Imagine “Guardians Of The Galaxy” if you removed any likability from the crew of outcasts and freaks, took out the massive world-building, threw out all the humor and fun, and made the soundtrack non-sensical by removing its link to the story. Add in a poorly-written story and off-kilter performances, and you’d get “Suicide Squad.”
I’m not going to mince words on this one – “Suicide Squad” is a very poor attempt to copy some of the more goofy world-building that Marvel has done with films like “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and “Ant-Man.” But, like “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” this film forgets one crucial key factor – To make the audience give damn about these “heroes.”
The reason films like “Ant-Man” worked for Marvel was because they emphasized that these were people first, and not just beings gifted with incredible powers. They have personalities, flaws, dreams, and are not than just some random guy in a tight suit. But in “Suicide Squad,” all we get is a bunch of irredeemable assholes shooting up a bunch of rock people with no remorse or feeling that they are doing the right thing. I found none of the members of this squad to be likable in any way, including Deadshot (Will Smith) who is at one point described as “a serial killer who takes credit cards,” to Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) being ruthlessly obsessed with her psychotic boyfriend, the Joker (Jared Leto), for reasons we’re never told.
Of course, there are several other members of the squad, but none of them really get any depth, outside of their powers and being selfish dicks. Deadshot and Quinn are the only ones who have more than a few lines or quips, and that has more to do with the actors playing those roles.
Is “Suicide Squad” better than “Batman vs. Superman”? Probably, but only by a slim margin. “Dawn of Justice” was a terrible film all around, with very little redeemable about it outside of some performances from Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons. That film was boring, predictable and insulting to longtime fans of both Batman and Superman. “Suicide Squad” might be as boring, but its cardinal-sin is not making the audience care about what was happening. I could not relate to any of these people, because they are so much in their own twisted realities and so full of themselves that there is nothing to like.
One of the reasons I hated “Batman vs. Superman” so much was because “heroes” did not act like heroes at all, because they were so far detached from the reality they thought they were saving. At least “Suicide Squad” does not rely on this, since it doesn’t attempt to portray these villains as misunderstood or heroic, but the least they could have done is given us more character development. Something to elevate these villains above assholes.
Overall, “Suicide Squad” was not enjoyable at all. This was one film where I did not like it from the start, giving me no reason to sympathize or understand what these people are going through, thus no reason to pay attention to their journey. I do not recall laughing at any jokes, every action sequences was as forgettable as the next and the soundtrack was all over the place. If this is how DC plans to make more installments of their superhero cinematic universe, then count me out.
Final Grade: D-