It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out what’s wrong with Suicide Squad. This overstuffed migraine of a movie bursting at its seams with way too many characters and way too much exposition delivers way too little fun.
Such a shame, considering the very idea of a movie whose heroes are bad guys holds so much promise. Deadpool, anyone?
Set immediately after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the film opens with steely government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembling a crack team of the baddest guys in the business. The idea being that these disposable soldiers will protect mankind from the potential threat posed by the increasing number of ‘meta-humans’ and omnipotent vigilantes roaming our streets and skies.
The film’s best bits come early when we’re first introduced to Waller’s recruits: Deadshot (Will Smith), the hit-man who never misses; unhinged psychopath and the Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie); beer-swilling Aussie thief Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtenay); fire-breathing hellraiser Diablo (Jay Hernandez); and reptile-skinned monster from the sewers Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).
The fun runs out shortly after our acquaintance is made with the principal players, and they’re packed off – under the watch of Waller’s right-hand guy, Navy SEAL Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) – on their first mission. Co-writer and director David Ayer borrows ideas liberally from an assortment of successful entries in the genre including the X-Men series, and most notably Guardians of the Galaxy whose rollicking style and irreverent tone this film squarely fails to duplicate.
By the time the film enters its final act, you’ll be groaning in your seat, begging for it to stop. Suicide Squad quickly degenerates into a bloated CGI mess involving a witch named the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) who longs to be worshipped by the entire population. It’s harebrained, idiotic stuff and the final blow to your already exhausted spirit.
Jared Leto’s extended cameo as the Joker (he only shows up sporadically), and Margot Robbie’s star-making turn as sexpot psycho Harley Quinn are the two bright spots in this mostly humorless film that feels way longer than its running time.
I’m going with two out of five for Suicide Squad. It’s dull and depressing and a reminder of everything that’s wrong with modern blockbusters.