Oooooohhhhhh, this frickin’ smarts.
It pains me to say this, but as somebody who digs on the deliciousness of villainy and was eagerly anticipating watching a film bursting with potential originality and bombastic comic book fun, I felt let down by how safe Suicide Squad chose to play it’s cards. For a production riddled with rumor, speculation and fascinating (to say the least) stories regarding the various members of cast and crew, none of that insanity translated on the screen. Despite all appearances, David Ayer’s take on the infamous Task Force X feels more like tame, under-powered carousel ride with pretty decorations as opposed to a tricked out roller-coaster for the fans. Although the film does have some inspired sequences, they are precisely that, just a collection of fancy moments in time as opposed to a fully fluent and cohesive narrative, and believe me when I say, that was the last thing I was expecting, much less write. Suicide Squad was proposed to be the game-changer, the DC film which threw down the gauntlet, but it tried to juggle way too many balls with few fumbling hands and has little to show for it because it was far too concerned by looking good rather than being driven by substance of which there was more than enough on the table. This is a film about psychopaths, and while all psychopaths have a story to tell, the film deliberately portrays most of them as people who are more damaged as opposed to broken and willfully vicious. If nothing else, the attraction we should feel toward them should feel more like being drawn to Hannibal Lecter or Catherine Tramell, not the slightly eccentric neighbor.
Already, numerous DC fans are coming out of the woodwork defending this movie and I get it- when an adaptation of a source material dear to you is made for broad consumption, you want to show your support in any fashion you can, sometimes zealously, but also in good faith. However, a part of me feels DC knows its fans will do this and they feel they can be let off the hook by delivering a flawed product. I’m not saying every comic film should be an exemplary example of film-making, but it should take more than merely fan love to elevate a film and Suicide Squad for all of its promises of hinky hi-jinks falls on it’s backside in a lackluster way that it’s unfair to everybody involved. All of us deserved better.
Although Suicide Squad isn’t horrendous and does show occasional sparks of fun courtesy of its on and off screen talent as well as an admittedly brilliant marketing campaign, it is let down on the curious limitations it has placed upon itself and that is perhaps the most grievous flaw any film can make especially if it promises so much and delivers so very little.
By the way, as a side note, here is an article I wrote for Wolf In A Gorilla Suit based on the controversy of the Joker’s physical appearance which I still stand by. I know, I’m a shameless self-promoting hussy.