Film Review: ‘Suicide Squad’

SUICIDE SQUAD
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The Joker and Harley Quinn steal the show in this DC Comics-style riff on 'The Dirty Dozen,' which shares the same bleak view of superheroes as 'Batman v Superman.'

Blame it on Batman, but the DC universe has gotten awfully dark in recent years, especially compared with the candy-colored competition over at Marvel. Rather than bringing levity and irreverence to the increasingly unpleasant comic-book sphere, as its psychedelic acid-twisted marketing campaign suggests, “Suicide Squad” plunges audiences right back into the coal-black world of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” picking up after the Man of Steel’s demise to imagine a government so desperate that its only hope to fight the next “meta-human” threat is by assembling a team of the gnarliest super-villains around.

While that idea doesn’t make a lick of sense — especially since the U.S. wouldn’t be facing a meta-human threat if overzealous federal agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) hadn’t unlocked these bad guys to form Task Force X in the first place — implausibility alone doesn’t make it any less enticing to imagine how a director of David Ayer’s caliber might pluck nine of the most ill-behaved characters from the DC stable for an intense spandex-clad, super-powered spin on “The Dirty Dozen.” But for reasons beyond Ayer’s control, he’s beholden to the corporate vision of other recent DC adaptations, most notably Zack Snyder’s sleek-surfaced and oppressively self-serious riffs on the Superman legend. While it would have been amazing to see the director (fresh off WWII-set suicide-mission movie “Fury”) push his own nothing-to-lose anarchic boundaries, he’s ultimately forced to conform to Snyder’s style, to the extent that “Suicide Squad” ends up feeling more like the exec producer’s gonzo effects-saturated “Sucker Punch.”

Despite its nonsensical story and not-nearly-impudent-enough tone, “Suicide Squad” stands to become one of the summer’s biggest hits, with a grafted-on appearance by Jared Leto as the Joker likely to double the project’s already formidable box office potential — a shrewd addition, since no one but comic-book fans will know the other characters going in. Faced with having to introduce all these new players, Ayer opens the film by attempting to compress origin stories, unique abilities and “how they were captured” vignettes for nine different characters into the film’s overloaded first act, blasting hip hop to signify how “gangsta” they are. (As models for this sort of thing, Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” remains the gold standard, etching each of its heroic combatants as distinct individuals, though Hollywood examples “Ocean’s Eleven” and “X-Men” serve as more relevant models here.)

At the top of the list are lethal gun-for-hire Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), a beautiful Arkham Asylum psychiatrist with a tacky Bronx accent whom the Joker apparently subjected to both electroshock treatment and a disfiguring acid bath, revealing how both were arrested by Batman (still played by Ben Affleck). Most of the other characters run together, their mini-bios wedged in between bites of an undercooked steak dinner as Waller briefs a high-ranking war-room muckety-muck (David Harbour) on her crazy plan to tame these lunatics.

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There’s Ozzie-accented Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), who is basically a thief with a boomerang; a heavily tattooed, cartel-scary pyromaniac named El Diablo (Jay Hernandez); Slipknot (Adam Beach), who can “climb anything”; a reptile-skinned mutant creature called Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); and scientist June Moon (Chanel model Cara Delevingne), who has been possessed by an almost-7,000-year-old witch. There’s also a random ninja named Katana (Karen Fukuhara), who wields a magic samurai sword that stores the souls of all it has killed. Diversity questions aside, of this latter group of characters, only Diablo is remotely interesting, thanks to an admirable attempt by Ayer to give him a conscience(the human flamethrower is torn up about having toasted his wife and kids, and unlike the others, he actually denounced his ability and turned himself in).

Critics often complain that overcrowded comic-book movies don’t devote enough energy to psychology or performance, focusing instead on action and big CG set-pieces. In keeping with its theme of potential redemption, “Suicide Squad” errs on the opposite extreme, inventing elaborate motives for characters who are much more interesting when they’re bad. Perhaps it helps Smith to believe that contract killer Deadshot has a soft spot for his daughter, but it feels like that dimension of his character is weighing down the business at hand, giving Smith the chance to “act,” when he has really been hired to inject his trademark brand of “Bad Boys” insouciance to the proceedings.

The most cumbersome of these emotional sidecars involves a romance between June Moon and Col. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) that, through a series of twists too contorted for the film to make clear, gives Waller temporary control of the witch’s heart, before backfiring and unleashing Moon’s all-powerful alter ego, the Enchantress, upon Midway City — a generic-looking urban battleground far enough from both Metropolis and Gotham that the characters can destroy it and everyone who lives there without disrupting the continuity of the other DC franchises in the pipeline.

