It’s been a long time since I last saw a film on its premiere date, but I couldn’t possibly wait any longer for Suicide Squad. And I’m not going to lie, hearing the bad reviews were scary. They weren’t just a little negative, they were straight out horrible.
In a word, “Suicide Squad” is trash. In two words, it’s ugly trash. -Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
I would post more, but all you have to do is google “Suicide Squad reviews” and you’ll be treated to the same relentless ranting of why the superhero genre, DC Comics, or specific actors are terrible. I even saw one that said Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn wasn’t good. Let me tell you that this is so inaccurate…I can’t even talk about this.
Needless to say, the intensity of the hatred towards this film is a little daunting. And I’ve had multiple people tell me that they are waiting to read my review to see if they should watch it. So I’ll be doing two reviews of the newest DC film: one with spoilers and one without. Welcome to the spoiler-free review and enjoy as I give my honest overview of the film!
Let me start by saying that in my opinion, people like to hate on DC because they’re an easy target. When they mess up, they tend to do so in a big way. *Cough cough, Batman V Superman, cough cough.* All of a sudden, it’s become cool to hate on DC. But you know what’s not cool? Hating on something just for the sake of hating on it. People are calling Suicide Squad another Batman V Superman. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. The only things these two have in common are DC Comics and Batfleck.
As for the plot itself, yes, it left a little to be desired. My biggest problem is that Suicide Squad is overflowing with fantastic characters! From Harley Quinn to El Diablo, Captain Boomerang to Amanda Waller, there wasn’t enough time to get to know everyone to the extent that I would have liked. My hope is that this worked as sort of an introduction, leading into standalone films and sequels that will blow our freaking minds.
The story did follow a pattern that most superhero movies do, but that isn’t to say it’s horrible. It has a lot of potential and offers some truly fantastic moments. Overall, you’ll feel satisfied not because of the story, but because of the characters. Even though we don’t get to know them as well as we’d like, we get to know them enough to fall in love with them. There are a few in particular that stand out.
Will Smith is a fantastic Deadshot and will have you rooting for the bad guys over Batman right away. Viola Davis stuns as Amanda Waller, who one could easily argue is the true villain of the film. Manipulative and cold, she’s easy to root against. Even more so than The Joker, if you can believe it.
Margot Robbie was the perfect casting choice for Harley Quinn, completely embodying and bringing her to life. My only problem is that I wanted to see more of her! A lot of her brilliant lines were shown in the trailer, so I wish they had shown us less there! Either way, she still owns every second that she’s on screen, whether she’s twirling her hair or being a total bad ass. I will say that while a lot of people call the climax disappointing, Harley really shines there so you can look forward to that.
She may be in love with the really wrong guy, but that doesn’t make her any less of a badass, in my opinion. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article that was featured on Moviepilot about why Harley Quinn is the ultimate girl power symbol right now, and I feel like I should clarify/clear up, because a lot of people didn’t understand what I was getting at.
Her relationship with the Joker is an abusive one (obviously), and she kills people, which is not what I’m referring to (again, obviously). Seriously, please do not think I am promoting that kind of thing in any way. There are a lot of decisions and traits that we should not look up to in Harley Quinn. That being said, there are some pages that we could definitely take out of her book! She does whatever the heck she wants. She dresses how she wants for herself, not for a man, as costume designer Kate Hawley put so brilliantly. She says what she wants and if there’s something she likes, she takes it. She’s fearless. I’m not by any means saying that her relationship with The Joker is a good one, or encouraging mental instability, as I was accused of. I’m just saying that if there’s something you want to do, something you want to say but you’re too scared? If it’s not harming anyone, do it. If it makes you happy, that’s what matters.
Also, she’s a very feminine character, but that doesn’t lower her skill set. Often we see ladies in the media portrayed as feminine or as a badass. Why can’t we be both? Robbie found the perfect balance and definitely captured my heart. It was ridiculously exciting to see Harley in a live action film, and she absolutely killed it. She was, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the film and seriously deserves her own standalone!! I desperately hope that DC gives us this one. There’s so much they could do with her, and she has a lot of potential to be a real girl power symbol in many ways. I guess that’s what I was trying to get at in the end. There aren’t a lot of characters that can be admired from every perspective, Ms. Quinzel least of all. But in certain aspects, she’s absolutely fantastic. I hope that clears that up!
Also, if you want to take a look at a fascinating read on Harley Quinn and her portrayal in the film, check out this discussion on USA Today. Both ladies make fantastic points, and it brings me back to my point about Harley getting her own standalone film and proving that she doesn’t need a man to be an awesome character. However, keep in mind that the discussion does contain film spoilers, so read with caution.
Speaking of our Clown Princess of Crime, let’s talk about her Prince. Jared Leto has been at the center of this film’s controversy long before the film was released. Some are excited and hopeful to see what Leto will bring to the role, where others are convinced he will be a fake, “edgy” version. But whether you’re excited or nervous, he’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
You will all be aware of Leto’s method approach to the role. All I can say is that if I was a member of the cast, I’d be terrified.
Watching Leto’s performance as The Joker was uncomfortable on many levels and absolutely cringe worthy in the best possible way. Leto’s Joker is so off-the-wall unhinged, it doesn’t feel like we’re watching him, but like we’re reading a comic book. He’s so comic-like, and I think that’s what makes him so loved and/or hated by the audience. It’s so out of this world, it feels very surreal. But to some, I imagine it would feel unrealistic. I suppose it all depends on your perspective and preferences, but I absolutely adored it. This interpretation of the character is different from any other, particularly Heath Ledger’s. There isn’t a comparison, and in a way it feels as if they are two different characters completely. His performance left me with tingles all over and a strong urge to wash the creepiness off. And if Leto is amazing on his own, just wait until you see him interact with his one true love. Leto and Robbie have some of the best chemistry I’ve seen in a long time and their twisted love story will leave you begging for more. Leto has revealed that a lot of his scenes were left out of the final cut of the film, so you actually will be begging for more. To be honest, I kind of want a film just seeing Harley and Joker wreak havoc on the world. And by kind of I mean a lot. I really want this to happen.
Like any film, Suicide Squad has its imperfections. But I feel that the successes outweigh the failures. The cast is brilliant and while there are some underdeveloped characters, there are some that are impossible to tear your eyes away from. It contains some beautiful shots, such as this one:
And if all else fails, the soundtrack is going to become your new favourite playlist.
Despite the negative reviews and criticisms, I loved this film. I’m definitely seeing it a second time, and if you’re on the fence, give it a shot! Don’t base your opinion off of a reviewer! I know that sounds kind of hypocritical, as I’m reviewing as we speak, but don’t take my review for gospel either. Go watch it and see for yourself! And before you go, here’s a time saving tip! There is a mid-credits scene, but there is no scene at the very end of the credits, so feel free to skip out of the theatre once you see that long list of names.