Suicide Squad Extended Edition | Review
Four months ago I headed off to review one of my most anticipated movie of the year, SUICIDE SQUAD. What followed was possibly the greatest cinematic disappointment in years. My Thor I loathed it! But oddly, and much to my surprise, Kernel Jack loved it – and I quote “The film has a lot to live up to, and so it is with great pleasure that I am able to say that Suicide Squad not only managed to live up to the hype, but it exceeded it. This is the film that will put DC back on the map.” Haha – the Kernel even rated it a perfect 5 out of 5. \
It was at that stage I questioned asking him to write for Salty but alas we all have different tastes and Jack’s thoughts on film are exception and his writing is the same. So of course I HAD TO get Jack to review this one – and it would appear the sheen may have worn off. Well enjoy Jack’s review and if this travesty is your thing – it releases for home entertainment on December 7th from Warner Bros and Roadshow Films. It is rated M and runs for way too long. Enjoy Jack’s thoughts……..all the best…….JK.
BY JACK DIGNAN
Have you ever been so excited for a movie that, no matter how imperfect the final product is, you love it anyways? For me, that was SUICIDE SQUAD. I was so absolutely positive that the film was going to be brilliant that, when I saw it for the first time, I knew I was going to love it. Obsession set in. I watched it four times in cinemas (five if you include my screening of the Extended Cut). I was able to overlook all of its flaws for a great while now, but after having some time to stop and think about it, it’s come to my attention that the film isn’t nearly as good as I initially thought. So watching the Extended Cut the other night was a different experience than the previous four viewings.
SUICIDE SQUAD SYNOPSIS:
The film has already been out for nearly half a year, earning a gazillion dollars at the box office, so I’ll keep this synopsis brief. If you’re reading this review, you’ve probably already seen the film, let’s be honest. SUICIDE SQUAD, the third film in the DC Extended Universe, is the story of the worst heroes possible. They’re bad guys, blackmailed by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to complete tasks the government doesn’t want to officially get involved in. With bombs implanted in their necks and built in deniability if things go wrong, the team is given the task of taking down the villainous Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), who’s running amok in Midway City.
TASK FORCE X:
Like all comic team ups (does it really count as a team up if they’re unwillingly coming together, though?), the roster is always changing. So, who made the cut in Task Force X for their big screen debut?
THE MAIN PLAYERS:
A dangerous, psychopath who once worked as The Joker’s therapist, Harley Quinn is without a doubt my favourite of the team. Her antics are wild and dangerous, and Margot Robbie absolutely kills it in the roll. She’s clearly having fun with this character and I seriously cannot wait to see her in action in her own solo movie.
He’s a gun for hire, never once missing a shot. Deadshot is perhaps the most developed character in the film, his personal life serving as the film’s emotional core, and it works. I like a lot of the things David Ayer does with his character, and upon my first viewing back in August, there was a moment that brought me to the brink of tears.
Jai Courtney is an actor I’ve always found to be quite underrated, and Captain Boomerang, the famous Flash villain, is the role of a lifetime for him. He is the ideal choice for this funny, strangely likeable Australian asshole.
Criminal turned cannibal, Killer Croc plays out as the biggest wild card in the team. I mean sure, everyone is, but Croc is especially. He’s not all that developed, but he’s got plenty of moments to shine, and the make-up work on his character (and every character, really) is truly something spectacular.
Diablo (Jay Hernandez):
When watching this film for the first time, I didn’t expect to like Diablo as much as I did. As a fan of the comics, I was familiar with who he was, but he was never my favourite villain. The film version won me over, as his character is full of loss and tragedy, constantly trying to escape his past. Hernandez is excellent, even if there’s a little too much exposition towards the third act.
Katana (Karen Fukuhara):
Katana works as Rick Flagg’s second in command, armed with a sword that traps the souls of her victims. Unfortunately, no matter how awesome her costume design may be, she’s fairly two dimensional as a character and doesn’t have a lot to do within the plot, besides looking cool.
Slipnot (Adam Beach):
It’s almost as if Warner Brothers knew just how lame of a character Slipnot is when the movie was pitched, as they don’t even try to do anything interesting with him. He gets no introduction, no backstory, no character development, barely any lines and nothing important to do, and his character is laughably bad.
Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman):
Flagg is assigned by Waller (who, on a side note, I love as a character) to keep Task Force X, AKA the Suicide Squad, in check. He’s a military man who knows how to get shit done, doing whatever it takes to get the best out of his soldiers. I liked Flagg. He’s interesting enough, even if his relationship with Enchantress doesn’t have too much depth or believability to it.
