So let’s start this one out with a disclaimer. I was a big fan of Dawn of Justice: Batman V Superman. As I’ve stated multiple times in the past, I’m a youngin’, my Superman was the gritty 90’s Supes and Batman killed multiple times in the past. DOJ, especially the extended cut, hit every point I wanted it to and truly got me excited for the DC cinematic universe. Even with everyone complaining I was curious where they would go from here.
I’ve been following Suicide Squad from the beginning. For all the love I showed DOJ I was genuinely more excited for Squad than anything else last year. Finally, I was going to see all of these beloved DC characters together on the big screen. We would finally have a cinematic portrayal of Killer Croc, Deadshot, and, one of the more famous characters in pop culture, Harley Quinn. What was there not to be excited about?! The excitement continued to build as we were given looks at all of the actors in character and even a near perfect trailer. I could not have been more stoked when I went to the theatre in August. Upon first viewing I was stoked after the film. They portrayed every character correctly and created a hybrid between their original instances and the “New 52” versions. It wasn’t until a month later that reality began to set in. Someone who hadn’t seen the film said to me, “I haven’t seen it yet, what was it about?”.
I was at a loss. I couldn’t remember. Aside from a few humorous moments and enjoying the characters I couldn’t remember a damn thing about the movie. Err, it was a pretty good cast. Leto knocked it out of the park but other than that, I don’t remember much about the plot. I had been completely blinded by the comic book reader in me; I had no real opinion towards the film whatsoever. When I was sent the film to look at I put it off as long as I could. This film came out a month ago and I’m just now looking at it again. I didn’t want to view it in a negative light because I knew it wasn’t as good of a film as I remember after first watch. Guess what? I was right.
I sat down and popped the disc in. After months of David Ayer, and others stated that there wouldn’t be an extended version released I was pressing the play button on the 2 hour and 14 minute extended edition of the film. As the film begins we go right into the description of each “villain” by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). I didn’t skip passed any opening credits or scenes, we literally go from a neon Warner Bros. sign into Waller describing each character of the film. That being said, I can honestly say that each of the character’s backgrounds are more interesting than anything that actually takes place during the film. We see Deadshot’s (Will Smith) life as both a father and an assassin. His conflicting emotions and lifestyles are compelling. We see Harley Quinn’s (Margot Robbie) life with the Joker (Jared Leto) and how they came to be a unit. Don’t count on fleshed out back stories on the other characters, they get about a minute here or there.
I’m quickly reminded why I didn’t remember the plot of this film — there isn’t one. There are 20 minute amusing segments that the editors pulled together to create one long film. I don’t hate these segments, as a matter of fact most of them are pretty awesome and really make you feel like you’re watching a Suicide Squad comic book come to life. There’s very little substance. The “Escape from New York” style midpoint is completely nonsensical and ultimately feels forced to make this film longer. I don’t want to go too far into the plot because there are a couple of very minor twists and I don’t want to spoil too much but you won’t really be missing much either way.
As stated, while the film itself is pretty generic with its “Expendables” style plot, the characters/actors is where this film shines. I commend the cast as they really didn’t have much to work with in the script department. I remember most critics and audience members complaining about the lack of Joker in the film. The counter argument was always “well this is a Suicide Squad film, he’s not a member of the Suicide Squad”. This is a great point, however, the entire film’s marketing was built around Leto’s gangster Joker and it didn’t help that his plotline was the most interesting thing in the film. We did get a bit more Harley/Joker in the extended edition but not enough to do much.
Looking further on the disc this thing is jam packed with behind the scenes featurettes that discuss the original comic, the stunts, the relationship behind Harley and Joker, and the creation of the world itself. Also included is a gag reel, tv spots, etc. Along with the extended edition the Blu-ray also includes the theatrical release, and besides the extra Harley/Joker scenes not much is changed.
VERDICT: I think you could tell throughout this writing that I don’t find this to be a very good film. That being said, it was fun. Suicide Squad is not a coherent film with an in depth plotline. You may say, well it’s a comic book movie, duh! This excuse would mean something in the Sam Raimi Spider-man films era but that excuse just doesn’t cut it anymore. Honestly, I would probably consider it the Michael Bay, or dare I say Rob Zombie of comic book movies. It’s a fun film, not necessarily a good film. It’s not a movie I would watch over and over again but I still enjoyed it and will revisit sometime in the future. If you’re interested in these characters or have ever picked up a comic book involving any of them I think you should at least give this film a chance. It’s a fun watch on a rainy, or snowy, afternoon.
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.