When the Enchantress gets loose, she picks a subway commuter at random and transforms him into her brother, the Adversary, vowing to destroy mankind and opening one of those giant purple vortexes where the clouds part and a massive electricity field funnels ominously into the center of a heavily populated area (as seen in “The Avengers,” “Ghostbusters” and countless other brink-of-doom scenarios). Except that Midway City appears to be deserted, except for an army of bubbling-tar-headed foot soldiers ready to do the Enchantress’ bidding — which gives the members of Task Force X something to occupy them until Ayer is ready for the final confrontation with the Enchantress, who is, let’s face it, the lamest DC villain since Sharon Stone stalked “Catwoman.”

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Whereas Ayer blurred the lines between the good guys and the bad guys in such hard-R thrillers as “Training Day” and “Harsh Times,” and brought immersive street cred to the relatively tired cop genre with “End of Watch,” he’s saddled with a family-friendly PG-13 rating (his first) and entirely too many characters to let his gritty sensibility loose here. Yes, he and Leto manage to invent a version of the Joker every bit as unsettling as the late Heath Ledger’s immortal incarnation, turning the iconic Batman rival into a ruthless seducer (hunt down “Mr. Nobody” to see the origins of Leto’s wicked deep-throated cackle), but the character barely has anything to do.

The Joker exists only to inspire his deranged arm candy, Harley Quinn. As evidenced by her gratuitous bathtub cameo in last year’s “The Big Short,” Robbie seems to represent what red-blooded, Maxim-reading audiences want from women on-screen in the year 2016: A doctor stripped of her intelligence and her conservative tweed professional attire, squeezed into hooker hot-pants and a too-tight baby T, who walks like a pole dancer and fights like some sort of homicidal cheerleader. Ayer allows Harley Quinn a certain deranged sense of humor, giving her the chance to deliver the sarcastic zinger to multiple scenes, but he only half-recognizes what a tragic character she is, and it’s discouraging to think that the film’s biggest laugh comes at the expense of Batman punching her in the face.

And where is Batman anyway through all of this? (Or the Flash, who appropriately flits by in a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo.) Isn’t the Enchantress situation better suited to the Justice League’s skills than those of a bunch of renegades who, were it not for the Wayne Industry-crafted explosive devices implanted in their spinal columns, would gladly join the deranged witch in destroying the world? Whereas “Batman v Superman” managed to raise certain pseudo-provocative questions about how real people might react to being protected by vigilante “meta-humans,” “Suicide Squad” deals with a 100% unreasonable solution to future threats. Like “Deadpool” earlier this year, it’s entertaining insofar as it allows the characters to crack wise and act out, though they can only go so far within the confines of MPAA guidelines and the rigid DC mythology. On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same.

‘Suicide Squad’ Members: Who’s Who

Film Review: 'Suicide Squad'

Reviewed at Warner Bros. studios, July 27, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 123 MIN.

Production

A Warner Bros. Pictures release and presentation, in association with Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, of an Atlas Entertainment production. Producers: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle. Executive producers: Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson, Geoff Johns, Steven Mnuchin.

Crew

Director, writer: David Ayer, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Camera (color, widescreen): Roman Vasyanov. Editor: John Gilroy.

With

Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Aidan Devine, David Harbour, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller.

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  1. Jesse says:

    OMG! Critics need to really shut the hell up. They act like this is suppose to be some Oscar caliber masterpiece. It’s about superheroes and supervillians. Unrealistic crap that devoid of common sense and logic. Stop comparing the DC comics to Marvel because critics aren’t too kind to them either. The power of the pen is no longer a factor anymore to film goers because critics can get it wrong sometimes. I didn’t think Suicide Squad was as bad as the critics made it out to be. Maybe because I have my own mind. Yet, it wasn’t great but it was C+ entertaining.

  2. Juliette says:

    I personally did not enjoy the movie but that is my own opinion. Some people had different expectations from it and some were either not met or they were completely satisfied. The way I prefer to put it is, some people are more twisted (like me) and expected more from the movie mainly from Harley Quinn’s and the Joker’s side. And then there are more normal people who were comfortable with the level of violence etc. and liked the fact they didn’t get creeped out. I also believe that the producers should of made the movie R rated instead of PG-13. But again in the end we are all different and see things from a different perspective and we should respect that.

  3. Jack says:

    You little piece of shot the movie was great and I don’t know why rotten tomatoes gave it bad review even though it wasnt as bad as Batman and superman so there is no comparing them.

  4. It seems like the writers were sacked in pre-production and replaced by a team of humorless, emotionless shrinks that were trying to force a point they didn’t understand. Every line of the movie was a waste of talented acting and set design. On a scale of 1 to 5, it gets a, Meh.

  5. Chloe says:

    DC is supposed to be dark that’s what makes it better than!
    David Ayer did an amazing job!
    “since no one but comic-book fans will know the other characters going in” this movie was made for the fans that’s why it’s the most comic book accurate movie!

  6. Ron Williams says:

    Hey, it has Margot Robbie, that’s all I need to know.

