There have been quite a few reviews published about this movie already so if you’re reading this, you are either my mother or you’re looking for someone to say something good about this movie. I have said over and over that I am a fan and I approach these reviews as a fan not as some kind of technical critic. I go see a movie and let you know what my immediate first impressions are. So after seeing Suicide Squad this week I have to say, the amazing moments in this film far outweigh the numerous flaws. If you are a fan of the DC universe in any way, don’t let anyone tell you how to enjoy this movie, just go in expecting to have fun.
Let me give you a disclaimer, though, this movie was flawed but I was never distracted by anything that I would consider a misstep. I’ll devote a paragraph to Jared Leto’s joker later on but let me say that I loved him for all eight minutes he was in the film. Really I think this was the crux of this movie’s failure and it’s a big reason why think the first Avengers movie isn’t at the top of my Marvel list, far too many characters. This movie had to introduce you to several villains of heroes that haven’t been fully established in this universe so while the actor’s performance went very far to sell you the character, the story suffered for the lack of individual involvement.
As I said, though, this flaw was not very potent to the experience because of the deliveries by these actors. Starting with the main two characters, Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), these characters were funny, sad, evil, and deep from the very beginning. I think the fact that the reports of DC moving forward with Deadshot as a potential character for the Batman solo film and the solo Harley Quinn film is a fantastic move as these two often stole the show. Viola Davis pulled off the cold and calculating Amanda Waller perfectly and Cara Delevingne, for as long as we got to see her, was a wonderful villain. Finally we land on the focal point of many early trailers and clips, the Joker as portrayed by Jared Leto.
Let’s remember that Leto is not only the first live action Joker since Heath Ledger dominated the role in 2008, but is following an amazing return of Mark Hamill to the role in The Killing Joke. Needless to say, the expectations were very high for this character and the marketing team behind the film wasted no time putting him in the forefront. Personally, I loved Leto’s take on the character as a psychotic gangster. This is not the normal chaos loving psychopath that we may have gotten used to recently, but he brings an unsettling air to the role of mob leader which I truly enjoyed. Unfortunately, he was not used very much in this movie, spending most of his screen time trying to get Harley back from the Suicide Squad. Part of me understands that unless the entire movie was going to be about him, he was used entirely properly but the rest looks at the overwhelming amount of material we were presented leading up to the film and wonder why he only existed to tell Harley Quinn’s story. This is another thing we will have to just be excited about until the DCEU decides to bring the character front and center into one of their movies.
The last thing I want to bring up is the sheer wonder of the construction of this movie. Every costume was amazing, the scene settings and creature design of the necrotic army, and, of course, the soundtrack was a killer. At the beginning it may have been a bit overused, but the music, both score and songs, helped propel this movie far beyond a normal DC superhero movie. Speaking of music and scene structure, if you have the chance I would spring for the Dolby Atmos theater on this one as the large scale action and creepy villains lend themselves to as much surround sound as you can find. I have to say, if this new style and direction is the change we were promised for the DC movies, I think we will see some big successes in the near future.
Fantasy, sci-fi, and comic movies will always come under fire from mainstream criticism no matter how much nerd culture becomes the norm but the wonder of the internet means that even I can share my opinions with the world. And in my professional movie writer opinion I would say, don’t worry about anything said by someone who gets to see these movies in a private screening before the public. Don’t even care about what I say about a movie, if you love DC and if you love movies in general and you were excited about this movie, go see it and decide for yourself. Everyone has an opinion and they will always stop at nothing to convince you why theirs is the best but when it comes to creative works, experience it for yourself.