**Starting a new line of posts with GOT2LISTEN co-host Jason Patrick, where he quickly reviews recent films he’s seen unedited, untouched. You can also find him on Letterboxd where he contributes his reviews**
The film is a fucking mess. There’s really no other way around it. Rumors of reshoots after the mess that was BVS: Dawn of Justice (I mildly enjoyed BVS) are what caused such a thing. Which is a shame, cause I’m really interested in seeing David Ayer’s untouched version. Not to say it would make for a better film, I just hate when studios get too involved. Yeah, yeah, it’s there money but still.
Onto the film, which is all over the place tonally and has tons of shortcomings. It starts off well enough as we get these stylized introductions of the villains that make up the titular Suicide Squad. But even from the onset, it’s clear that the editing and flow of the film is going to be an issue. We get great intros of Will Smith’s Deadshot and Robbie’s Harley Quinn, immediately followed by the conceit of the film (putting a group of anti-heroes together) which is proposed by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. That is then followed by a title card and it’s all feels like a barrage of different scenes that left me feeling disoriented.
We eventually meet the rest of the crew, Diablo, Killer Croc, Enchantress & Boomerang, and they’re all mildly enjoyable characters minus Enchantress who later joins forces with her broski to become over-the-top villains. Oh yeah and Slipknot shows up. And Katana too. Who are they? Well Katana is this generic, Japanese sidekick to Rick Flag’s character (the soldier responsible for controlling these people to work for the government’s interests). And there’s Slipknot, who they don’t even bother introducing so when he shows up, you’re just like “who the fuck is this guy?!” And then he’s dead. Shit like this is what makes the film feel so forced and messy. And I get it. DC decided they wanted a piece of the pie that the Marvel cinematic universe has been eating. But they are doing none of the actual legwork needed.
But despite all this messiness, the Suicide Squad themselves are almost enough to warrant the film’s existence. Will Smith is great. Margo Robbie’s Quinn, who I was expecting to be annoyed by based on the trailers, is really good here. And maybe that’s underselling it cause she really is the life of the film. Some of her jokes fall flat like the “we’re bad guys! It’s what we do!” line but most of the time she had me mildly chuckling and her sad (albeit brief) backstory with the Joker made her memorable. Even Jai Courtney (the Sam Worthington of our current times) as Boomerang (a role originally to be played by Tom Hardy) is fun here.
And then there is Leto’s Joker, who frankly isn’t in the movie long enough for me to have gotten a great impression of his performance. But I think I like him in the role. I mean Leto, the real-life person, seems like a giant tool and in interviews he seems like he’s praising himself and bragging about the insane places he had to go with the role. But I can separate what has been said in the media with what is actually present in this cut of film (Leto said he shot enough footage for a feature-length Joker movie) and I am excited to see where he takes the character. And sidenote, at this point, I have gotten past how silly his tattoos are and I actually like how he looks visually. It’s a different take on the Jokers that have come before this in films and that alone made it refreshing. But the bling teeth has gots to go!
The movie eventually introduces ridiculously over-the-top villains by way of Enchantress and that’s one of the more terrible parts of the film. The entire time I was thinking how the grounded nature and powers of the Suicide Squad don’t really match up with what the film is doing with the villains here. I mean look at the squad and their actual powers. The only one who stands a chance and who is heavily utilized in the final, climactic battle is Diablo. Then you got Deadshot (he is good with the guns and aiming at stuff), Harley (who is walking around with a baseball bat most of the time), Croc (who’s just really powerful I guess) Boomerang (who has a couple of knives) and Katana (who has a sword with her fucking dead husband’s soul in it). It just isn’t even odds which made the villains seems so out of place. The film would’ve greatly benefited from a more grounded villain, like perhaps The Joker. Huge missed opportunity there.
So yeah, it’s a bad film and I spent most of my time here trashing it. But I really like the squad of villains overall, with Quinn and Deadshot being the standouts. And even though the film is lacking I’m glad they introduced these characters cause I genuinely will care for them (at least a little bit) whenever they show up in future DC films. That’s if Warner Bros. gets their shit together. Which isn’t likely.
*Also, Croc should’ve stood the silent type. Halfway through the film he starts talking and all that comes out of his mouth is humorless sewage.
*But…At least Harley Quinn is fantastic. And Wonder Woman is kinda cool too. And I love Affleck’s Batman. And Cavill is pretty cool as Superman, as much as Superman sucks. So there’s hope. Maybe. Who cares.