By Drake Vittitow
After the lukewarm success that followed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Warner Brothers was in need of a different direction.
The dark and grim stories of their first two projects were not winning over the critics or a significant portion of fans. Couple that with the success of “Deadpool,” released six months prior, earlier in 2016 and the DC Extended Universe was quickly looking down a long cliff with no bottom in sight.
To be frank, this is a prime example of a movie that is worse than the trailer. I remember seeing the trailer back in 2016 and thinking, “Wow, this is going to be the resurgence of the DCEU right here.”
I was the furthest thing from right.
David Ayer, director, recently said on Twitter that, like BvS, “Suicide Squad” was the victim of studio interference. With the runaway success of “Deadpool,” Ayer commented that the studio wanted him to strip down his serious movie and turn it into a comedy.
That decision was the wrong one.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some good things happening here though.
First, nobody on this earth can play a better Harley Quinn than Margot Robbie. She reminds me of the Harley Quinn from the animated Batman show I used to watch growing up. She fully commits to the role, sounding exactly like the Joker’s squeeze.
Sadly, her debut appearance was hindered by the quality of the film.
Another actor who played their role amazingly was Will Smith as Deadshot. He is one of the few characters in this movie that receives any characterization, along with Quinn, and it pays dividends in the end.
The same characterization cannot be said for the others.
Apart from the lackadaisical writing, the biggest problem with this movie is the influx of characters who are throwaway. There are so many interesting characters portrayed in this movie, for example, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang. However, they get no backstory or characterization to the point where the audience doesn’t care about them.
This is not the first time I have brought up this point. Both MoS and BvS had some lackluster characters, and it shows in the final product.
This seems to be a pattern in the villain department.
The big bad guys thus far in the DCEU have been average to below average. General Zod was okay, and Lex Luthor suffered from character assassination.
Spoiler: it gets worse here.
If you have never heard of Enchantress or Incubus until this movie, then I get it. They are deep dive DC characters that are not as popular as the Joker, more on him later, or Brainiac. Like the “superheroes” of this movie, their downfall is the minimal backstory.
It is never a good recipe for a movie when audiences could care less about the characters.
Speaking of characters, despite the movie trailer leading you to believe that the Joker is in this movie, he has less than 15 minutes of screen time. Watching the trailer, I was led to believe that there might have been a potential Joker v Suicide Squad matchup, but alas, we received no such thing.
Another glaring fundamental problem is the story. The one question I asked myself when this movie hit around the 30-minute mark was, “Where are all the superheroes?” We can infer that this takes place in the same universe as Superman and Batman because Bruce Wayne and the Flash appear in the film. Why in the world would you need a bunch of criminals to save the world when there are heroes in the first place?
It is a simple answer that is never covered and makes the story seem unfulfilling from the beginning.
All in all, this movie continues a trend of problems that have continually popped up in the three DCEU movies I have seen thus far. They all have suffered from boring characters, unsatisfying writing, and studio interference. It is hard for a studio to make a quality product when all it wants to do is make the next “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“Suicide Squad” is worse than the first two installments in the DC Extended Universe, and sadly, it is in the same league as “Catwoman” and “Elektra.”
It is just that bad.