A week leading up to the movie, I scoured cinemas for Suicide Squad tickets and managed to snag seats for a Friday night show with a couple of friends. Despite the early reviews, how can one NOT be excited when seated in the dark theater with a tub of popcorn when the screen zooms into the grim Warner Brothers logo menacingly? I was so hyped from multiple rewatches of trailers, official trailers, re-released trailers, montages, and final official trailers!
Let’s talk about the great stuff: This was a fun watch of anti-heroes and anti-villains. Walk into the cinema with no expectations and you have a powerful performance by Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, the boss of Task Force X reminiscent of her role in How To Get Away With Murder, smart sassy Harley who can hold her own in any situation (except when she’s with The Joker), and racing action sequences with Deadshot showing off his marksmen prowess (bonus: Will Smith delivering smart one-liners).
We get a lot of backstory on these two villains, they also share a close heart-warming bond compared to any of all the other characters. Some speculated they shared an onscreen romance as well, infuriating the Joker and causing the whole movie to be a love triangle – I’m so grateful that idea didn’t take off. Deadshot and Harley are humanised in this whole Suicide Squad gathering of criminals, which is what I was expecting for the rest of the squad. The brief introductory sequence for each criminal wasn’t as satisfying as having the movie show you instead of tell you who and what these people were from.
Despite using big bad songs to make the audience feel instead of letting us feel, the soundtrack was well put together, with You Don’t Own Me “I’m not just one of your many toys / Don’t say I can’t go with other boys / Don’t tell me what to do / And don’t tell me what to say” (which I initially thought would be a telling sign for Harley’s abusive relationship with The Joker), Sucker For Pain “I wanna chain you up / I wanna tie you down / Alienated by society / all this pressure give me anxiety”.
I don’t mention any of the other members of the squad, simply because they didn’t leave much of an impression.
Killer Croc: Frequent growls, grunts, and oddly stereotypical (B.E.T. anyone?) behaviour.
Cara Delevigne did a stellar job as traumatised June Moon, but I didn’t buy into Rick Flag and June Moon’s doomed love story.
Katana: She served more as a sidekick to Amanda Waller by offering to kill more members of the squad than work with them. The only character establishing shot we get of her is in the trailer and movie when she talks to the soul of her husband in her sword.
Slipknot: Slipknot? Who the hell is Slipknot?! Adam Beach barely had 2 lines in the movie, after punching a woman in the face because she was ‘mouthy’ and a non-verbal agreement-nod to Captain Boomerang to escape Task Force X – he was killed off. We didn’t even get to see what he does as Slipknot, unless you count that Kim Possible grapple hook move that backfired on him.
The aforementioned early trailer releases built up so much anticipation and mass marketing for Jared Leto as the new Joker but he only shows up as more of a cameo or in flashbacks Suicide Squad. The chemical vat scene was executed and shot beautifully, I got the twisted Harley + Joker backstory I wanted but wished there was so much more to it.
The predictable Enchantress plot – wow who saw that coming? Human finally loses control over ancient witch causing witch to summon her ancient brother to wreak havoc in the subways. Ancient witch gets a makeover, plans to take over world complete with a giant beam of ‘pretty lights!’ from the sky. Dear Amanda Waller, Task Force X is good for TV but realistically a bad idea.
I left the cinema feeling confused and felt like I was robbed of an experience. The whole movie had so many characters which was what all of us were looking forward to – instead we were treated to more lines from Harley and Deadshot compared to the rest of the squad combined. Would it have worked better as a TV series instead?
TLDR: I regret nothing – not my RM 10 nor my time. It’s a great Friday night watch, but don’t expect much if you haven’t been waiting since Comic Con 2015 for this movie.