This has been such a disappointing summer for movies. I’m not the only one to say so, but add my voice to the chorus. Too many sequels for the sake of sequels and the big money of international audiences. Meeting release dates just because a franchise movie has to be in that slot. Blech.
I had high hopes for Suicide Squad. It looked irreverent and cool like Deadpool. I’m not a comics reader so I have no idea what is canon or what the original origin stories are for these characters. A team of bad guys turned into heroes? Guardians of the Galaxy, anyone?
After all the missteps with all these enormous ensemble character movies, I have gained new depths of respect for Joss Whedon, James Gunn and J. J. Abrams. It is damn hard to introduce us to a bunch of characters, give us their background, create chemistry between them all, and insert some witty cool banter. Damn hard. And if you try too hard to look cool and sound cool, you end up with something like Suicide Squad.
This movie is a mess. It needed some more script polishing or something. It’s just meh. It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s not good either.
There are some bright points. Margot Robbie for one. She is fantastic as Harley Quinn. I loved her. She had great chemistry with Will Smith as Deadshot, who has charisma just standing there.
I loved Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman in the TV series The Killing, and I’m glad to see him get movie work. He was fine as Rick Flag. (I guess he was the new Robocop, which I haven’t seen.)
The rest of the ensemble did not impress me much, especially Jared Leto as the Joker. What the heck? He tried to be so method he sent used condoms to his co-stars and dead rats. Exhibit A of trying too damn hard to be cool. I think there was a reason he was on screen only about 7 minutes total.
The best of the whole lot, though, and the exception to the rule is the always off the chain fantastic Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. She can make chewing a steak dinner look terrifying. She was such a sociopath in this! It’s like she was in an entirely better movie in her head.
My son worked at a movie theater this summer, and he got me in free to a 3D show. I would not recommend you pay money to see it in a theater. Watch it on cable or rent as a timepass.
Two and a half stars out of five.