Well folks, Suicide Squad is here. The third installment in the DC Extended Universe is also one of its most pivotal, as it marks the first one not directed by Zack Snyder, as well as a different spin on the normal superhero formula that focuses on the villains. Fury and End of Watch filmmaker David Ayer wrote and directed the pic, and the project came strong out of the gate with a hell of a cast led by Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Moreover, Ayer took on the task of reinventing the Joker, enlisting Oscar-winner Jared Leto to fill the role.
Anticipation has been high for Suicide Squad since the Comic-Con reel first hit the internet (first unofficially, then officially when Warner Bros.’ hand was forced). The marketing for the film has been top-notch, teasing a more fun-loving tone in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but now that the final product is here, what’s the word?
Well, the reviews have not been kind. Personally, I was mighty excited for this one. I like Ayer quite a bit, the cast is swell, and I loved the vibe of the marketing materials. Alas, after seeing the film, I came away frustrated and disappointed. It’s an incredibly messy, horribly edited, unshapely mass with serious narrative problems and characters that it doesn’t really know what to do with. The performances are aces, especially from Smith, Robbie, and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, but the film itself has trouble servicing each, swinging its tone wildly from introspective and somber to goofy and over-the-top (which appears to be a result of post-production meddling).
The way the film treats women—both explicitly and implicitly—is a major issue to say the least, trying to have it both ways by depicting “strong” women like Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller, only to routinely undercut them, and Leto’s Joker? He’s a non-entity, and I really don’t know why he’s in this movie beyond just being able to say Joker is in the movie. Deadshot is the film’s strongest character by a long shot, and I found myself wanting to see a team-up movie between Deadshot and Harley Quinn in which they both seek to overcome their hang-ups rather than the messy ensemble pic we got.
But enough of my rambling. These are my personal feelings on the film, and Matt’s full review is already on the site, so I’m genuinely curious to hear from you, dear reader. What did you think of the film? Did Suicide Squad live up to your expectations? Was this better or worse than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? What’d you think of Leto’s Joker? Does this foretell doom for the DCEU, or do Wonder Woman and Justice League right the ship? Does the ship even need righting? Sound off in the comments below.