  7. Tim says:

    You the writer of this sounds just like the douche bag from wall Street Journal. It is a movie and it will shatter records but I bet this douche and the other douche from wsj did not see all the Easter eggs or even understand the movie.

  8. First off after reading this “Chief Film Critic’s” review I personally have a few friends from Australia and you do NOT call them Ozzie!!! 2nd of all the movie was amazing!!!! I am seeing it again because it was that good!! Finally they deliver a solid movie on the villians for once. Jared Leto’s version of Joker was more spot on that anyone so far in terms of creepy and it definitely captures his love for Harley Quinn. DC needed this movie and over time it will show in a positive light. I got drawn into the chaotic world of every one of the characters. The soundtrack was great! None of the Marvel movies have delivered for me at all and it’s one of the reasons DC is just a better world of heroes/villains. Lauren is spot on with her short review and as a general rule on movies I take is that if most of the major “Film Critics” give it thumbs down or negative reviews means I will more than likely think the opposite and more of the reason to go see it!!! The only thing negative is your opinion and your review! Anyone reading this GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! Can’t wait for another chapter of this series!!!

  9. Lauren Hutchinson says:

    Are you kidding me? This movie had amazing actors and actresses that produced a phenomenon of a movie that was led by one of the greatest directors. This is shown through suicide squad. The plot behind it is clever as it introduces all the characters stories so the viewers can’t get confused. They also use killer music throughout the movie which further developed the mood that they were wanting to portray. Comparing this movie to other marvel creations is unfair as its a different playing field. These actors and actresses deserve our support as they have done a wonderful job by spending so much time to make it perfect for us. At least we could do is say thank you. These bad reviews being made blocks other people’s judgment on the movie creating the viewers to have a bad experience. The people who have made these reviews may have different taste to someone else making them bias and untrustworthy. The people behind making this movie, “Suicide Squad” have done an amazing job as they created another world for us to join by opening our eyes to stuff that’s happening in the real world. After everything, I wanna say thank you.

  10. Guest says:

    The movie was good, not great but good and certainly better then half a dozen of the garden variety stuff we get from Marvel. There are issues with it yes but it’s ultimately a entertaining popcorn flick and knows it and doesn’t try to be anything more.
    And for the love of all that is good STOP COMPARING LETO TO LEDGER his Joker is a completely different take because newsflash there have been hundreds of different versions of the Joker in comics just as there will be in film! Also stop riding Ledger’s D. He did an incredible performance that I rewatch even to this day but he does not own the role of the Joker.
    It is a problem with Hollywood which I knew would happen before SS came out, because it tends to idolise dead actors, musicians or general entertainers.
    Anyways entertaining movie that I hope gets a directors cut so we can see more of the Joker.
    7/10

  11. Prabin says:

    You live by criticizing others. Nobody gives a fuck what you think. I watched the movie today, and yes , I loved it..

  12. Maddie says:

    I give the review no credibility…..IT’S AUSSIE….NOT OZZIE…like why? plus no the meta human threat would have still happened because enchantress wasn’t locked up….everyone else was and she was the threat…ugh

  13. Ely says:

    I would like to know what this “rigid DC mythology” is. From the few DC and Marvel comic books I read, the numerous movies and animated series i have watched Spider-man, Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man all have the same origin story the same relationship stories. Where DC characters origins and relationships throughout different universes change.

  14. Nick C says:

    Oh I can just see it happening again – SUICIDE SQUAD: THE R-RATED
    ULTIMATE EDITION coming to Bluray, DVD, and Digital HD…re-cut with
    50mins of added scenes guaranteed turn another shoddy WB/DC theatrical release into the true masterpiece as intended, so PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

  15. All that I’m saying is that your seeing everything in plain black and white you need to opt for another perspective to truly get to the root of the movie and honestly it was kind of brilliant the way they came up with an industrial ending , with a follow through into the hearts and minds of the “bad guys” . What every critic is seamlessly over seeing that , that’s why I wished at the critics were mixed between younger and older views to see the honest countless perspectives.

  16. Not “eye candy” but, “Yawn-candy.”

  17. Carlos T. Jackal says:

    The one good thing that may come out of this (fingers crossed) – perhaps they’ll realize they don’t need to do any further movies with rat-boy Jared Leto as Joker. That would be some consolation.

  18. Ben Kabak says:

    A total bomb.

