Let’s get this out of the way. Despite what you may be hearing, SUICIDE SQUAD is not a bad movie. An imperfect movie, yes. Horrible, no. As my most anticipated movie of the year, the film admittedly had a lot to live up to. Since watching BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES as a kid, Harley Quinn has always been my favorite comic book character; and after one of my favorite actresses (Margot Robbie) was perfectly cast to play her, I knew this was going to be a movie event to look forward to. However, after the credits rolled, I left the theater feeling a bit conflicted. On one hand, I was having a fangirl freakout due to Margot Robbie’s incredible performance. But on the other hand, I was disappointed by one of the major story elements and the fact many of my favorite scenes were spoiled from the marketing campaign. Nevertheless, the negatives still did not prevent me from having fun at the theater and I think you will be entertained as well.
SUICIDE SQUAD is one of those movies I can’t wait to see again. Not only to bask in the glory of Margot Robbie’s kickass performance, but with the hopes that maybe knowing what I am getting myself into will help me better manage my expectations. After you see the movie, check out my (semi-spoilery) list below of the good vs bad elements of the film and let me know if you agree!
- Weak Villain: Bad news first. The aspect of the film that bothered me the most was the incredibly weak villain, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). Not only was her character extremely cheesy, and hardly did anything except gyrate around in a sea of CGI, but the plot was incredibly confusing. She was trying to kill the human race because they betrayed her? Although the shadowy government agency ARGUS captured Enchantress’ heart, which is supposed to control her, suddenly that rule stops working. No matter what ARGUS boss Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) does to the heart, Enchantress’ reanimated brother somehow makes it so his sister is no longer affected. Maybe I missed something, but that seemed like a major, unexplained plot hole. And besides that plot hole, Enchantress was just not riveting or menacing enough to carry her weight in the film. Especially in a film that showcases Harley Quinn, Enchantress cannot keep up and really weighed down the action. If I were to have written the script, I would have had Enchantress surprisingly get vanquished in the middle of the movie and then have the rest of the film surround the shadowy ARGUS and Amanda Waller; make them the “bad guys” where The Suicide Squad is concerned.
- Spoilers: For some stupid reason, Warner Bros. decided to give away a lot of the best scenes in the film in the millions of trailers and clips they released in the marketing campaign. I made a concerted effort to avoid new footage of the movie because I was so concerned about this, but it followed me everywhere! Many of the best scenes in the movie were spoiled in the trailers. Thankfully, they left one scene, which involves Harley hanging from a helicopter in Deadshot’s crosshairs, as a surprise. I noticed a few scenes from the trailer were not included in the movie. And now that we know there were two cuts of the movie, I hope to see more (:fingers crossed: NEW) footage when the Blu-Ray comes out.
- Harley Freakin’ Quinn: No surprise, Harley (and Margot Robbie’s performance) was the best part of SUICIDE SQUAD. Robbie completely embodied Harley and provided humor, a badass attitude, and a large part of the emotional center of the film. And don’t even get me started on the costumes (I almost had a stroke due to a quick shot of one classic costume in particular). I would argue that her fight scenes were the best in the film, especially since she was primarily using a bat while others were using guns, swords and :ahem: boomerangs. If I had it my way, this movie wouldn’t be SUICIDE SQUAD but would be a standalone Harley movie. Hopefully we will get that soon enough. The chemistry between Robbie and Jared Leto’s Joker were the highlights of the film, and even though Leto was surprisingly only in the film briefly, those are the scenes I am going to watch over and over when the movie comes out on Blu-ray.
- The Rest of the Skwad: Despite Harley obviously being the best part of the movie, I was really impressed by Will Smith’s Deadshot. He was great in the role and was given a well-developed character arc that explored his motivations behind a life of crime and how someone as lethal as him was finally captured. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) was another highlight, as he progressively worked up to using his powers in a large way and giving the squad major fire power. Although some characters were more developed than others, all the members of the squad were shown to be more than just bad guys. Fans of Slipknot will definitely be disappointed by his presence in the film, and I could have used more development from Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney). But hey, at least we got some great scenes of Katana (Karen Fukuhara) with her… katana.
- Cameos: There are some great cameos in the film that will certainly get fans amped up for the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. Ben Affleck makes an appearance as Batman/Bruce Wayne, helping to put many of the Suicide Squad criminals into Belle Reve, including Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Additionally, The Flash (Ezra Miller) makes a cameo by capturing Captain Boomerang. Based on Jared Leto’s more limited screentime, should I count him in here as well?
So, from my perspective, the Good/Kickass elements of SUICIDE SQUAD outweigh the bad and I think you will certainly be entertained at the theater this weekend. Just go into it with lowered expectations and have a fun time. After all, if we want to see more Harley Quinn and the gang, we need to support them now!
PS: Yes, there is an end credit scene, which shows Amanda Waller meeting with Bruce Wayne. She gives him the case files for Barry Allen and other metahumans he can use for creating The Justice League, while also making sure he knows she is aware of his nightly habits.
My Review: B/B- (For Harley)