I saw Suicide Squad and I’m having trouble deciding how I feel about it. Therefore, the following is more of a discussion of the film rather than a review. While I’m not actually giving you details about what happens, I am talking about part of the story in more detail that given in the trailer. If I’m going to talk about a particular scene or storyline which may be considered to give away too much, there will be potential spoiler alert (PSA) and a description of what the next paragraph is about. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know anything about it stop reading now.
Let me start by saying that while I was watching the movie and for some time afterwards, I did enjoy it. Like with anything, once you start thinking about things, you start to see flaws but before that I did like the film and didn’t mind the price I paid for the ticket.
The problems came about when I started trying to talk about what I’d seen to people who hadn’t seen it. Y’know, like when you’re trying to describe the plot and the main character and my favourite scenes.
Looking back, I had trouble trying to decide what the storyline was meant to be. Obviously, it’s to do with the creation of a team of bad guys being brought together but I have trouble trying to work out why.
The thing that happens in the film (if you’ve seen it, it’s the big thing running through the film and then the end) doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation. At the beginning, it seems to be ‘let’s make this team to protect us and then if it doesn’t work, we can blame it on them being baddies’ but protect you from what exactly? There are hints that something might be coming but they seem to be more of throwaway comments than serious plot points.
It’s important to note here that I would consider myself your average movie goer here. By that I mean that I haven’t read the comics, I don’t have all the background DC knowledge, and everything that I’m talking about comes solely from the film that I saw and the trailers.
Apart from my lack of understanding of why the squad was put together, I’m also not entirely sure what the team are supposed to be doing up until the end when that big thing happens. I’m not sure if this is purposeful since the characters didn’t know what they were doing either or if I’m just missing something.
[PSA: discussion of reasons given in the film]
The team are told that they have to protect one person and not told who until the big reveal, but there doesn’t seem to be an explanation of why or how. The reason the told to the team is ‘terrorism’ but my understanding of that is to cause the most damage to the most amount of people. So, why are they only protecting one person? I’m aware that that explanation is to cover up the truth that’s revealed but it’s still really confusing. Essentially, they’re brought together to solve a problem that was created by the process of being them together.
Then there’s the issue of deciding who the main character is.
I know that films can have more than one main character and follow a few stories, but this seemed to be a mess of trying to give everyone they considered a main person a story that isn’t then explored or resolved. There are a lot of different angles that the film could have chosen and it feels like they tried to do all of them.
[PSA: Brief description of characters and backstory]
They could have followed Waller as she tried to set up this team of the worst of the worst and how that went. It could have framed it around Deadshot, who although he’s a bad guy has morals, and the relationship with his daughter. They could have focused on the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn (a point which I’ll come onto). It could have told the story of the person who is possessed by a witch or the account of the person who is in love with the person possessed. These are just a few off the top of my head. They were touched on in the movie, then it got distracted and focused on something else leaving a lot of points unresolved.
Next, I want to talk about The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Although I’m not into comics or anything like that, I do really like The Joker as a character. It started with The Dark Knight and I really like the idea of a villain that is so messed up because he is messed up. I want to be nerdy about him but I don’t have the dedication.
So, if you’ve seen the film, you can imagine my disappointment.
That’s nothing to do with Jared Leto’s portrayal – from what I saw of him, he was doing a good job- but like most other bits of the film, his part didn’t make sense. He wasn’t part of the team, but he wasn’t the villain either? It just felt like he was there as a name drop. There are scenes of flashback with him and Harley Quinn which start to build up a picture of how they ended up where they are by the start of movie, but again this isn’t fully explored for either character.
I can’t remember if the scene I’m about to talk about is in any of the trailers or talked about anywhere else, so just in case…[SPOILER ALERT: The next paragraph discusses the exact scene in the film which tell you their back story.]
In the movie, there’s a flashback scene in which Dr. Harleen Quinzel is talking across the table with The Joker in an asylum. This should have been a major scene as it is the origins of Harley Quinn. What we actually got was a quick montage and a voice over saying that she fell in love with him. It left a lot to be desired. Pretty sure there’s a lot more to it than that.
In the trailer, there seems to be more about their relationship and it hints that The Joker plays an important role in the film, but I think they forgot that when they were editing. Also I’m glad that the thing that happened almost right at the very end happened, but I want to know how and why it did. Please make that into a movie. There’s also supposedly a lot of additional footage that was cut which may or may not explain it so please also put that in the movie. I’m really intrigued by these characters, please give me more.
So overall, I’m still not sure how to rate this movie. I enjoyed it, but it had so much more potential and it didn’t seem to be the film that was advertised in the original trailer. There were bits that I liked such as certain scenes and characters, but all together it felt like they weren’t sure what they were doing. There was a rushed script as a recipe and then loads of footage and reshoots as ingredients, but they didn’t know how to put them together to make me drool. There are scenes within the film that felt like they were only there because they were in the trailer, but also there was stuff in the trailer that didn’t make the final cut. I did like it, but it wasn’t anywhere as good as it should have been.