Time: 134 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, horror & cruelty
Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
Jared Leto as Joker
Margot Robbie as Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn
Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
Jai Courtney as Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang
Jay Hernandez as Chato Santana/El Diablo
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc
Cara Delevingne as Dr. June Moone/Enchantress
Karen Fukuhara as Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana
Adam Beach as Christopher Weiss/Slipknot
Director: David Ayer
Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.
My initial review of Suicide Squad.
I loved Suicide Squad when it came out. It was something different and unique and despite all its flaws, I still really liked it. It’s been many months since I saw this movie for the first time and after many months of thinking about it and especially after watching it again (the extended cut) … let’s just say that my thoughts on Suicide Squad have changed quite a bit. I still like the movie but it’s clearly got a lot of issues.
Now I think I should get a brief review of the Extended Cut out of the way. How much new Joker footage is in the extended cut? Well there is a extended flashback scene with Harley and Joker in Arkham, as well as a new Joker and Harley flashback. That’s it. That’s literally it. So don’t expect the extended cut to be ‘Suicide Squad: Joker Edition’ as you might think it is. This is a real shame, as we will probably never see even half of the Joker footage which was filmed. The extended cut’s new footage mostly consisted of more interactions with the Squad, which is what the movie needed more of. That’s really it. The new footage doesn’t change the movie in a huge way. The extended/director’s cuts of Batman v Superman and Watchmen really added a lot and improve the movies greatly. With Suicide Squad, the extended cut is better than the theatrical cut, but not by a huge amount. If you watched the Theatrical Cut and didn’t really like it, the Extended Cut isn’t going to make you change your mind.
Now, to the retrospective review. There are many problems that I have with the film now after thinking about it for many months. There were particularly two major problems that really bug me. The first was with the editing and the cutting of the scenes. It’s practically become infamous with how much footage from the trailers didn’t actually make it into the movie. Even the Extended Cut, which had 12 minutes of new footage even came close to showing all the footage shown in the trailers. Joker, despite being promoted heavily in the film, is only in the film for about 9 minutes in the theatrical cut, and maybe a minute more with the extended cut. It can be shown in both behind the scenes footage and trailer footage that there was a lot of his footage that didn’t make it into the film. This ultimately made Joker feel out of place, it felt like he didn’t exactly belong, especially in the present day sequences where he’s trying to rescue Harley. Granted, he wasn’t implemented that well in the movie overall, but if he was in the movie more he would’ve been less distracting, and plus we would’ve been able to get a better idea of what his Joker actually is. But it’s not only Joker that the cutting of the scenes affected. Certain scenes seem out of place and feel like there were supposed to be more scenes there. The film tries to hide this sometimes, such as the Harley and Joker Flashbacks, where certain parts have these weird coloured filters which were really out of place, and quick sudden cuts (especially shown during the Arkham sequence), and so it felt really awkward. Now I have no idea if the entire direction of the film was changed by Warner Bros or what happened, but it’s pretty clear that Warner Bros did cut a lot out and interfered with the editing of the film. At least with Batman v Superman, the Ultimate Edition restored the footage to Zack Snyder’s cut. Suicide Squad however, not the same case.
The other major problem I have was the direction that the film was going in. What really bugged me was that Enchantress was the main villain of the film. And my problem with that wasn’t so much the execution of Enchantress (though I definitely had problems there), it was the fact that the Suicide Squad were put up against a godlike character. This is disappointing in many ways. First of all, Suicide Squad (the film) was looking very unique amongst all the other comic book movies, with it having villains as the main characters. It was getting everything right but then the film ultimately turned out to be just another ‘save the world’ movie. Also Enchantress’s powers weren’t handled well. She’s a godlike character who caused a lot of damage but because she was so powerful, the film needed to depower her otherwise the Squad wouldn’t stand a chance against her. Really, none of the Squad stood a chance against her, only perhaps El Diablo was capable, that’s it, and of course he died during the fight against Incubus, Enchantress’s brother. That’s another thing, Incubus was utterly pointless in the movie (not to mention that the CGI started going into Gods of Egypt territory). As a result, the film culminated in an underwhelming fight. The film would’ve benefited a lot more if it was crime based. That’s where David Ayer excels. Perhaps if the Squad was put up against the Joker it would’ve worked more. If the Joker would’ve overshadowed things, than maybe put them up against some other crime based character, just not Enchantress. It’s not like the only issue of the film was the editing, the writing by David Ayer could’ve been better, whether it comes to the story, character motivation and the dialogue (yes, a lot of the dialogue did not work). But we can’t really blame him a lot for that, he only had 6 weeks to write the screenplay (another failing on Warner Bros’s part). Other gripes with the film was that aside from their introductions, all the members of the Squad were more anti heroes than actual villains, and it is possible for them to be villainous protagonists. Only Amanda Waller and Enchantress actually felt like villains.
Now, to some more positive stuff. The characters are great and are what carries the movie. However, there are still some issues there, I do have at least one problem with each of the characters, Deadshot felt a little too heroic, Harley Quinn was inconsistent, Rick Flagg was just fine, El Diablo could’ve had a little more depth, Katana and Killer Croc don’t have a lot of development and are just sort of there, Boomerang is entertaining but doesn’t have a lot to work with. And Slipknot… well he served his purpose, a random person to be killed at the beginning of the movie. As for The Joker, the major issue was really with the editing, and plus the writing for him could’ve been better. I loved what Leto did with the character but The Joker didn’t really fit well in the movie. As for Enchantress… she could’ve been a lot better, however I will say that I liked her more on the second viewing. I found that it was mostly the dialogue that worked against her. She was a ‘take over the world’ villain, which could work (I love Apocalypse), but her dialogue just made it hard to take her seriously. However, when she was in both forms when she was just using magic and carrying out her plan, she was great. To put it simply, I like Enchantress when she doesn’t speak. The best character of the film for me was Amanda Waller, Viola Davis played her excellently, I can’t wait to see more of her in the DCEU. I do like all the characters despite their problems. They are fun to watch, and the actors do play them quite well. The action is good, if forgettable at times, the first action sequence was the best (especially when Deadshot was on the car). The soundtrack is good but inconsistent (like every scene would have a new song, way too many songs were used). The score by Steven Price is criminally underrated. I liked Ayer’s overall direction of the film (except when it came to dealing with the cut scenes), it was entertaining and worked mostly well.
Overall, I still like Suicide Squad quite a bit but like with Captain America: Civil War, I noticed more flaws in it as time went on. There’s definitely some problems as stated up above. Even though Suicide Squad is disappointing in retrospect, I wouldn’t consider it bad. We can only hope that Warner Bros learns from this and Batman v Superman, letting the director’s handle their own cuts is a much better idea. It’s honestly a miracle that this film got made with all the random decisions that were made. I’m sadly not really hyped for a Suicide Squad sequel. I will give Suicide Squad credit for introducing many characters into the DCEU but I feel that they could’ve done it a lot better. Now, it was announced recently that director David Ayer would be directing Gotham City Sirens (which will have Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy). He’s not writing it, instead it’s written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who’s not really written anything, so we’ll have to see how she does), so there might so there’s potential for the movie to be quite good. The direction (aside from the editing) of the movie was quite good so we’ll just have to see what happens. Overall to me, Suicide Squad is still enjoyable, just disappointing looking back at it.