  19. Thidwick Moses says:

    The most disappointing thing about Suicide Squad is that the critics failed to understand it. The story was an interesting take on how good and bad can coincide in the same person/being, and how easy it is to switch from one to the other, and under what circumstances. The enjoyed the performances, as well as the excess, as exemplified by the art direction, the set design and the costuming. The introduction of the characters was excellent, and the iconic bar scene more explicitly brought out the main themes of the film. Only the scripting of the second half of the film needed work, and David Ayer should have collaborated with a more able writer. The twee moments among Squad members should have been removed, and instead the tension among Squad members, and between the Squad and the military, should have been maintained throughout. The back story of the twisted but sweet relationship between Harley Q and The Joker should have been beefed up, as well as the back story of humans’ relationship with the spirit world – as this would have usefully contributed to the main theme of the movie. And the sexism should have been removed as it’s plain boring to encounter it in any film, and makes any script less sharp and witty. Despite these problems with the script, I really enjoyed being introduced or reintroduced to all of these characters. I could not get enough of the Viola Davis character, and Harley Q with The Joker.

    • vincenzao says:

      but the whole point of the suicide squad is that they can do missions too dangerous for other people, or too morally ambiguous for a traditional HERO, yet they end up fighting the droid army, or the chitauri, or any other faceless cannon fodder that is absolutely NO challenge for these people. they are supposed to take on tough assignments and just end up fighting the exorcist and closing a hoe

    • Momus says:

      Are you going from website to website pasting this into the comments? Because I read this comment already on another review.

      • Thidwick Moses says:

        Yes, on three sites that I normally go to for film reviews, where I have also commented on other films that I thought were similarly unfairly dealt with. For me these reviewers wrote to entertain their audience rather than really engage with what this film was about, including its story, and how it was visually realised. And, Carlos, hahahaha, I’m not an agent, and very much a real person. I thought the outstanding member of the cast was Viola Davis, but, in fact, the whole cast swept me along. The person who didn’t do his job that well was David Ayer, specifically his script, and the pacing of the film.

      • Carlos T. Jackal says:

        Yeah, “Thidwick Moses” is clearly a made-up name. I’m guessing it’s David Ayer or Jared Leto, or their agents. And it’s pretty clear that the critics understood this movie all too well. It’s a steaming pile.

  20. Elian Gonzalez says:

    Certainly one this for certain with all these comic book superhero movies: people are eventually exposed to how ridiculous, juvenile and sub-literate the whole genre is. Not to mention that it’s the same thing over and over and over and over again.

  21. Harry says:

    I’m disgusted by the abusive pseudo love entanglement and the objectified personification of the leading female character, totally gratuitous, women should never be presented with this kind of option as a role model or even let thinking that to be in an abusive relationship is love or at all attractive, this is a wrong choice by WB, the wrong way to present this conflict, not only we’re worshiping and getting excited about violence but on top of it now we have to like abusive relationships, what a lack of judgement.

    • Guest says:

      How did they let the audience think it was a healthy relationship? He used her to get out of Arkham, tortured her, mentally and emotionally abused her, left her for dead, manipulated her into jumping off that ledge into a vat of chemicals and was going to her for dead but decided against it in the last second. I say that’s a pretty abusive relationship.
      Also no one HAS to like it, if your messed up enough to think that’s a good relationship that’s your fault mate.

    • Marie says:

      Boo hoo

    • Hibernia86 says:

      You don’t think women are smart enough to figure out that they shouldn’t copy Harley’s choices in a movie where she is specifically labeled as a bad guy? Of course abusive relationships are bad, but that doesn’t mean they should never be shown in movies. Also, there is something wrong with society if we label any sexuality as making her “objectified”. Being sexual is part of humanity, including with women.

      • James says:

        A-1 You’re sleeping if you think this character is influencing young girls behavior and, not visca versa. 2 the movie was, from beginning to end on par with the early 2000’s comics. I think people should read up on the material before watching theatrical remakes. The comic was dark, the movie was dark…

      • JR says:

        @Nadia. I hate to break it to you but females have been copying Harley’s look years before this movie came out.

      • Nadia says:

        This is done in poor taste, haven’t you see how young girls are copying her? This is a terrible example and they’re trying to sell her as a hero, that she isn’t, she’s a mental patient that needs a lot of help and treatment. Gratuitous ass shots, absurd costume, this is not empowering whatsoever this is cheap eye candy for boys, this type of problem sure should be brought to light but not in this way, in this way is irresponsible.

  22. To be honest, I’ve grown tired of DC just milking the built in audience for these comic characters. They decide which character will bring the most audience members and toy sales, then which actors will add to the number of ticket sales, then which special effects and music will gain an audience in the preview trailers.

    Then they throw it all away by treating the script as an afterthought.

    Every good movie begins with a good script – but apparently Hollywood executives have forgotten that, in favor of just screwing over the audience in the hopes that their film will not be the one that comes directly after audiences have given up going to the movies because they are so sick of being constantly disappointed.

    But in DC’s case, that day is rapidly approaching. Suicide Squad may be the film that breaks the mules back.

    • Ely says:

      Are you telling me Marvel doesn’t do this too?
      Are you saying there are more well known actors in DC movies than the Marvel movies?

