So awful is “Suicide Squad” that, in relative terms, “Batman v Superman” deserves an Oscar and a collective apology from critics who thought that it was as low as recent superhero (sorry, metahuman) movies could stoop. This pile of stinking, incoherent garbage won’t be the final nail in DC’s coffin, but the door is swinging closed very, very fast.
Where to begin. The plot? Non-existent. The supposedly villainous titular squad? Either one dimensional or trying too hard to be relatable. The Joker? Ugh.
Anyone capable of constructing a cohesive human thought should hate “Suicide Squad”. The worst part about it is that it’s not even bad enough to be good; not even fun enough to make you forget its flaws. All of those alleged “Deadpool”-related re-shoots done to “lighten up” the movie were a waste of time and money. Ours and the studio’s. The vast majority of gags fall flat on their face, much like the action sequences and dialogue. Only through these pathetic links is the film remotely consistent.
We start the movie with the camera approaching a reddish wasteland, harbouring a mega-prison for the world’s “worst of the worst”, soundtracked to the familiar strains of the original “House of the Rising Sun”. Oh look! There’s Will Smith’s Deadshot sweatily punching a bag. A few words are exchanged with a guard. A blink-and-you’ll miss it torture scene is tacked on. But, hey, I’m on-board. Then, he’s gone and another song takes over. This time “You Don’t Own Me” echoes onscreen, as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is introduced. A little bit of snappy dialogue and… oh, she’s gone, too. It’s time for a backstory bonanza – and you’ve got an invite to the show.
20 minutes. 20 minutes of exposition. 20 minutes of the most cluttered, rambling, barely-edited cinema you may ever see. We’re supposed to care about Colonel Rick Flag’s (Joel Kinnaman) relationship with an archaeologist (boringly) played by Cara Delevingne, who has been taken over by an ancient evil witch known as Enchantress. We’re supposed to care that the Joker is a pimp-ish underground gangster wannabe who only exists to get his girlfriend (Harley Quinn) back from the clutches of government agent, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). But we don’t, because nothing in this thundering turd of a film makes any sense or gives us any reason to care about anyone or anything.
Jared Leto’s Joker is an insult to the character, but luckily he stops featuring after a while. Even if Nicholson, Ledger and Hamill didn’t exist, this portrayal would still be considered a flop. Will Smith is, as ever, watchable and Margot Robbie shows something, but is underused. Everyone else may as well have been CGI-d into the movie, so little is their impact.
Some stuff happens that has no consequence or logic – and any small redeeming qualities the film may have won’t be mentioned here, because they’ll detract from the deluge of abuse “Suicide Squad” deserves.
Whatever the opposite of squad goals is, this is it.