Suicide Squad (2016)

SuicideSquad-2016Viola Davis plays a big muckety-muck named Amanda Waller who works for the government. Much like Bruce Wayne, she saw a lot of the carnage inflicted by Superman and Zod in “Man of Steel,” and now that he’s dead, she wants to ensure there’s never another Superman coming to Earth to cause chaos. So naturally, she goes to Belle Reeve prison to assemble a team of super villains, all of whom have already had their asses handed to them by Batman and The Flash. Her reasoning is that the best way to defeat another potential alien menace is by enlisting a group of super villains on a suicide mission including a man crocodile, boomerang throwing maniac, and a Joker fan girl with an obsession with bats and mallets.

Of course, everything goes wrong from square one. When villain Enchantress has her own ideas for her temporary freedom, she resurrects her brother and plans to—I don’t know, take over the world, or destroy the world using a patented sky portal or something. It’s never made entirely clear. In either case, “Suicide Squad” is another film by DC and Warner made by a committee that looks like somewhere beneath the painfully uneven tone and nonsensical narrative, David Ayer had a wonderful storyline about villains seeking redemption in the vein of “Dirty Dozen.” Every nasty thing about this movie smacks of post production editing, from the weird neon flourishes added to certain scenes right down to the goofy pop soundtrack.

In only five minutes we get about six tracks hammered in to us to establish tone and mood, rather than leave it up to the writing and Ayer’s occasionally tight direction. When we meet Waller, we hear “Sympathy for the Devil” because she’s shady. Get it? When the group is flying to Enchantress’s slushie sky portal, we hear “Spirit in the Sky” playing because—they’re—going to meet Jesus Christ? To make things worse the only characters in the group remotely fleshed out are Will Smith’s Deadshot, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo. The former two receive literally three introductions in a row, while El Diablo is given a major chunk of a sub-plot in the second half, involving redemption and death that I wanted to see with the other characters.

The time spent on Deadshot and Quinn’s trio of introductions could have been used for meatier exposition and giving us better reasons why Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang and the like are a part of this team. Character actions make no sense, continuity stinks, and Enchantress is an absolutely terrible villain topped off by Cara Delevigne’s awful supporting performance. Jared Leto’s overblown iteration of the Joker, who looks more like a demonic “Alien” from “Spring Breakers,” is also a major pitfall of the film as he adds nothing to the conflict of the narrative and feels tacked on, most times. That said Will Smith, Jay Hernandez and Margot Robbie take “Suicide Squad” and steal it from literally everyone, adding their own spice and personal touches that keep “Suicide Squad” from being a total wash out.

Robbie is excellent as Quinn presenting a fierceness and sexiness that makes her a dangerous temptress. She even injects her trademark Bronx accent to the mix. I could have watched a whole movie based around the tragic dynamic of this trio alone. In either case, “Suicide Squad” is another swing and miss for DC and Warner that wreaks of too many cooks in the kitchen. It lacks a cohesive vision, an interesting villain, never knows if it wants to play itself as deadly serious or dark comedy, and is just unpleasant from beginning to end.