  23. gabe says:

    50th comment this should be good

  24. Hibernia86 says:

    It’s sad that the reviewer becomes Puritanical when talking about Harley. She isn’t the only female in the movie, but it is somehow “tragic” that she is shown as sexy, as if all the other characters aren’t tragic in their own way as well. And he complains about her being punched in the face by Batman, something he surely would not have done had she been a man. Another modern day “sexuality is evil” lecture.

    • Cooper says:

      I believe what he meant was that it’s tragic that her worth is shown as sex-kitten rather than scientist. Which is that, ‘puritanical’, or pro-feminism?

      • Hibernia86 says:

        Feminism means accepting all types of women, both scientist and sex-kitten. In all of the renditions of Harley I’ve ever seen, she gives up being a scientist when she joins the joker. So it makes no sense to portray her as a scientist currently. That goes against her character. The problem with the article is that it assumes that Harley is a better character as a scientist than a sex-kitten, not because of anything about her, but just because the author thinks ALL women characters are better as scientists than sex-kittens. That’s the issue.

  25. Leonard Nimoy is alive and well and living in my basement says:

    David Ayer said “Fuck Marvel!” the other night, and karma responded back by saying “No, fuck you.”

  26. Jacques Strappe says:

    “Oh.,it’s so serious and dark”. “Global critics are stupid and their opinions don’t matter; they have a bias against DC comics” Lots of DC fan boy butt hurt coming soon as the end of times global reviews flood in trashing yet another turd of a film So far reviews are trending near the early B v S levels close to 30% on RT. Back to the drawing board,,,AGAIN.

  27. Rex says:

    Great review!

    The problem with the DC universe has always been Batman. Always will be. He’s a drag, a REGULAR GUY in a costume — or a special Iron Batman suit thingy like in BvS — and by making his world the de facto world of these films, they’re completely drained of even a remote sense fun, which Marvel has in abundance. It’s a damn shame that, historically, DC has always had to, Ateam him up with super-powered humans and other beings who frankly don’t need him around.

    • Jermon says:

      To make the statements,”The problem with the DC universe has always been Batman” and “DC has always had to, Ateam him up with super-powered humans and other beings who frankly don’t need him around”, leads me to believe you’ve never read a comic book or watched the animated shows and/or movies. Batman hasn’t always been dark. Need I remind you of the Adam West version that got cancelled because it was too light and kiddie. Secondly, the fact that he is normal with no super powers is what makes him more interesting. He was designed to be a thought process of “You can have all the power in the world, but the will to fight for others and what you believe in trumps all”. I will agree that the level of humor is not up with that of Marvel, which in turn makes the Marvel series so much more family friendly, but DC is going in the opposite direction of that and its ok.

      When people become critics, I feel they should really do their homework before making horrible judgement calls on movies based off of a narrow-minded view of movies. It’s sad really, with all the technology, internet, redbox, etc at their disposal, yet they make statements based on their lack of knowledge on a subject. SMH

    • KairoWolf says:

      Do you even know Marvel? Iron Man is just some genius in a suit. Even Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Falcon are by no means super powered humans either. They’re just people with special equipment. All of them and Batman and any other character like that are suppose to be a bit more relatable to some readers/viewers. Especially those who want that. Clearly you just can’t stand Batman. Plain and simple. Don’t come up with some bogus reasoning.

      • V. Reynauld says:

        The difference, Kairo, is that Batman was always written darkly whereas Iron Man was not. In that regard, Rex is right. I don’t know why or when DC moved away from Superman as their main stable character, a guy whose world was colorful and optimistic, and decided to go with the dark, gritty, Gotham suck and only I can save it Batman.

        Iron Man is a pompous, arrogant jerk but he has a sense of morality and optimism underneath. Batman, especially the latest iterations of him, are just dark and angry. And that’s not serving DC comics very well. You can see how that dark, gritty style managed its way into Man of Steel, turning Superman’s origin story into something much darker. The latest trailer for Wonder Woman is the only thing giving me any semblance of hope that DC can find a story that isn’t quite as dark and brings back some level of optimism to their storytelling.

  28. LOGOS says:

    Is this for real? Your “review” just spoiled virtually the entire movie. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Yirmin says:

      Anyone familiar with Variety knows that the reviews they provide also pretty much completely summarize the movie as well. That’s the reason I usually come here for the reviews. I don’t like to go to a movie where I don’t know what will happen. If I read the review in Variety first I usually don’t have to worry about any surprise ending or twist.

  29. Cantana says:

    Sounds like maybe they used Justin Marks’ script after all.

  30. stevenkovacs says:

    Whaaaaat?? Please be better than BvsS!!

  31. Alex Ko says:

    You can hate on the movie if you want, but there is no reason to be posting blatantly unwarned spoilers.

  32. BillUSA says:

    I don’t always watch crappy superhero movies. But when I do, I make sure it’s from Warner/DC Comics.

