Josh and Violet share their male vs. female perspective reviews of Suicide Squad, written and directed by David Ayer, and starring Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and many more!
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Josh’s Movie Review of
Spoiler alert: Suicide Squad is not the movie that will be righting the DC/WB Cinematic Universe ship. Suicide Squad, the film that touted being a movie about the “Worst. Heroes. Ever” certainly lived up to the tagline, but not quite in the way that Warner Bros. had hoped.
The comic book film, directed by David Ayer, loosely follows the storyline of the Suicide Squad comic book series, which features prominent DC villains–Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, among others, being forced to do heroic deeds or else have their brains exploded by a bomb implanted in their bodies. The premise sounds really interesting–having these villains being sacrificial lambs for the good of humanity, while at the same time seeing what sort of deception these characters can use to escape sounded like a very interesting movie. Then we had some really fun looking trailers come out, featuring several rock songs, seemingly trying to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success and putting a fun spin on the movie.
The film stars quite a few recognizable people, with some big names like Will Smith playing Deadshot, Margo Robbie playing Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Ben Affleck having a cameo as Batman, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, to name just a few.
So what is wrong with this movie, that I come out the gate with shots fired? There are unfortunately a number of reasons why this movie is a problem. The biggest problem for me is this: I feel like this was not the movie I was being sold on in the trailers. In the trailers, I had some excitement with the fact there would be some humor in the way these villains would be trying to escape their captivity. That could have been done a whole lot better. Aside from Captain Boomerang, most people put up little fuss for their actions. Then on the other hand, I was really hoping to see how despicable these villains really were. By the end of the movie, the villains seem all warm and fuzzy, agreeing to save the world, willingly. Then after its all over, they are willingly locked back up in their prison cells. Huh?! Some of the most notorious villains in the DC Universe just clam up and allow themselves to be locked back up? The villains felt more like “misunderstood” teenagers than they did super villains in the film.
Speaking of this, Joker is no exception. I had my concerns with Jared Leto playing the Joker. Not because of his acting ability–he has done some great movies. But when the images of his Joker were released, he gave me the vibe of a two-bit gangster that has no business being the arch-nemesis of Batman. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad did not change my mind. While I will admit, the amount of footage of the Joker we saw was small, at no point did I see the cunning Joker that would be a worthy adversary to Batman. I saw a insane jokester (with a lowercase j) that was into parting and causing trouble. It was a disappointment.
Inconsistency and unevenness in the film was a problem as well. For example, I became really confused with Rick Flag’s storyline regarding the Enchantress towards the end of the movie. I really was lost as to what was going on, not knowing when the flashback ended or began. Additionally, when did these weird creatures show up? What was the Enchantress’s goal besides destroy the world? Why did Harley Quinn keep reaching for her neck after the Joker deactivated her neck bomb? Why did she just decide to return to the team?
Technically the film was very choppy as well. Either it was pretty easy to feel when extra scenes were added into the movie, or the movie was just filmed very segmented-like, with too many single-character shots. It all just felt very pieced together in the end.
Part of my railing on this movie does have to do with the fact that I want DC movies to be good, and I was hoping that this movie would be the one that began to turn the ship around. David Ayer publicly really hyped the movie, showing up at San Diego Comic-Con in both 2015 and 2016 to push the excitement for it. Some of the trailers were really fun too, which gave me some additional hope. It really is painful to watch a movie that you have high hopes for completely disappoint.
That being said, I think people with less vested interest in the movie would have a good time with it. People not too familiar with the characters would enjoy it. Especially if you are a fan of Will Smith, as he is featured quite prominently in the film. But for fans of the DC Comics, heroes, and villains, I think most people will be disappointed.
I have been puzzling for a while as to what to give this movie. It is certainly worse than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I think I would put Suicide Squad at around a 6.5 out of 10. There was certainly a lot of potential in the film, and it is a shame that it was not done well, with the biggest problem being that at no point did I ever really consider these villains as “supervillains”. I guess we will have to see if Wonder Woman can change the winds of fortune for the DCEU.
