs to create a team of meta-humans to battle just such a threat. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is overseeing just such a team, made up of prisoners locked in a black site in Louisiana. Army officer Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is called in to lead this meta-human team, consisting of Deadshot (Smith), a “doesn’t miss” hitman; Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a flame-throwing gangbanger with a face tattooed like a Mexican Day of the Dead parade; the beastly Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); and Boomerang (Jai Courtney), an Aussie who loves his knives and boomerangs. There’s also the one-time-psychologist-turned-psychopath, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). And where there’s Harley Quinn, the Joker (Jared Leto) is bound to be around, too. There’s also Katana (Karen Fukuhara), a samurai whose sword is possessed with the souls of everyone she’s killed. So when Flag’s girlfriend, June Moone (Cara Delevigne), an archaeologist who becomes possessed by an over-6000-year-old witch named The Enchantress, decides to go off the reservation and awaken her brother, Incubus, to destroy humanity, Flag and the Suicide Squad are sent in to quell the situation, or die trying. Can a team of bad guys actually be good, or will they be erased from history like their existence at the black site?


It’s not uncommon for a film to have reshoots after principal filming is completed, especially with a superhero film. But after the disappointment that was Batman vs. Superman, Warner Bros. decided to reshoot whole scenes and add new elements to make Suicide Squad funnier and more light-hearted. Did it work? Meh. One of the main problems with Suicide Squad is it lacks depth and any real cohesiveness to the story. The plot is bare bones at best, and even then, much of it is unexplained and choppy. The action sequences have their moments of entertainment, yet the slow motion used to enhance what is happening at the moment really doesn’t make it any more dramatic or gain that “ooooh, ahhh” factor that Ayers was probably hoping for. Plus, the enemy is mostly faceless blobs with legs, which takes away any semblance of fighting something the audience could attach any feeling or connection to. Add to that a weaker use of CG than we expect on the character of Incubus, and some of the action sequences become more ho-hum than, “Damn! That was fun!” As for the comedic elements, they are more misses than hit (someone needs to take Harley’s bat and use the batting cages for some practice). You may smirk a few times, and maybe you’ll giggle or actually do a mini laugh a couple of times, but that’s it: a couple of times. Plus, many of the one-liners do not hit. And how many times do we need to be reminded that, “We’re the bad guys”? We’re aware, David, we’re aware.


With so many characters, it’s hard to give ample screen time or adequate backstory and development. However, the film starts with a history lesson on each of the villains that will be recruited into this team, and periodically gives us further history lessons throughout the movie regarding these characters, specifically Deadshot and Harley Quinn. And, though this is billed as an ensemble, Smith and Robbie receive the majority of character time. For Smith, he actually has a more fleshed-out character with different levels, as we see him be both a hitman for hire and a loving and doting father who would do anything for his daughter. Robbie is a joy to watch as Harley Quinn, and her physical nuances she chose for the character work perfectly. It would have been nice to see more levels of the character, but maybe that will come with her standalone film. Joel Kinnaman feels completely out of place, looking more like a washed-up, down-on-his-luck, unemployed man than a soldier, yet, there he is. Even the delivery of many lines feels staged and forced, and not like he’s in that moment and saying those words for the first time. And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Leto’s performance as the Joker. Unfortunately, the Joker is more of a side character in this film and not involved with the main plot. Leto finds the sociopath/psychopath within the character, and has a couple of nice instances with a few of his lines, but then those are balanced out with typical “Joker busting in with guns to try and rescue his precious Harley Quinn” moments, which are less enjoyable to watch and more of the norm for the film. As for the rest of the cast, they are all more than capable and play their characters well enough; they just aren’t performances that need in-depth review.

Suicide Squad will probably do well in the opening weekend, then it will fizzle out due to a lack of depth, character growth or edge-of-your-seat action. There is a Batman cameo or two, and the Batmobile makes an appearance also, so that’s always fun, plus there’s another DC character cameo which is a brief intro for this character’s role in the upcoming Justice League film, but these two cameos are short-lived. The best parts of the film are watching Will Smith and Margot Robbie enliven their characters and bring the essence of what they entail to the screen. Both are a pure joy to watch and almost make the price of admission worthwhile. With Marvel vs. DC films battling against each other, DC was hoping to use Harley Quinn’s baseball bat and hit this one out of the park, but the mighty Marvel is still on top of the hill, and kept Suicide Squad to an outfield single. Suicide Squad isn’t a bad movie, it’s just not as good as it clearly could have been.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    One Comment

  1. C.E.MartinAugust 8th, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    You’re frickin stupid. Suicide Squad is a great, fun movie. Go to to a museum if you want see art, you poser.

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