Did you ever have one of those toys as a child, the ones where you ended up finding better use from and having more fun with the packaging it came in than the toy itself? Well that very much represents how the long awaited Suicide Squad made me feel. If you haven’t seen it yet then I’d recommend treating yourself to a grab bag of minstrels and sitting back to the trailer as it boasts everything the film has to offer without the crap in between. When I say this, I mean they literally took all the best scene shots, main punchlines and character reveals and put them back-to-back set to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody.
While we’re on that note, let us wonder for a second what it would have been like if they’d pushed through with the original tone set by the first trailer, before realising the success of Deadpool and re-cutting to a lighter note. To be honest, it would have been just as bad but without the punchlines which left the cinema I was in completely silent.
Let’s break this down:
For those of you who haven’t seen it and are ok with spoilers – here’s the plot outline. We knew the idea – assemble a team of the worst of the worst and throw them at anything the measly humans can’t handle. Conveniently a week after they’d done this a huge fella with a magic whip pops out of the ground and it’s thunderbirds are go. This came about from Cara Delevingne’s lazily thought out character Enchantress of Voodoo descent, conveniently being able transport to anywhere on Earth, through any wall etc and bringing her big bro out of retirement. It’s ok though, Female Nick Fury – Amanda Waller is on the case and has the Enchantresses heart in a big box by her side as insurance, which she proceeds to stab a good few times. Dead you must think? Nope, shrugs it off. You see I commonly take a few jabs in the old pump myself but I once watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail and decided to take after the knight guarding the bridge. Here we see the team assemble.
Now the team is where this film really got me the most. With so many big personalities and stereotypes, you get exhausted pretty quick. They’re all there – the incredible marksman, the crazy one, the one who’s always drinking, the Asian one who barely talks and is a boss with a blade, the one who’s killed too many people and won’t use his power ever again (he says), the one with huge strength and doesn’t talk much etc. All led into battle by a tough AF American dude with a load of other disposable human grunts to make the battles look at least a bit challenging.
Most of the screen time is also focussed on Margot Robbie and Will Smith. Don’t get me wrong, I like these two as much as anyone else but you can’t just make him a smooth talker and stick her in hot pants and add extra opportunities for her to bend over every time and expect it to be a winner. The rest of the squad got a bit of screen time but more as padding for the main two, and with all the boomeranging and sword play that they add you could change this out with when the power rangers went up against Ivan Ooze and I wouldn’t have noticed the difference to be honest. A lack of thought in every single character let this all down.
I’ve been pretty harsh so far. For the sake of variety here’s something I did like: Jared Leto. The joker pops in and out of the film, and anyone trying to follow the incredible performance by Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight has got a serious task on their hands. A good job was done here to make it different enough while still keeping the edge on the character. Just a shame every appearance was fleeting, featured in the trailer, and didn’t relate a whole much to the main plot.
The scripting was probably one of the weakest parts of the film. I’ve already mentioned the poor punchlines but it was the line from our fiery Hispanic friend about already losing one family and not wanting to lose another, uttered to a bunch of people he had only met that day and expressed nothing but hate for, that made me say ‘really?’ out loud in the cinema. The whole thing just had no depth at all and it just shows up the production team of this movie for thinking that a strong cast and quiver of visual effects will hold its own for the making of a masterpiece. In my books, this doesn’t stand I’m afraid.
Let’s finish up what I started on the plot. They plod on through and come to the final battle which was the same as ever – squad rocks up, start winning, start losing and then a late surge to save the day. The big bodyguard brother gets disposed of by his good equivalent strong fella first, leaving poor Cara Delevingne to do a load of green screen wiggling for this visual to come alive and it just all came out a bit lame to be honest.
And that was that, they all return to prison with reduced sentences ready for the next time, which will most certainly be another film. To be fair it should be easy to make the next one better as the bar lays pretty low.
I’m sorry my first film review on the TFNY has to be this negative, but this one had so much promise. Things like this will never stop me going to see superhero films, but sometimes, you just have to call out the stinkers (don’t get me started on fantastic 4). Until next time.