Suicide Squad | Review

SUICIDE SQUAD would have to be one of the most anticipated movies of 2016. After DC’s less than stellar outing with BATMAN V SUPERMAN it is imperative they have a success with the comic book franchise. Trailers looked good, cast looked epic and the planet was ready for a winner from DC. Sadly SUICIDE SQUAD is not the one to deliver.


Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Poster image



Monday night was the most amazingly organised movie release of SUICIDE SQUAD in Sydney. Roadshow Films put on a wicked gig at George St Cinemas. All these colours in the movie posters were flooding the area set aside for the night. We had a zombie DJ and multiple Harley Quinn cos players doing fun stuff like handing out lollipops, putting fake tats on people in a barber chair and my favourite – giving me shots of bourbon. It was a superb party to launch the night and everyone was excited, the lights dimmed and we were good to go.


Suicide Squad Deadshot Poster image



Following on from the “death” of Superman at the end of BvS the world is in a tizzy. Who would they get to defend the planet from the next cray cray over the top meta-human to come along? One bad-ass government type, Amanda Wallis has a plan, she has been collecting the worst of the worst of bad ass thugs and she wants to use them. Her veritable menagerie of violent sociopathic and insane criminals are being kept in a deep dark hole, half of them caught by Batman. It is her plan to use the people, while heavily under her control on threat of immediate head exploding death to be a saviour or die trying. This is basically their first mission brought about by circumstance related to their situation (I am trying to avoid any spoilers here :)).

On a side story the Joker wants his missus back and will do nearly anything to rescue his Harley Quinn.


Suicide Squad Joker Poster image


Direction and Writing:

David Ayer of THE WATCH, FURY and TRAINING DAY royally stuffs this one up on both fronts. Writer and director, everything is on his shoulders. I think some commiseration drinks with Zach Snyder may be in order. He starts this movie superbly, it was such a high note of quick, no-stuffing-around introductions to all the characters. It was funny, it was efficient and it gave us small backstories on our very naughty anti-heroes. The first thirty or so minutes of getting to know everyone were sublime, then it jumped onto a slippery slope of shit.

From here the ethos of “less is more” should have been adhered to, instead we get a huge ensemble with most of them having so little screen time or importance they were pretty much irrelevant or so goddamn annoying I wanted to kill them myself. The biggest character of them all, the Joker, is hardly even in the movie, some of his scenes in the trailer aren’t even in the movie. The minor characters in the movie who get slightly more screen time than Joker have such sob backstories that they should have been cut. Hearing Diablo’s back story while everyone drank in the bar was cringeworthy and completely out of flow.

Then there is the dialogue in the screenplay – how is it so cheesy and bad from a guy so talented? Add to this I am gobsmacked at how badly the truly evil “baddy” character is written in SUICIDE SQUAD.


Suicide Squad Diablo Poster image


The Players:

Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie:

Margot Robbie hands down steals the movie as Harley Quinn but this is saying little. When she is on fire she is on fire but she comes to the party about 70/30 and as for her accent, it’s more 50/50. But while she hated wearing the costume you can see she had quit a bit of fun playing Harley. I did think she had more chemistry with Deadshot aka Will Smith in the movie but that is probably because she has worked with him in the past and they get along great. Get scenes with Joker are funny but flat.

Joker – Jared Leto:

He is in it so little he is nearly as inconsequential as Batman who is like a cameo walk on only. Leto looks sublime as Joker but he plays it so over the top it was more comical than anything else, but that is OK – that is Joker from the comics. Sadly though I wish they kept him unrevealed until the movie released, the trailer kind of kills any form of ignition in love for this character. I found him more Batman TV series than anywhere near Ledger’s Dark Knight nemesis.

Deadshot – Will Smith:

Up with Robbie as one of my preferred characters, Smith has a lot of fun, another sob backstory but it was great to see him having fun in a role again and I love his shooting scenes. I would love to see an origin story here.

Diablo – Jay Hernandez:

Love this character and would love an origin story of him. Besides his tear jerker backstory when Diablo is on fire, he is really on fire, just superb. And oddly I am now crushing on a fire demon covered in tats – massive turn on here haha – TMI.

Killer Croc – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje:

Funny croc character that is basically a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with dialogue just as bad. About a quarter of his lines I couldn’t understand.

Boomerang – Jai Courtney:

I detested this character – a drunken Aussie who has the worst dialogue of all in the movie. He was a pointless character. His bogan occa was so over the top I couldn’t understand half the shit out of his mouth.

Amanda Waller – Viola Davis:

I love Viola Davis but I couldn’t stand her in this – it just felt below her. Her character was so one dimensional it was unnerving. She is all bad but is in a position of good. She was as much of a good guy as Joker, ruthless and without a care for anyone. It just didn’t gel at all, unsure how to explain it beyond that.

There are more characters but they are less important and a total yawnfest.


Suicide Squad Killer Croc Poster image



As soon as they all donned their gear and went out to hunt the “bad guys” it lost me and became a two dimensional cheesy mess. My words after the screening were “it was so cheesy two dimensional I half expected Clooney to be Batman.”

And then there is the more evil character our anti-heroes have to battle, quite possibly a worse nemesis than Mr Freeze. Cara Delevingne plays both June Moore and Enchantress, the evil 6000+yr old witch that has possessed her. She escapes, sets her brother free (MUMMY anyone?) and starts building a weapon to destroy the planet. First issue here is that the baddies really need to find something else to do, I have had enough of megalomaniac alien like creatures with limited motives and the want to blow shit up. 

The second and worst problem with evil Enchantress, she looks more like Lady Gaga crossed with Evil Galadriel (in blue) and a Yr 11 student performing in a school Rock Eisteddfod. To build her CGI weapon, we know nothing about besides swirling CGI shapes, we get to see her gyrate her hips to do it and then (look for it) – behind her are people under sheets dancing in a tribal up and down motion. They have lights under the sheets and look like when students are dancing in the Rock Eisteddfod or in theatre and are trying to make the motion of the ocean aka waves. I laughed! Then cried. Worst baddy ever!!!


Suicide Squad Boomerang Poster image


I will give it soundtrack though – the soundtrack for this movie is fucking A grade and will be in my playlist ASAP.


How do I conclude? In disappointment, in bewilderment at how DC just can’t seem to nail it? Am I hitting the tipping point of older age where I just don’t like everything anymore? Am I turning into a grumpy old movie man?

The execs at Warner Bros must be shitting themselves. It will make money but I see it getting more critically destroyed than BvS. If both BvS and this critically tank is there hope even with WONDER WOMAN and JUSTIC LEAGUE? Can they do another huge ensemble movie and not only afford it but make it work?

Colourful SUICIDE SQUAD is, sounding great it also is. Besides some great scenes and decent action it’s pretty shit.


3 Pops





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** 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.