Review: Suicide Squad
by Nichole Nance
I’ll be honest when I say that I did not have very high hopes for this movie. As a long time fan of Joker and Harley and having been recently introduced to the Suicide Squad thanks to DC Comics’
New 52 comic series, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when the first reveal of the cast came out last year. To this day, I personally believe a majority of the costume designs are terrible. However, I wanted to give the movie a chance. I wanted to believe in the team to provide some of our favorite villains justice. In some ways, they surprised me. In others, the completely disappointed me.
Let’s start with the plot. Overall, the story was weak. The first 30-45 minutes of the movie comprises of Amanda Waller saying over and over again to government officials about how she wants to bring together a team of villains to do good. She is driven to want to do this because of the appearance of Superman and the potential threat of future metahuman attacks. I like the idea, however hearing her explanation multiple times quickly lost me. We also get a backstory of each character, but Deadshot and Harley’s backstories are focused on most. While this causes the first part of the movie to drag, I did enjoy most of the flashbacks to origin stories. There’s even a wonderful nod to Alex Ross which may or may not have made me squee a little.
The rest of the movie, I thought, seemed to just become a mess. I felt as though they weren’t quite sure where they wanted the story to go and this could be due to the reshoots that happened earlier this year. Things didn’t seem to flow that well and between action-packed fight scenes they peppered in what was supposed to be humorous moments like Harley smashing a window to steal a purse as we have seen millions of times in the trailers by now. Scenes like that really pulled me out of the movie, never mind the fact that I could tell that scene was filmed purely for the gratuitous Harley ass shot. The movie is covered in those type of shots to the point that anyone could make a drinking game out of it and probably be blacked out by the end of the movie. The oversexualization of Harley was a bit much, but that’s just a whole other can of worms I can get into some other time.
Speaking of Harley, the one thing that I hoped they would get right is the portrayal of her. I can at least say that I adored Margot Robbie’s portrayal. She captured the right amount of insane, silly, fun, and yes even the sexy side of Harley I’ve grown to love. Despite the oversexualization with too many gratuitous shots, Margot owns the role. The first time she said puddin’ on screen, I nearly squealed in delight. The only note I would have for her is to practice holding Harley’s iconic accent. In some scenes, her accent was pretty heavy, especially when she said puddin’ or Mistah J. However, in other scenes the accent albeit disappeared. However I can confidently say that I would be ecstatic if Margot continued to reprise the role in future DC films. But can we get rid of the tattoos? Please?
On the other hand, I despise Joker in this movie and I was actually glad that he did not make many appearances. In all honesty, I didn’t see a reason for him to even appear in the film at all outside of the flashbacks. His role in the movie appeared to be pointless and he was played out to be some sort of modern day gangster boss and it was just… Ugh. I think that if his character had been written differently, Leto might have produced something better for such an iconic character. At least that’s what I continue to hope. I was thoroughly disappointed in the direction they took with the Joker in this film.
The rest of the squad consisted of diverse characters coming from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Each one owned their role, even if some of the Squad had very little screen time to the point that I pretty much forgot that they were even there until they talked again (like Katana). The one surprise was Captain Boomerang, who really stole the show with his antics and his attitude, even if he ended up being a bit of a weak character. He had a couple of moments that truly had me laughing and honestly, I could totally watch a movie about him. Diablo was also a character I enjoyed with a heart-wrenching backstory and the fact that, although he was introduced as a hardcore cholo, he became a pacifist who vowed to never strike a man down again. The group had to deal with his moral values and eventually convince him to fight for a good cause which he ultimately became one of the most powerful characters in the film and sacrificed himself to save the others. This was one of the first Super Hero films to feature a hispanic character, just a bit sad that the first one had to be a villain.
All in all, the movie was only a little better than I expected it to be. The story was a mess and rather predictable, the constant soundtrack was more distracting than immersive, and most of the humorous scenes had already been used in the multitude of trailers and clips that were released beforehand. It was really the solid performances by Deadshot, Harley, Captain Boomerang, and Amanda Waller that truly kept my attention. Without them, I probably would have found myself bored. Some day, I hope that DC quits self-sabotaging their own films and take lessons from the success of their shows like The Flash and Arrow. Clearly they are doing something right with their CW shows. Why is it hard for that to translate into the movies?
It is my hope that they can redeem themselves with Wonder Woman, which I am legitimately excited for, and Justice League. They have a powerful cast in both movies and I hope that that their team of writers will take notes from the CW shows and, dare I say it, Marvel’s movies.
About Itty Bitty Geek
Nichole, aka Itty Bitty Geek, is a writer, photographer, cosplayer, Marketing enthusiast, and soon-to-be ASU college grad. She is an avid fan of fiction and being creative whenever her busy schedule allows. Her cosplay began in 2008 when she joined the Star Wars charity costuming group, Rebel Legion, however she is most known in the cosplay community for her collection of Harley Quinn costumes, all made together with her seamstress, Maise Designs. It is her life’s dream to publish a novel and travel the world.