    Stay bored my friend.

  33. ASFan says:

    I don’t understand why Zack Snyder should take all the blame for this one when David Ayer is no patron saint of modern day action cinema. Aside from grittiness, the one thing Ayer is known for is inconsistency.

  34. William says:

    It seems to me that in regard to this movie, the critic’s most prevalent complaints (Harley Quinn’s abusive relationship with The Joker; The illogical idea to use dangerous criminals to go on government assigned missions etc,) should be lobbied at the iconic source material rather than the film…Comic book and action movie fans will enjoy this film alot, much like the similarly critically reviled Batman v Superman, which went on to gross nearly $900 million at the worldwide box office and is currently the No.1 Selling Bluray/DVD in the US…The critics simply may not be fans of certain aspects/narratives/storylines of the modern DC Universe and for that reason subsequently pan a film that adheres too heavily to those aspects/narratives/storylines….However fans and casual action movie lovers will most likely enjoy this film, much like Batman v Superman.

    • jedi77 says:

      I am both af fan (of Batman in the Nolanverse) and lover of casual action (when it’s well made) and I hated BvS. Not so much because it was bad, yhough it was, but because of the gigantic opportunity that was missed.

  35. Aaron says:

    Im so tired pf the corny, bright happy bullshot that u see in every marvel movie. They are literally all the same. Civil war was fucking avengers for fuck sake. Nothing diff. At all least d.c. can be dark can be depressing. I have not seen the movie. Hut i loves bvs. So im sure il love this. I loved mos too. Lets not mention the fact rhat marvel stole like. Alllll of d.c.. caracters a just named them something eles.

    • TheRayeGun says:

      Wait, age of ultron isn’t exactly corny, bright or happy. I’m sure you are just butthurt that nothing is working in “your” dc universe. But face it, we shouldn’t fanboy over company’s products if they aren’t good.

      Also, tell me if Thor’s story is “literally the same” as Captain America’s. Did we even watch the same movie?

      • vincenzao says:

        marvel movies have no story? iron man had no story? the winter soldier had no story? theyre kids movies? they are movies for human beings with emotions.

      • I dont understand why people hate DC movies in the first place..suicide squad was awesome. CRITICS are just kinda partial to MARVEL…marvel movies have no story..only some punchlines and a lot of comedy…..DC has got a good story…it just dosent feel right that good and decent movies get this kind of response….

    • Nick says:

      Comics were NEVER meant to be “dark,” “ugly,” and “gritty.” They were created for kids entertainment–and still are. Nothing has changed. Anyone who thinks different should move out of their mom’s basement asap. I doubt anyone, even it’s target audience-small kids–would mind that they get a little dark int he comic or the movie. But they should at LEAST have a story and characters worth caring about. 99% of comics and comic book movies don’t. That doesn’t mean they can’t be fun or entertaining. But saying they’re important or literature is like suggesting video games have stories. They don’t.

      • James says:

        Spawn

      • Tel... says:

        Nick…the original Batman comics by Kane and Finger were dark and gritty and reflected the pulp and mysterioso stories of the day. They were not written for kids.

      • XMACHINA says:

        A few questions for you: Have you ever actually read a comic? Have you ever actually read the original run of Suicide Squad? Does the title “Suicide Squad” serve as a clue to the tone of the comic, and do you think that the target readership for a book so titled is children?

    • BillUSA says:

      Is English your first language?

      • I for one enjoy color in my films. I also don’t mind films that have daylight and sunshine in them. If I want some dark, gritty, art house drama, I most certainly am not looking for that in a dumb comic book movie. They should be fun.

        At my local theater, people left “The Revenant” in a better mood than the people who left BvS: Dawn of Angst.

    • Malcolm says:

      The bright and happy one where Iron Man has PTSD, the b&h one where dark elves threaten the earth, or the one where after battling Nazis the hero wakes up in an unfamiliar world where all his friends are dead? Do you mean the cheerful one where the dead Bucky is actually a brainwashed assassin, or where an attempt to retire leads to unethical choices and the creation of two unstoppable freethinking AI robots? Oh! You mean Civil War where hero faces off against hero – for reasons other than Lex – and beat each other senseless for “good” reasons, with parents dying left and right.

      Even GotG and Ant-Man (the happiest and most carefree of the Marvel films) aren’t all rainbows and joy. Drax’s family was killed, and he wasn’t strong enough to avenge them. Gamora’s adopted family are legitimately evil and the opening scene is one of the grimmest in a superhero film.

      Marvel is not all lightness and fluff. DC is not all darkness and brooding. But – crucially! – NOR SHOULD THEY BE. Some optimism is always a good idea. Darkness for its own sake is just nihilistic and depressing.

  36. Slothman says:

    Here, it’s a comic book movie. I don’t care if it’s a well-made film, I only care if it’s fun.