Violet’s Movie Review of
Suicide Squad, written and directed by David Ayer, charged into theaters over the weekend with a record-breaking $133.6 Million opening, the highest domestic August opening weekend ever. The film, which is the latest release in the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevigne, Adewale Akinnooye-Agbaje, and Karen Fukuhara.
Based on the comic book of the same name, Suicide Squad features a secret team of criminals, known as Task Force X, that Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) gets approval from the government to put together in order to combat the threat that metahumans (humans with superpowers) pose now that Superman is no longer around after the events of Batman v. Superman. This team consists of infamous villains within the DC Comics universe, including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, Slipknot, El Diablo, and Enchantress, who are commanded by Colonel Rick Flag and also joined by Flag’s bodyguard, Katana. A problem comes up in Midway City, and the Suicide Squad is deployed to handle the issue, being told it is a terrorist attack — though it’s much more than that.
I went into this movie with relatively low expectations. Honestly, I was never really all that excited about it in the first place, or at least not as excited as everyone else seemed to be about it. Suicide Squad was a movie that I was going to see by default because it’s a comic book related movie, but wasn’t really a top priority for me. Then when all the terrible reviews started coming out, putting it around the same percentage as Batman v Superman, which I didn’t think was that great, I went in expecting a horrible mess of a movie. As a result of these extremely low expectations, I came out of the movie thinking, “It wasn’t that bad.”
Although Suicide Squad wasn’t a great film, I didn’t think it was as bad as it felt like so many people were making it out to be. While the film had its problems, it did do a good job of entertaining me. There was quite a bit of action that was fun to watch, and each character got the chance to have their particular skillsets showcased (though, admittedly, some more than others). Additionally, we got to see the team members use their powers to work together – which is what we were all here to see, right? We wanted to see the squad work as a team to take down evil threats in some pretty awesome and outrageous ways. I thought the CGI and effects were pretty good and made unrealistic things look realistic. I don’t think I was ever taken out of the movie due to something looking fake. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the color scheme going into the movie, but I acknowledge that that’s my own preference, and I appreciated how the film was able to incorporate the color scheme within the movie.
The film had some humor and comic relief, though it did tend to be more on the serious and emotional side. I enjoyed getting to see background stories about the characters, but I didn’t like how we only got some of the backstories, and not all. I appreciated the emotional side, particularly Deadshot’s story, and was a bit saddened that Will Smith chose to be in Suicide Squad over Independence Day: Resurgence, because that movie could have really used the heart that Smith could have brought to it. For the most part, the acting was pretty good, with a few exceptions, namely Cara Delevigne, and to a lesser extent, Joel Kinnaman at times. Delevigne was far from believable as Dr. June Moon, and distractedly over the top as Enchantress. Sometimes I didn’t have a problem with Kinnaman, but other times I did. I thought the best performance was Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, who put in a very strong performance. Overall, I didn’t like the treatment of the women in this film, as they were either oversexualized, underused, or evil. That is, except for the aforementioned Davis as Amanda Waller, who was a force to be reckoned with!
I also feel like I must mention that one thing that bugs me is when a movie feels like it’s trying to be epic, when it hasn’t actually succeeded in setting itself up to be that way. You have to earn that and build it up throughout the movie to make the epic status believable. I felt like Suicide Squad dropped the ball in that respect, yet still tried to pass itself off as having an epic ending.
There were so many story elements that weren’t explained properly or didn’t make sense. It’s also annoying that the conflict that the Suicide Squad responds to was only created through the very formation of the Suicide Squad. I would have preferred to see the team take on an unrelated conflict, or better yet, several other conflicts, so we could see the team work together and form more of a believable bond, especially if they were going to exploit that so-called bond as an integral part of the story. Plus it felt like there was really no point to having Joker in the movie. It seemed like such a big deal was being made out of his inclusion in the film that he should have played a much bigger part than he did.
All in all, Suicide Squad had some fun, enjoyable aspects, but a weak, muddled storyline.
My rating: 6.5/10