The short and sweet version of this review I’ve already put on Twitter: SUICIDE SQUAD is basically exactly the movie I thought it was (and it’s probably the movie you think it is, too) except maybe 20% better than I thought it was going to be. Maybe 15; it’s hard to say.
I’m hard on DC movies. Basically I’ve hated every film DC has done since, oh, the very first Michael Keaton BATMAN movie, and even that one hasn’t held up terribly well. I absolutely hated BAT-THEMED NINJA KILLER, and didn’t see either of the sequels, including the one that Heath Ledger was supposedly so good in. I missed ANGRY ALIEN MURDER DEITY on its opening weekend, decided not to see it based on that opening weekend, and then left the room halfway through when we decided to rent it months later. If I ever see BAT-THEMED NINJA KILLER VS. ANGRY ALIEN MURDER DEITY, it will be to liveblog how much I hate it. I would like for DC to make good movies. I like their characters. I just wish they’d put their characters in their movies.
Oh, and I’ll probably see WONDER WOMAN.
There are bits of SUICIDE SQUAD that are interesting. The acting, especially, is uniformly good, surprisingly so in fact; I enjoyed all of the performances except for Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc and Joel Kinnaman’s Patriotic Hero #3; Akinnouye-Agbaje appears to have been given no direction other than “be a shark, only, like, really black, but a white guy’s idea of really black” and Kinnaman’s character is so white and blond that he’s entirely forgettable. I have no gripes about Jared Leto’s Joker other than that if you’ve seen any ten seconds of his performance you’ve kind of seen the whole thing. Margot Robbie is fine as Harley Quinn, and Will Smith’s Deadshot is pretty good too. Cara Delevigne is the standout as the Enchantress, a deeply weird character whose entire character needs to be embodied in physical movement because she doesn’t talk too much. Oh, and they cast Amanda Waller as Amanda Waller somehow. That was cool.
There’s splody stuff; the splody stuff isn’t bad. The story is a bit too high-stakes for the movie it’s in; it’s one of those “there is no way other heroes aren’t showing up here” stories, and they make sure to let you know that the destruction takes place over a few days so there’s absolutely no excuse for, for example, the Flash to not show up. I feel like a good Suicide Squad movie is something covert and deniable, not “hey, go try and fight this mystical world-ending being with, like, your wood baseball bat and a sharpened boomerang, because that’ll work.”
Oh, and Ben Affleck’s chin is in it, too. Ben Affleck’s chin is the worst thing about Ben Affleck’s Batman. There’s no way anyone would ever call that guy Batman. He’d be Chin Guy. Affleck’s chin looks ridiculous in that costume in a way that no one else’s chin has; I can’t figure out what’s so weird about it.
I dunno. Ultimately, this wasn’t a bad way to spend two hours, and if you’re inclined to see it but haven’t seen it yet, you probably ought to go ahead and go do that, but if you were inclined to not see it don’t trip over your feet running to the theater either. I didn’t hate it, which makes it the best DC movie since I was in high school.
Damning with faint praise, I know. But they can’t all be Iron Man, and they can’t all be Snowpiercer either, y’know?