  37. Madonna Ciccone-Ritchie says:

    Margot Robbie has killed feminism.

    • Slothman says:

      But that’s the point of the character.

    • Antonnia Bell says:

      Tell em Madonna! Unfortunately, Harley Quinn’s character is reliant on Joker and in many ways he uses and abuses her for most of the character’s time with him. Margot set us back! lol

      • Theflash says:

        Your comment gave me cancer….that is the character, who else is gonna be the SO of a psychopath? That is how the character is written, they are not going to change it for the movie…

  38. K says:

    Horrible graphics

  39. anonymous says:

    Another DC turd. Man, this was a horrible Summer for movie. One of the worst in a while.

  40. Justa Guynamedjoe says:

    And now for the SS sequel: “Attack of the Butthurt DC Fanboys.”

    The scene: A dark, dank basement that reeks of cheetos, body odor, used tissues, and grandmas storage trunk.

    The players: two DC fanboys, pushed to a crazed state of near-activity by the scathing reviews excoriating “Suicide Squad”

    Fanboy One: “Waaaahhhh, waaahhh, waaaahhhh. This movie is the roxorz and DC is great because Marvel sux and Disney bought off ALL the reviewers and I’m all of cheetos and pron!”

    Fanboy Two (putting on his batman underoos): “I am the night. I am justice. I shall deliver fear and repentance and…stuff…on those that hate this movie. For they are all not as smart as I and own not a single pair of batman underwear.”

    Fanboy One: “Waaaahhhhhh……”

  41. Alejandra Madero says:

    This is why I don’t read variety. This is a summer movie! Let’s NOT read too much into this review! I don’t want background, I want FUN! The soundtrack is awesome, the characters intensely insane, the premise ridiculous! I have my tickets, planning on being first in line! I just want to hear HQ say “What a ride!”

    • Yet you did read it, which begs the question: if all you expect from summer movies is “fun,” and you’ve already decided this movie is going to be that, why read reviews at all?

      What you’re saying, Alejandra, is that you’re going to enjoy this film no matter what. That’s strange to me (do you also know what songs you will enjoy before you heard them?), but if that’s the gleefully ignorant way that you live your life, do have fun! Those of us who demand at least some intelligence and merit from a movie will be here reading thoughtful reviews like this one.

    • Justa Guynamedjoe says:

      Ummm….aren’t you reading it now?

    • Mark says:

      Fun sounds fun. But do we have to be served up these ugly, nihilistic, and juvenile kids movies like this instead? Another flop for wb& dc.

  42. Keiran Slater-Cox says:

    il take DCs dark compelling narratives with multilayerd experienced heros over the cheap popcorn flicks with completely unremarkable and un-unique comedian styled heros marvel have forced down our nexks for the last 9 years or so :) its a releif to see DC taking their franchise seriously and not as a joke

  43. Steph says:

    This is a really terrible review. This is a dark and twisted story because Batman and the DC Universe is in fact dark and twisted. This isn’t Marvel people. This is DC, and they don’t make fuzzy fluff superhero movies. To expect that shows only your own ignorance when it comes to the subject material. Perhaps you are too accustomed to the Joel Schumacher version of Batman in super saturated colors and comical costumes, but that is not what Batman is. For anyone to actually say that none of these characters are known or ever heard of is ridiculous. This just shows the reviewer’s laziness in doing research. Shows like Arrow and The Flash have been sharing the knowledge of the DC Universe with mass audiences for years and exposing kids to some of the lesser characters you would expect to be reserved only for die hard comic book fans. But Harley Quinn and Deadshot specifically are and have always been huge characters in the stories. The back story of Floyd Lawton and his daughter is both extremely important to the plot line and the history of the character. There is so much bad information, ridiculousness and poorly thought out opinion in this review that it makes me only want to watch the movie more.

    • Malcolm says:

      “This is DC, and they don’t make fuzzy fluff superhero movies.”

      Neither does anyone (set out to). Superman: The Movie was joyful, optimistic, enjoyable and a good adaptation. Batman (1989) and Batman Begins were excellent re-adaptations grounded in a more real and darker city, but were also optimistic and heroic. Man of Steel and B vS were 90% pessimistic and scaremongering. There was no sense that the heroes – except WW – were at all confident that they were either doing the right thing or could make a difference to the side of good. That is a giant flaw in any superhero adaptation, going against the grain of the very idea.

      “For anyone to actually say that none of these characters are known or ever heard of is ridiculous… Harley Quinn and Deadshot specifically are and have always been huge characters in the stories.”

