‘SUICIDE SQUAD’ (2016) Movie Review – Gotta Love That Studio Interference
See that poster right there? That giant mess of an explosion with crap flying everywhere? That is this movie summed up in one image, i mean the crap flying everywhere is really cool, engaging, and occasionally funny, but it is still a giant mess. ‘Suicide Squad’ is the 3rd film in the (so far successful) DCEU and this time rather than following Batman or Superman it follows some of the lesser known DC villains on a mission to take out a greater evil. The trailers for this film have been pretty damn fantastic and displayed a very fast-paced, fun and entertaining tone…… That film is not here, but it is somewhere amongst that explosion. This was an absolute mess for 80% of the movie, not in terms of the story as there was an interesting plot in play, but in terms of the editing…. holy shit, this movie had some of the worst editing in a film all year. Every other aspect of this film from tone, to performances, to story, to emotion, was good but was being held back immensely by the terrible editing in this film. The first 20-30 minutes of this film in particular was atrocious, there really is no other word for it. They were trying to tell some interesting stories but it felt very jumpy, uneven, awkward, and was an absolute disaster. Funny to note that the biggest fault of both this film and the BvS theatrical cut is the editing……. studio interference at its finest.
Past all of the awful editing and the odd, awkward tones there was a really good entertaining film somewhere in there…. i know it. There were hints of greatness showing up throughout the film, it tried leading into some gripping emotional scenes and intense action scenes multiple times throughout the film but it just fell flat most of the time. The way the story plays out, that is the main beats, were actually quite engaging and went in many directions that i most definitely didn’t see coming. That shows the effectiveness of not showing the entire plot in the damn trailer. The plot does try to be very different and unique in its own way, and it is marginally successful as it does fall back on some cliches they didn’t need in there. One thing i can say it definitely delivers on is a fast pace, sometimes way too fast. It does a good job of getting right to the point and skipping all the down-time…. Now most of the time this was a good thing, but there were some crucial parts of the film that would have greatly benefited with a little more focus and less choppy cuts.
One question i’m assuming plenty of people want to know is whether there is humour present… and whether it is actually successful. Well, there is a fair amount of humour present and if i was to put a number to it i would say maybe 30% of it worked. And it isn’t that the humour isn’t funny it’s the way it is executed and how it plays out against the tone of the film that is all over the shop. This can all be summed up by one moment in the film where there is this 2-3 minute scene that may be one of the most confusing scenes i have ever witnessed in terms of tone. There is some emotional stuff in discussion and a few times in this 3 minutes some subtle hits of humour are eluded to, now i don’t know if it was intentional or not but it did not work at all. Some people in the cinema laughed as if it was an outright humorous moment, some were silent and were caught up in the emotional discussion, but most people (me included) started with a bit of a laugh, then got a little caught up in the moment, and then got really confused to the point where everyone was in a state of nervous laughter, where no-one knew whether they were supposed to be laughing or not. That scene and many like it could not end quick enough.
Performance-wise and character-wise the film was pretty successful but as i mentioned, the full potential is not quite reached due to that editing job. Will Smith had one of his best performances of recent years as Deadshot where his presence in the film was definitely felt, but in terms of being part of an ensemble cast he blended in quite well. Many will say Margot Robbie is the highlight of the film as Harley Quinn, now she does embody the character very very well but she was a little hit or miss for me, sometimes she was really entertaining and ‘crazy’ and sometimes it didn’t quite work as well. I won’t touch much on the Joker’s role in the film but i’ll just say that this Joker didn’t quite reach the intensity i thought he was going to reach in the film, but it was a very interesting first look at this rendition of the character nonetheless. As for the rest of the squad, some of the characters were very entertaining and well fleshed out such as El Diablo and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, but others were slightly overshadowed and not featured enough to really get behind them. But it isn’t something you can hold against the film too much as it is a pretty big squad to introduce and develop.
So in the end, ‘Suicide Squad’ is a major disappointment that had all the elements of a really entertaining movie but the way it was put together and executed was very out of whack. It’s like David Ayer had just created this awesome 1000 piece puzzle for his mate that took over a year to put together, then his mate WB came over and rolled around in it until this is all that was left. You never know, maybe this will get the same ‘Ultimate Edition’ treatment as BvS and then all will be good again.
P.S… If you are one of the douchebag keyboard warriors complaining about the intelligence or integrity of movie ‘critics’ for not liking this film, you really need to stop, look at yourself, and get a life. And if you are one of the morons petitioning to shut down Rotten Tomatoes for their ‘negative reviews’ of this film… i don’t even have time for people as dumb as you…. it’s actually quite hilarious.