Suicide Squad, 2016
Directed by David Ayer
A secret government agency, led by Amanda Waller, begins to recruit a dream team of super villains to undergo secret missions. However, Waller may have gotten more than she bargained for with the likes of Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the others.
Honestly, I had high hopes for Suicide Squad. I really hoped this would give DC the good reviews it surely needs and get its superhero trail going. Because, if I haven't mentioned already, I don't really care for Marvel movies. For me, they're a little too light, don't take themselves seriously enough and have a little too much humor. I know, I know. I'm probably the only person who complains that Marvel movies have too much humor, but whatever. I am a huge fan of the Dark Knight trilogy and have really wanted some more superhero films like that to be made. However, Man of Steel ended up being pretty blah, and I still haven't seen Batman v. Superman, but Suicide Squad seemed to be what DC needed. Suicide Squad assembled an amazing team of actors (Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto altogether? Count me in!) and even recruited a really fantastic director, David Ayer. And while critics would right now have you believe this movie is terrible, I would have to disagree.
To be fair, I walked into Suicide Squad aware of the RottenTomatoes score and having lowered expectations definitely helps when it comes to opinions on movies, for me. I knew in advance that this movie was choppy (both in story and in editing) so I found it to be less distracting because I knew it would be that way.
Yes, Suicide Squad isn't a perfect movie. It has many slightly cringe-worthy moments and the villain is absolute garbage and I'm still not sure what her plot actually was, but I still enjoyed it. This is the kind of film that I felt was rushed and, had the team behind it been given more time to write a script or even just not be terrified of repeating the criticisms of Batman v. Superman and just went for it with Ayer's vision, it would've been one of the best films of the summer. However, for whatever reason (be it too little time, or just scared of repeating the BvS fiasco), Suicide Squad was several steps away from greatness.
And while I have made several complaints, there is a lot to like about this film. The film had a lot of genuinely funny moments. I absolutely loved the inclusion of Ike Barinholtz in this cast. As a Mindy Project fan, it was so great to see Morgan in this film. While his part is small, I loved seeing him around. But more on, I really loved most of the cast. Obviously Viola Davis was such a boss. Like seriously, can we just have a superhero/super villain movie starring Viola Davis? I would so watch that. And I think it's no surprise at this point that Margot Robbie steals the show completely. I'm so happy she's finally gotten a big role like this and happy for the roles it will land her in the future. Also, I haven't enjoyed Will Smith in a movie in a while, and he was an absolute pleasure in this. And while Jared Leto isn't my favourite Joker, his rendition really fit the film and I felt he nailed what he was going for. Also, is this the first film that Jai Courtney wasn't actually terrible? In fact, he was really great and really funny. And I feel like Joel Kinneman was, every so often, trying to sound like Tom Hardy (who originally had this role before dropping out).
And it wasn't just the acting that was enjoyable, but there were a lot of great moments. The fight scenes were well done and there was a lot of great humor. I liked the balance of humor and seriousness here better than I do most Marvel movies, but again, I realize this is an unpopular decision.
Like mentioned, the biggest downer for me was how terrible the villain is. Like, honestly the villain was so confusing and I don't really know what Enchantress was trying to accomplish. It's the exact same problem I had with X-Men: Apocalypse, with Apocalypse being incredibly uninteresting and have a really flimsy purpose. It was even just really corny to watch, every time she came on screen. The movie was so enjoyable and then the villain would come on screen and I'd remember why this film is currently sitting at a 31% on RT. Which is a bummer, because the rest of the film was actually a lot of fun.
I really do wish the best for DC, but three films in and no critical hit, I really hope that the DC team takes a few steps back and lets their directing/writing team have the time they need to work on and perfect the next few films. Because had this movie had that chance, it probably would've been both a critical and box-office hit. I understand that DC wants the success Marvel has, but even I can say that Marvel has done the work to earn what they have (or at least most of the time!) Suicide Squad was just a few steps away from greatness, and had a lot of potential. And even with a terrible, awful villain, it was a fun ride while it lasted.