Suicide Squad Review

What’s a good movie? I don’t think I know anymore. I mean, Suicide Squad has been demolished by critics and here I am thinking, “Hey! That was pretty good!” Do I have bias towards DC that is causing me to falsely build the movie up in my mind? Can I truly have an honest opinion? Was Suicide Squad actually good?

I had a lot of fun watching Suicide Squad. It was loud and action-packed. It had awesome characters played by incredible actors. It had a straightforward plot that was easy to digest. Seriously, what more do people want from an action movie? Had Suicide Squad been promoted as Oscar-bait, then yes, it would have failed miserably.

But Suicide Squad was marketed as a loud, over-the-top action thrill ride on acid. I try to judge movies based on what they aim to be. And I’m pretty open-minded, so maybe I can try and channel the mindset of someone who hated the movie.

The Structure

suicide-squad-el-diablo

The constant flashbacks and time-warps were distracting! To that common complaint I say this: Bah humbug. I found the structure of Suicide Squad to be engaging and incredibly accurate to the feeling of reading a comic book.

The movie did jump around quite a bit. If you aren’t locked in, you might get left behind. But at no time did I think that Suicide Squad made an illogical flashback. In fact, I felt that the flashbacks gave Suicide Squad great momentum and seamlessly introduced characters and themes perfectly.

Some people complain about comic book origin movies, myself included. We don’t need the same movie over and over. Suicide Squad tells us what we need to know about a character when we need to know it. I loved it and it worked, for me.

The Music

Suicide Squad Deadshot Waller Flag

The music was awful! It was loud, cliched and took me out of the movie. Suicide Squad tried to be a music video instead of a movie! I actually agree with a lot of that complaint. Although in a shocking twist of events, I actually the music to be more of an attribute than a negative.

The music was loud, but Suicide Squad is a loud movie and it mostly worked, for me. Yes, some music was cliche but on the whole I appreciated most of it and most music selections fit the scene and blended well with the movie. Most of it. A couple of the music selections were not good and I would have preferred just a regular score during those particular scenes but I can’t give the music an overall negative rating if I enjoyed the bulk of it.

As for the music video approach, I found it to be a clever method that kept the movie moving forward. Compiling the squad with regular scenes would have caused the movie to feel disjointed. The film would have dragged without a common thread. But treating each member’s backstory like a music video helped the movie feel cohesive while giving an enormous sense of energy to each segment.

The Joker

suicide-squad-margot-robbie-jared-leto

The Joker wasn’t in it enough! The Joker was in it too much! He was over the top! He wasn’t as good as Heath Ledger! Oh that’s all just silly talk. The Joker is a supporting character in Suicide Squad. He is there to move Harley Quinn through her character arc.

And yes, the Joker in Suicide Squad is over the top because, spoiler alert, he’s the Joker. The Joker is supposed to be over the top. He’s a crime lord dressed as a clown.  To demand he not be over the top is just a ridiculous complaint.

But is Jared Leto’s Joker as good as Heath Ledger’s? That’s not even a question worth answering. They are two completely different approaches. That’s a good thing. We don’t want the same thing over and over and over and over. If you want to see Heath Ledger’s Joker, watch The Dark Knight.

If you want to see a different Joker that’s unlike any Joker you’ve seen before, watch Suicide Squad. But don’t spend your money if you want a full-lenght Joker experience. Suicide Squad is not his movie, and it worked, for me.

The Villain

suicide-squad-enchantress

The villain was horrible! What was her goal? Why was she dancing! Okay, these are some complaints that I understand someone could have but I would completely disagree if they had them and I would say that their hostility is misplaced. I found the villain to be interesting, memorable and rather imposing.

I would not remove one thing about the villain. Instead, I would return the scenes of the villain that were so blatantly removed from the final cut of the movie.

The Editing

Suicide Squad Killer Croc

Yes, color me surprised that another DC movie suffers from obvious over-editing. In an obvious hack job, a huge chunk of the villains set up is missing. We see the villains plan start and POOF the Suicide Squad is called into an abandoned city that’s been decimated by supernatural powers. Luckily it is only the villain who suffers the most from the missing scenes.

We barely get to see the government fail to combat the villainous forces without the squad. We barely get to see the high-powered villain dominate. We don’t get a clear image of the stakes. We are able to cobble enough pieces together to understand the villain’s goal. But I can understand someone taking issue with the villain because we don’t get to see the villain be the villain for very long.

There are also a few non-villain scenes that get leapfrogged. Suicide Squad hasn’t been hacked up and rearranged in the editing booth. Instead, scenes or sequences seem to be lifted straight out of the movie and the pushed back together to hide the gap.

None of this ruins the movie for me and I find it hard to imagine letting it ruin the movie for another person… but maybe it did. I don’t know. All I know is that it worked, for me.

Conclusion

Suicide Squad Protecting Rick Flag

Suicide Squad is not an amazing movie. It’s not a garbage movie either. Suicide Squad is a high-energy action movie with a perfect cast, generally good music, interesting villain and inconsistent editing. It’s loud. It’s bold. It’s different. And unfortunately it feels a bit incomplete.

Now if we could just convince Warner Brothers to release an Ultimate Edition of Suicide Squad.