Suicide Squad – Rushed and Overly Cautious

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Author’s Note: I know this review might seem a little late, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do since I saw the movie, and it’s for a journalism class, so two birds, one stone! Let’s begin.

After a solid year of hype, trailers, and much excitement, Suicide Squad was released on August 5, 2016. How did my expectations stand up to reality? Not well.

I’ll start with the cinematic side. As soon as characters started to be introduced I knew that this would be more, “Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Others!” than Suicide Squad. Each character was given a brief introduction via rock montage, but only Deadshot (played by Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) got detailed backstory exposition. Later in the movie, El Diablo (played by Jay Hernandez) gets a little extra attention, but it’s not much. Also, the Joker (played by Jared Leto), arguably the most hyped character in the trailers, probably got about five to ten minutes of actual screen time. None of the acting was particularly bad, it was just…okay. Margot Robbie is the strongest actress in the movie, and captures the character of Harley Quinn. Will Smith doesn’t disappoint, but he doesn’t necessarily feel like a villainous mercenary. Come to think of it, none of the Suicide Squad members felt truly villainous. Even the Joker seemed more like a predictable crime lord and less like an unpredictable psychopath. Speaking of predictable…

The plot was definitely safe and uninspired: American city is threatened by supernatural entity, ragtag group goes to save the day, “all hope is lost” moment, and then happy ending. Yawn. Which was supremely disappointing. This movie could have been an amazing opportunity to subtly critique America’s track record of hiring less-than-stellar people to do our dirty work, and how that can really backfire. Instead, DC played it safe and decided that the bad guys would just be the good guys after all! No moral conflicts, or arguments about if the ends do justify the means here! They attempted to make the U.S. government look untrustworthy, but even that felt reigned in. They also had a great chance to examine abusive relationships via the Joker and Harley Quinn. Did they do that? Nope! Those two seemed more like the “edgy” couple that spends a lot of time at Hot Topic than dysfunctional and toxic. There are brief flashes hinting at the Joker’s abuse and manipulation, but nothing truly unsettling.

Although the plot and characterization felt rushed and shallow, I can’t say I’m mad I watched it. It’s a generic summer-popcorn-action movie that suffered from too much hype. If I had watched it on Netflix I would be less disappointed.

Leave a comment below, or follow me on Twitter (@ahahnjones) and comment there. Did you love the movie? Hate it? Let me know, and let’s start a discussion.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick around.

 

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5 thoughts on “Suicide Squad – Rushed and Overly Cautious

    1. Ohh yeah. It wasn’t a terrible movie, but I think DC is trying so, SO hard to catch up with Marvel that they’re rushing everything instead of building their own universe. Suicide Squad had so much potential to be engaging, topical, controversial, and DC screwed it up. Here’s my last $0.02: Marvel should stick with the family friendly route (with the exception of Deadpool haha), and DC should go for more adult, darker material.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hang in there, you can do it! I know those words may not mean much coming from me (considering I’m always down about my work), but you’ve come far, and you shouldn’t feel discouraged.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL! Sorry, I posted the wrong comment to you. My response should have been:

        I agree with you! They are trying too hard to catch up with Marvel. However, they shouldn’t rush their work. Yes, Suicide Squad could have been such a good movie, and yeah, the family friendly stuff just didn’t work.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha it’s all good, I appreciated the kind words 🙂
        Exactly! How long has Marvel been universe-building? Nearly a solid decade! DC is trying to build Rome in a day, and it just ain’t working for them.
        I think that’s DC’s problem in general. They have these adult heroes, adult villains, adult concepts, and they’re trying to water it down for the sake of merchandising. It’ll bite them in the ass if it hasn’t already.

        Liked by 1 person

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