While struggling to reach the heights the initial trailer promised and clearly suffering from structural and screenplay issues, Suicide Squad somehow still manages to be a fun trip with some of the more unusual characters in the DC universe.
After the widespread destruction from previous adventures, government agent Amanda Waller decides a contingency plan is needed in case shit goes down again. When one of the most powerful ‘metahumans’ escapes and decides to wreak havoc, team X is drafted in to take down the world’s latest threat – the catch? All members are the meanest bad guys behind bars.
Sometimes in cinema, the spotlight focuses on particular productions more than it does others. Whether it’s the sequel to a film thought buried in the 80’s, a book adaptation no one ever thought could happen or even a film that just scrapes through production hell, the world’s attention ends up becoming something that either makes or breaks them. Unfortunately the eyes of millions are currently staring meticulously at Warner Bros. and DC entertainment as they struggle to build a superhero world as rich as its competitors. David Ayer was next on the block hoping to hit it out the park with Suicide Squad, so is this the beginning of something special or does it just spark the beginning of the end? Well in honestly, it does neither.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Suicide Squad suffers massively both with script and structure but on the whole gives us something audiences are more than likely going to enjoy. Clearly rushed, writer/director Ayer’s screenplay is definitely not the best ever written. Wrought with illogical progression, the audience is rushed through the first act, pushing us through rather than unravelling a world that many cinema goers might not ever have heard of before. This senseless introduction leaves a lot to be desired as the motives and attempted ‘moral compass’ of our antiheroes are never truly established and therefore never truly giving us something to relate to.
The script issues then only get worse when taking into account the events of the film. The main villain is easily forgettable with a real lack of any plan. Although in some ways this helps us focus on the team, it makes the main plot feel patchy and disjointed as some scenes feel altogether pointless. When all these issues are taken into account, it could be assumed that Suicide Squad is an unprecedented failure but thankfully there is a spark that manages to keep you interested for the two hour running time.
While flawed, these issues don’t really seem to take away from the enjoyment factor. The quick paced nature of the production doesn’t allow the story to get bogged down too often and never truly gets lost in the overly moral narratives Batman Vs Superman suffered from. Further to that the story, while a mess, is very simple and easy to watch, making it easier to sit through than those trying to be something they are not.
Further to this, the cast and characters make it an enjoyable ride while it lasts. Will Smith is a good Deadshot even with the overly clichéd attempt at a moral compass while Margot Robbie shines as psychotic Harley Quinn. The rest of the team play their part but again, the script never truly lets them escape the ‘supporting’ role the characters embody. Jai Courtney is easily one of the better antagonists, used clearly to wind up his team mates all the while delivering the better jokes. When you then begin to take the positives into account, you can see that Suicide Squad is one of the strangest films from a critical perspective.
Overall, Suicide Squad can only be compared to 2005’s Fantastic Four. With both suffering from severe issues with scripting and structure, there is a charm that wouldn’t stop this from being put in the DVD player. While it’s not the worst film ever made, it’s hard not to admit a little disappointment given the excitement the original trailer conjured. At a time when the antihero is almost as endearing as the superhero, I can’t help but feel this would have been better a little further down the DC timeline. 3 out of 5 stars.