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A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

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  • 43 weeks
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  • 115 weeks
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  • 221 weeks
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  • 230 weeks
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  • 245 weeks
    Happy 2017

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Review: Suicide Squad (2016) · 5:03am Aug 5th, 2016


Well that was...something.

Try as it might to be something better, Suicide Squad is, in the end, an utter train wreck of a film. Consisting of a series of good, if not great concepts, but completely hamstrung by editing that is best described as incoherent, it is a film that continually tries desperately to find itself, only to get hopelessly lost in a sea of badly integrated pop songs, ill defined character development, and a plot that is, at best, borderline baffling.

David Ayer, most known for gritty, down to earth films like Fury, End of Watch, and Street Kings, is sadly unable (or flat out prevented) from applying his gritty vision to the film. He writes the screenplay himself, but it's a screenplay that shows many signs of being either hastily put together to meet a deadline, or forced to bend itself over backwards to fit a PG-13 rating, and the enforced tropes and story beats of the DC Cinematic Universe. His tone flings itself violently from grimey sunshine noir ala Drive, to schizo, tongue-in-cheek subversion and satire, almost like a less offensive Deadpool. This inability to find a central tone for the film can firmly be placed on the back of the completely horrific editing. Never before have I seen a film so completely destroyed by it's editing.

The best part? This horrific editing was apparently the direct result of Warner Brothers interference, due to the panic caused by Batman v Superman's collapse at the box office. In an effort to combat the perceived dour tone of what Ayer apparently had in mind, Warner Bros. apparently edited their own version of the film, as edited by the company that edited the film's trailers.

And boy does that show here. Characters, plot points and themes are introduced with rapid, almost cocaine fueled fervor, only to be quickly forgotten or flat out obliterated by yet more eye candy or action, or plot and character developments that make little to no sense in context.

As such, the film just feels like a completely shattered experience. More often then not, you feel like you're watching snippets and pieces of a much longer, more fully realized film, with some portions have true potential for merit, while others feel like throwaways meant to just up the action count. On top of that, the screenplay was apparently written in a mere six weeks, in order to meet Warner Brothers' announced August release date, and boy does it show. The plot itself can barely be summarized beyond "Stuff Happens", and it never has the room or time to really flesh out the characters beyond vague archetypes or tropes. Everything feels undercooked, and the film never has time to really breath and explore its characters in an organic way, meaning that we the audience rarely feel truly invested in any of them, nor the events of the plot. On top of that, this film substitutes flashy flashbacks for actual development, and even those are so randomly put together and sloppily put together, that I end up not really caring.

At the very least, it can be said that the entire cast is, more or less, invested in the film, which lends further credence to the fact that this film was brutally hacked at by an anonymous editing team.

The titular Suicide Squad, consisting of Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), all interact naturally. There is a sense that these actors are all having fun with their roles, and, unlike the incredibly depressing, hopeless wasteland of Batman v Superman, at least this film comes with some rather well integrated humor. Joel Kinnamen's Rick Flag is straight laced to a fault, however, and while Kinnamen gives a good performance, it is once more hampered by the dreadfully undercooked screenplay, and the incoherent editing.

Cara Delevingne's performance as the demonic Enchantress is another example of this film's wasted potential. As a 6000 year old witch with vast supernatural abilities possessing a mild mannered former archaeologist, you'd think Enchantress would be at least mildly interesting. But alas, any potential for character development or exploring what an average woman possessed by a demon would be like is disposed of, and instead replaced by a generic "Take Over the World™" scheme, that really, makes no sense. I literally just came out of the movie, and I can't really explain what the hell was going on for most of it.

Huge shout-out to Jared Leto though, whose Joker is undeniably one of the film's highlights. He brings a uniquely sexual menace to the character, without steering into perversion. It's unsettling yet intriguing in a way entirely different from Heath Ledger's iconic take on the character in The Dark Knight, and while Leto's screentime is tragically brief (again, a result of studio executed editing), he makes it count. Alas, he's pretty much a glorified cameo here, and once more, the insane editing undermines his performance.

Margot Robbie does a great job with Harley Quinn, making her a wonderfully villainous character, but alas, she lacks the nuance that the original Harley Quinn's backstory gave the character. Instead of being steadily seduced by the Joker and becoming his girlfriend basically of her own free will, she's instead strapped to a table, shocked with electrodes, and then willingly jumps into the same vat of chemicals the Joker got thrown into. As such, while she's enjoyable, she's not really as deep as most versions of Harley, and alas, this is once more the fault of the mismanaged screenplay, and blundering editing.

The most interesting character by far is Jay Hernandez's Diablo, a tattooed, Mexican-American psychokinetic former gang banger who accidentally killed his family. Hernandez takes the little development he's given and owns it for all it's worth, and he's the one character who feels like he actually had any, well, character development. Alas, he's killed off, and in a rather underwhelming way.

Will Smith's Deadshot is workable, but ultimately just your standard "Conflicted Criminal Who Cares About His Family" type. Smith does a good job, but his character doesn't really grow, or at least doesn't in a really palpable way, since the film has no center, and therefore, no sense of real direction to it. Hence, Deadshot's arc has no sense of direction to it, and kinda feels like it's just sorta...there to be there.

At the very least, Steven Price wrote a good score to the film, but it's undermined by a Warner Brothers-mandated array of rap and pop music that's shoehorned in awkwardly. From Kanye West's "Black Skinhead", to The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army", to Black Sabbath and Queen, pop music is constant, but used in a completely incomprehensible way. No matter what, the music will feel out of place, as if it was slapped on at the last minute, or edited by someone with no sense of rhythm. As such, you're often left scratching your head as to why you're hearing a certain song in a certain scene, since the flow of the scene is different to the flow of the song, leading to confusion and bafflement. The horrible, eye straining neon graphics detailing each character introduction, like some really crappy video game, don't help either.

So, in the end, while Suicide Squad isn't the pretentious, pondering dying elephant that was Man of Steel, or the depressing, insufferably and unrelentingly desolate Batman v Superman, it's ultimately a train wreck of a film. Any time a good idea or theme is introduced, the film slaps itself upside the head and jumps elsewhere, with no rhyme or reason. Never before have I seen a film so utterly destroyed by horrific editing. At best, it's mindless entertainment, with some real emphasis on the mindlessness, since the plot barely functions, and there's no time to really deepen things. There's fancy colors, fancy explosions, but ultimately no real soul or sense of direction.

Sadly, I must give this film 2 stars out 5.

Not completely and utterly horrific, but completely and utterly incoherent.

Comments ( 3 )

You summed it up pretty well.

Still trying to write my review but don't know quite how to word it.

I was actually really looking forward to this film. Sad to hear it was do disappointing.

Could you go into a little more detail about what was wrong with the ending? (use spoiler tags if necessary) I read a plot synopsis and didn't see anything particularly bad about the ending, but obviously text only communicates so much.

4136932 its just incoherent. I have barely any idea what was going on in the last hour of this movie.

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