“… I had fun while watching Suicide Squad, and it is (so far) the only DCEU movie that I actually want to watch again.”
Yesterday I saw Suicide Squad and I actually liked it. I don’t think that there is a need for a plot synopsis, but I’ll do one anyway for those who may not know about the film. Suicide Squad is the new DC film that follows a group of villains in the DC universe who are imprisoned. These prisoners then get chosen to “participate” to become a team and essentially do anything that is deemed too dangerous for people that actually matter.
For me to properly review this film you have to understand the mindset I had going into see it. I have written reviews on both man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of The Really Long Title, so I’m not going to go in depth again because you can just read those. What I will say is that I thought Man of Steel was okay, but I thought that Batman v. Superman: Seriously Why is the Title This Long took everything wrong with man of Steel and ran with it, making a terrible movie. Needless to say, I was not excited for Suicide Squad especially after seeing the movie get panned by critics. When I actually got to see it, I was met with a movie that I enjoyed pretty thoroughly. Maybe it is because of my love of action movies, or maybe it’s because the last DC movie was so bad that anything would look good by comparison, but I had a fun time watching Suicide Squad. That is not to say the film is without its faults, because there are quite a few.
I’m not going to talk about story specifics (in other words, I won’t spoil the film) because they would have already been harped on by others, and the story issues didn’t bother me that much. That being said, the story did have some broad issues that I will discuss. First of all, Suicide Squad features a problem that many action movies seem to have, it doesn’t introduce all of its characters properly. This is somewhat excusable because the actual team does feature a lot of characters, but it was weird because it was only a few that didn’t any attention at all. Also, you could telly that Harley was the “star” of this movie because a lot of the film focused on her relationship with the Joker, but I believer his was only done to get people on board with Jared Leto’s portrayal of the beloved character. That bring me onto my next point, which really isn’t a gripe, Jared Leto’s Joker. I don’t have a whole lot to say at this point because I don’t feel that Suicide Squad gave people enough footage to judge the Joker, but I’ll just say that I’m not sold on Jared Leto’s performance. Sometimes I thought it was good, other times I thought it was terrible, and honestly it made my skin crawl (which I guess is a win?). I also felt that the comedy used throughout the film was very hit or miss, often times making me feel annoyed rather than making me laugh. Quickly going back to the characters of the film, I felt that the ones that were lucky enough to get proper introductions were introduced well. I also enjoyed exactly how the film decided to introduce everyone, but I will talk about that later. The film also had pretty good acting throughout, many of the characters being either relatable or showing emotion when need be. Even though the film most definitely “stars” Will Smith and Margot Robbie, everyone got their chance to shine (so-to-speak) and they all pulled it off.
The main issues I had with Suicide Squad were largely technical. First and foremost, the film was way too fucking dark. I saw Suicide Squad in 3D, and I might as well have been looking at a blank screen sometimes because I couldn’t see shit. I don’t know why, even though this movie seems to lean into the “we’re having fun” category, it was decided to make everything appear dark and brooding even thought the subject matter didn’t really fit. Not only was it hard to see things, but also to hear them. There are a few characters (here’s lookin’ at you, Killer Croc) that have effects on their voices to make them seem different (?), but really it just makes them hard to understand. I found myself having to rely on characters reactions just to decipher what was said. And it’s not just the effects that sucked, but also the general mixing. Characters would be whispering or mumbling, all the while the music would be swelling in the back and I had no idea what the fuck they were saying. The movie was also plagued with editing hiccups and things that seemed to fuck with the pacing. These problems are more so prevalent toward the beginning of the film, but there are a few instances of them popping up toward the end. These editing mishaps are only accentuated by the thing I hate most about Suicide Squad: the music.
Suicide Squad features every song a 13 year old would happily listen to while screaming “I hate my generation; what ever happened to good music”. These songs aren’t bad, but their usage is terrible. The beginning of the film features many little flashbacks to introduce every one of the characters in the film. Like I said before, I liked this aspect, but what ruined it was the music. These “scenes” only lasted for about a minute and a half, but each one had a different song attached to it. This means that we were subjected to what is essentially an infomercial advertising a CD with “all of the songs your dad used to listen to”, only giving a brief snippet of each song. Not only was this annoying, but it also fucked with both the pacing and the tone of the film. Like I mentioned before, the music made the editing stand out because instead of the scene just ending, the music abruptly stops and a new song starts. This continues for far too long, but fortunately the music budget ran out and we actually get a score. When this happens you get to see how great the film could have been if not for the soundtrack of the top 100 hits from the past. Sure the music choices made Suicide Squad a lot worse than it would have been, but it was also a lesson. It taught us exactly what happens when a director gets everything he wants.
Ultimately, is Suicide Squad a great movie? No. It has a lot of problems, only some of which were mentioned here. But the fact of the matter is that I had fun while watching Suicide Squad, and it is (so far) the only DCEU movie that I actually want to watch again.
I give Suicide Squad a B