There’s no saving ‘Suicide Squad’

“Suicide Squad” was doomed to begin with.

This squad, assembled by director and writer David Ayer, are tasked with the impossible, made even more so by the elevated expectations of comic book fans.

This was D.C’s team going head to head with Marvel’s successful “Avengers” franchise.

But the squad — made up of Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and Croc Killer (Adewale Akinneuoye-Agbaje) — were set up to fail.

They’re the “The Dirty Dozen” of supervillains — the bad guys assigned to save the world. Not only are they tasked with battling badder guys, but these guys are fighting their instinctually human urges of serving their own self interest.

“Suicide Squad” has many problems, but the first is its ridiculous premise: that a group of supervillains could actually be the next Superman or Batman — and that they’d want to be heroes to begin with.

The film overcompensates for these villains inherent natures by giving them sympathetic backstories and editing out scenes showing truly evil stuff. By omitting this material, the filmmakers are also editing out important context clues crucial to our understanding of these characters.

These guys are bad guys for a reason yet those reasons aren’t explained. Instead, we’re given reasons we should sympathize with these protagonists. El Diablo accidentally killed his wife in a fire and Croc Killer was born looking like a monster — so he became one.

Casting directors Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu also cast one of the most likable and charismatic human beings alive to play Deadshot, a jaded paid assassin for hire. You don’t have a problem believing Will Smith’s a hero after seeing him in previous roles such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men in Black,” “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “I am Legend,” so its hard to believe that Smith’s Deadshot is actually a villain.

“Suicide Squad” focuses on Deadshot’s role as a loving father to his daughter Zoe (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon), but while that’s enough material to make a two hour film with, that’s only a fraction of what “Suicide Squad” is supposed to contain. Remember the other villains? We don’t remember most of them either.

That’s quite a letdown since the film features one of the most interesting and iconic cinematic characters of all time. Yet “Suicide Squad” treats Jared Leto’s Joker as a gloried sidekick, using him to play to Prince Charming to Harley Quinn’s mad acid party.

“Suicide Squad” might have worked better if each of these villains were built up prior to the film, living in their own separate franchise films until this movie brought them together. (We certainly wish Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Leto’s Joker got their own movie.) Or perhaps “Suicide Squad” would have worked better if we were presented real anti-heros instead of “Suicide Squad’s” poor excuses.

Whatever the case, perhapses won’t alleviate the feeling of being cheated.

“Suicide Squad” was written and directed by David Ayer, based on John Ostrander’s comic books. 

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3 thoughts on “There’s no saving ‘Suicide Squad’

  1. I think the lack of Joker was a real shame. I think The Avengers worked because we knew who they were. I enjoyed Suicide Squad, but ut wasn’t a great film. I think they missed a real opportunity.

    • Thanks for the comment! I remember leaving the theater wishing they showed more of the Joker too. The whole thing seemed so contrived to me, especially after Deadshot’s speech at the bar. I really wanted to like the movie more than I did.

  2. Pingback: 5 best skits of SNL’s 42nd season premiere | Pass the Popcorn

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