Action Movie Fanatix Review: Suicide Squad

Action Movie Fanatix review banner for Suicide Squad

Worst.  Heroes.  Ever.

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Common, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Scott Eastwood, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller

Director: David Ayer

2016  |  123 Minutes  |  PG-13

“What?  That’s it?  We some sort of Suicide Squad?” – Deadshot

A group of the worst super criminals in the world are recruited to a top secret team known as Task Force X.  Their first mission is to save the world as we know it.

Super Heroes are everywhere. It all started in the comics but has since moved into toys, video games, online casino games and, of course, TV shows and movies. Marvel has been able to feature a plethora of their characters as a part of their cinematic universe, while DC has long focused solely on Superman and Batman. Films, video games and other forms of internet entertainment like online slots games were developed around these characters figures, and they are gaining popularity day by day.

Suicide Squad looks to break that mold for DC, bringing not just new heroes to the big screen, but an entire team of new villains. Sounds great, right?  Well…

Suicide Squad’s marketing was really colorful and unique, not just for DC’s movies but all comic book movies. It appeared as though they were going to be fully embracing the comic book nature of the source material. David Ayer’s involvement and the costume design of the characters had me a bit worried. I also found the near-daily drip of new marketing material in the month+ prior to the movie’s release to be a bit worrisome.  It felt like there was a chance that it was a studio trying really hard to force interest in a product that might be in danger of failure.


The idea behind Suicide Squad should have been to create a team that can go places and do things that the heroes and the U.S. military couldn’t. We’re talking super covert missions behind enemy lines that the government could never admit they were involved in. Instead we are given a mission that every hero SHOULD have been involved in. The world was in danger and Batman and Wonder Woman were nowhere to be seen.  And what does Harley Quinn bring to the team?  She has no powers or special abilities of any kind.  Any one of the unnamed soldiers should have been more useful than her but they drop like dominoes while she takes out enemies with her baseball bat and hot pants.

Amanda Waller calls Task Force X “the worst of the worst” but the movie goes out of its way to make these villains look like misunderstood, relatable, loveable anti-heroes.  Harley Quinn is just a girl in love.  Deadshot is just a loving father.  Killer Croc was treated like a monster, so he became one.  It’s not their fault they turned in to murderous sociopaths.

David Ayer’s obsession with gang culture is evident in the design of all of the characters.  Joker, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc look much less like Batman’s favorite super villains and much more like they walked off the set of some clichéd ‘90s LA gang drama.

I’ve disliked the look of this new Joker since the first images were released but I held out hope that Jared Leto would bring a new energy to a character that we’ve seen many times before.  I still think he could do the character justice in a future installment but it feels a bit too much like someone trying their darnedest to do a Mark Hamill Joker impression in his very limited time on screen here.

The direction and editing of what should have been an incredibly straight forward plot, makes the whole affair feel confusing. Had the movie been funny, it maybe could have made things more tolerable but far too much of the one-liners are a complete miss. There’s plenty of action to keep things moving but, again, none feels very meaningful or memorable.

Suicide Squad is not quite as bad as some of the really negative reviews have suggested but it isn’t the new take on the super hero genre we were hoping for. Worse than that, it’s a mess and a bit dull. The DCEU is a place where the good guys are just barely better than the bad guys. I really hope that DC/Warner Brothers can figure out exactly what it is that has kept fans reading their comic books for the past 80 years.


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