      Aside from SS comics, Deadshot is hardly a ‘huge’ character, but they are both to some degree known. That’s two. Killer Croc might be familiar to some (from the animated Batman series), and obviously cameos from big names like the Joker and Batman are a given. But how many know Boomerang or El Diablo? Enchantress may edge out Rick Flagg, but that’s not saying much, and wouldn’t many comics readers think of Katana as more of a (minor) hero than a villain? And Amanda Waller should have been IN (not just referenced within) B v S. Two out of eight is close enough to “none” for hyperbole’s sake, especially since it’s really only the three Bat-family folk here that are widely known: Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

    • You’re criticizing a review for being wrong and “terrible” when you admit you haven’t even seen the movie.

      Tell us more about “ignorance”?

    • David says:

      It’s not a film critics job to do research outside of the movie. It’s their job to review the movie.

  44. Joe says:

    “Robbie seems to represent what red-blooded, Maxim-reading audiences want from women on-screen in the year 2016”
    ——————————-
    Speak for yourself. It’s a blatant attempt to get hormone raging teenagers in theater.

    • C. says:

      This is ridiculous. Complains about things being dark and gritty and not fun but criticizes harley. No one is a better human being because they find someone attractive or not. And this character debuted in the 90s batman series and was and has been developed since then. Since the arkham games or before(might have been the comics), she’s been using a more normal clothes style.

      And with what ghostbusters…did with chris hemsworth is ridiculous. Nor is she the only scientist villain ever in comics that turned to crime. And youve got the development backwards. She was just a female mook that ended up getting a tragic backstory of having a bad parent and falling for the joker as his psychiatrist.

      Not sure why its fashionable to read too much into things to the point of delusion. But a certain segment won’t care about her backstory. The ones who do will be for its tragic aspect. Trying to twist it to the extent this dumbass does is beyond illogical. You don’t like a scantily clad attractive woman, or the character, whatever.

      trying to say not liking how people look in clothes that emphasize their figure is a moral issue is beyond dumb. Americans are just trying to justify their puritanical past by replacing it with something else.

      the idea people will somehow forget that a model is a person is beyond stupid. And it’s not something that having a plus size model will fix. So we’d have to get rid of all models, for art or anything else.

      Americans need to understand that anything people are drawn to and capable of being passionate about is attractive. And they heads and vision are so narrow that they keep trying to find a specific path. Instead of letting variety exist. Not everything needs to try to appeal to everyone. It’s just one of many equally valid methods, It might be the one that brings about most money but these things should be done in a way beyond that while still being equally beneficial obviously. As long as someone can create something that draws an audience, it should climb to whatever leve that audience lets it.

      There’s a flaw i nthe film or book critic that being a fan of the medium itself and tries to control it almost. Look if you don’t have an interest in the kind of film or character something is in. Then don’t see it. I think we need critics that are diversified in terms of genre and content they cover. Otherwise things have to fit a random asshats idea that should be fine for everyone, or some sort of high art that people can never understand and thats why it’s not popular or its niche aspect is ignore.

      But even critically acclaim works like that are just someone liking a genre or coming from a passion. There might be people who want to make the kinds of work this asshat would want and thats fine too. But not everything should be like that.

  45. Bob says:

    Wow, this film sounds as dark and twisted as Donald Trump’s mind!

  46. kenfurman46 says:

    David Ayer is very over-rated.

  47. Lisa says:

    As usual, this reviewer has no grasp of the subject matter or background of these long-standing comics’ characters. Vatiety has a total disconnect from the genre. Middle-aged white guys have no business giving their opinion on a movie like SUICIDE SQUAD.

    • millerfilm says:

      Why don’t you do the work that it takes to get a job as film reviewer at a publication like Variety. Otherwise, just stay with reading some pre-teen’s blog for your reviews.

    • There are plenty of other reviews of this film out there. Some are written by people of varying demographics. The consensus is still bleak. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      Oh, and middle-aged white guys make up a good portion of society and have every right to have an opinion.

    • David says:

      But aren’t middle aged white guys going to make up a huge portion of the audience for the movie? Are you saying that none of them have any business giving their opinion on the movie even after they’ve seen it? So who can give their opinion?

    • Audrey says:

      You’re right, this guy has absolutely no business doing the thing he’s paid to (which, by the way, makes it absolutely his business) do on a daily basis and has likely been doing for years…

      You know, the target audience for something like Variety probably doesn’t know a whole lot about the subject matter or the character’s histories, either and they likely don’t care. They just wanna know if the movie is good enough to justify them paying to go see it. You’re not going to find the kind of review you seem to be looking for on a major entertainment publication like this. There are lots of more specialized, comic book blogs out there that might, though. In less time than it took for you to tell a complete stranger they’re not entitled to their own opinion, you could’ve gone to one of those sites.

  48. There is an inflexible boilerplate for DC comics-to-film transformation. A protocol that must be follow without error or deviation, which coutenance no creative thought beyond what has been established.

  49. kenfurman46 says:

    Hollywood hacks have nothing inside them do all they can produce if ugliness and hate. Superhero genre is so over done and this is it’s last gasp.

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