The hype, the grand marketing, and the lavish publicity materials fell flat on their faces when David Ayer’s Suicide Squad hit the theaters. Following the polarized Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is the way to prove that the DC Extended Universe has something to offer not only to comic book fans but to moviegoers alike. Instead, this film is another proof that DC still does not have control over their cinematic universe.
Following a bunch of bad guys, this film is all about a team assembled by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to save the city. Waller’s reasoning behind choosing the “villains” to be “heroes” is so that she would not care if any of them dies. Hence, “Suicide Squad.”
This film loves exposition as much as it loves visual effects. The first half of the film is spent by spelling out and introducing the audience to the main characters. Ayer probably does not know the unspoken rule, “Show don’t tell,” because all throughout the film, he is just telling the audience the characters, the conflicts, and even the resolution. The film is constantly explaining what is happening and does not give the audience the power to figure things out on their own. Yes, this is a comic book film, and a lot of people look down upon this genre, but give your audience a little credit to appreciate and understand the film without treating them like kids who are only interested in the film because it is a comic book film.
As for the visual effects, sure, there were parts that it looked great but the treatment also blew up in their faces along the road. They tried to divert from the darkness and grittiness of the previous DC films by having an environment in which the sets, the colors are extravagant, adding hit pop songs to make scenes more alive (which by the way failed miserably), and by adding jokes that were not really funny. They were not successful in staying away from the typical DC ambiance. They tried, but they failed. It felt like they were trying to hard to be cool but it was just too cringeworthy.
Suicide Squad, or as I would like to call it, “The Will Smith and Margot Robbie film” had a hard time figuring out where to put the spotlight. Will Smith and Margot Robbie shined and had a lot of screentime but this affected the others gravely. Deadshot and Harley Quinn were given brief backstories but what about Killer Croc? Captain Boomerang? Sure, their stories were presented when Waller was introducing these characters but they were just there as ornaments, unlike Deadshot and Harley. There were just too many characters, too many conflicts that everything was a mess. It suffers the same problem BvS: Dawn of Justice went through: Cramping every single element, sub-plot, characterizations into a two-hour film. The problem with the DCEU is that they have a lot of potential but they do not know how to work around this potential. They have great storylines, great set of characters that would be amazing if they just made them interesting enough, but DC does not know how to execute this.
The story had a messy direction, bad editing, and even worse resolution and climax. It is the usual beam that is falling out of the sky and here are some “heroes” saving the town. Hooray! The end! It had some moments where it was alright and even enjoyable but if you are looking for something substantial, this film is not for you.