Enchantress (Cara Delevingne):
And speaking of Enchantress, who initially is pitched as a team member but ultimately ends up as the antagonist, she is oh so very pathetic. Her character is generic, uninteresting and over the top, and Delevingne is rather awful, overacting everything her character says and does. When looking over the comic book movie villains of 2016, most of which have been rather disappointing, Enchantress is by far the worst.
THE EXTENDED CUT:
One of the biggest issues people have with SUICIDE SQUAD, myself included, is that the film was severely altered in post production, even more so than BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE earlier this year. With BVS, the film was redeemed with its extended cut, adding thirty minutes back in and transforming it from a pretty good movie into an excellent one. A SUICIDE SQUAD extended cut was almost inevitable, fans hoping to see the film return to its original glory, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Unlike BVS, saving SUICIDE SQUAD requires a lot more than a few new scenes.
In their own right, the new additions are, for the most part, entertaining scenes. They add some character depth to all the members of the Squad, as well as creating a few memorable, quite funny moments, most notably with Captain Boomerang. There’s even an extended introduction for Killer Croc, which I very much enjoyed. I always found his initial introduction to be a little rushed compared to the other members of the squad, but it’s certainly fixed up in the extended cut.
However, all the problems with the theatrical cut are still very apparent here. This film is an absolute mess. It was re-edited to be more in line with the trailers, and whoever approved this decision needs to be fired. The new scenes, no matter how much fun they can be, just don’t flow well with anything. It makes this mess of a movie even more of a mess, slowing the pacing down in certain parts. Did we really need a thirty-second scene of Deadshot looking out a window with his daughter talking to him in voice over? Absolutely not.
SUICIDE SQUAD also promised to introduce a new take on The Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis and fan favourite villain. Played by Jared Leto, it looked to be a darker, more gangster take the on the character, and I, like everyone, was excited to see what Leto would bring to the table, even with plenty of questionable, on the nose tattoos. In the final film, he was given very little screen time, which I didn’t mind due to the fact that it’s not his movie. The film had the daunting task of introducing several characters, and so focusing on Joker wouldn’t have been all that smart of a movie. However, I did like what Leto brought to the role, and since this is only a small glimpse of what he has to offer, I’m eager to see him develop in further films.
What’s most disappointing about his take on The Joker is that he shot so much more than we were given. Sure, for the theatrical cut I wasn’t too surprised at the lack of Joker, but with the extended cut, I thought for sure that we would be given more Joker. The fans were literally begging to see more, and Leto himself said that they filmed enough Joker scenes to make an entire Joker movie out of it, but they’re still nowhere to be found. We do get about two minutes more of his character, and I really liked what I saw, but here’s to hoping the rest of his scenes see the light of day in the near future.
RESHOOTS + RE-EDIT:
I feel safe in saying that David Ayer’s original intention of what this film was meant to be is drastically different to the version we got in cinemas, and I do feel a bit of sympathy towards him. While I haven’t read it, the novelization of SUICIDE SQUAD is based on the original cut of the movie, before the reshoots and the re-edit. I read a summary of the book, just to see how it differentiates from the cut we ended up getting, and boy oh boy is it better. It’s told in chronological order, rather than flashing back and forth throughout, and it tells a much more realistic, straightforward story.
We also got to see a different, more comic accurate side to Joker and Harley’s relationship, as the abusive nature of their relationship was completely reshot. What they did to Joker and Harley was… fine, I guess, but it wasn’t true to who they are as characters. The extended cut gives us a brief glimpse of their more abusive side, but it’s merely hinted at. They’ve still been turned into a Hollywood ‘it’ couple, which I’m not that big a fan of.
SUICIDE SQUAD had the potential to be the film that got DC back on the map. The extended cut had the opportunity to right the wrongs that the theatrical version made, most of which were done in post-production, but instead, it fails to do so, simply giving us a longer version of what we already have. If you like the theatrical cut, you’ll like the extended cut. If you hate the theatrical cut, you’ll hate the extended cut even more. It’s the exact same movie, only longer, and that’s disappointing after the epic nature of the BATMAN V SUPERMAN Ultimate Edition.
When he’s not spending an embarrassing amount of hours browsing through Netflix, Jack Dignan dedicates his time to reviewing movies of all genres and languages, and has done so since 2012. He also maintains a website of his own – www.directorscutmovies.com – and ever since their interview, he’s been best friends with Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino just doesn’t know it yet.
** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.