Posted Aug 07, 2016
How appropriate of David Ayer to use this line for our insight into the newest version of one of the most iconic characters in fictional history, The Joker. I say this because, although Warner Brothers haven’t completely killed my faith in the new DCU (DC cinematic universe), they have hurt my dreams of what could have been, really, really bad.
Suicide Squad, released Friday the 5th August, Directed by David Ayer (Fury 2014, End of Watch 2012) is the newest addition to our new world of the DC comics universe and introduces us to many of Batman’s nemeses bringing them all together as Task Force X. A team of the most evil and flamboyant “Meta-humans” this world has to offer constructed by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to take on what threats the world faces, fighting fire with fire, and to be thrown under the bus should the need arise. We are introduced to Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Boomerang (Jai Courtney) to name a few, with their hothead leader, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) assigned to keep them in line whilst the team try to take down a powerful, mysterious entity known as Enchantress (Cara Delevigne).
Let me start by saying, I was really excited for Suicide Squad on announcement. I was concerned by some of the casting choices, namely Will Smith and Jared Leto (I will come to him later), but I knew of their talent and it quelled my worries somewhat. Now after watching the train-wreck that was Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice I grew very sceptical. I was disappointed with Man Of Steel and after BVS I grew increasingly wary. I personally thought that after Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Trilogy, that DC could be left alone for a while, but with the ever-growing threat of DC and Warner Brothers being left behind by what they were doing over at Disney it was only a matter of time before the inevitable Batman reboot came around. Within 4 years here we are with 2 DCU movies, both of which have sadly been far below the standard Nolan, and of course Marvel, had set for the comic book genre. Although sceptical, I hoped that Suicide Squad would be the film to fix this, and really spark the DCU in to brilliance and open the door for the numerous sequels to continue to amaze in the coming years. Sadly this was not the case, nor was it even close…
Suicide Squad is a mess. From the first 5 minutes it really does not know what sort of film it wants to be. We have 45 minutes where we are introduced to our 6 main villains, with Deadshot somehow getting about 3 introductions, and Harley Quinn’s backstory used to introduce us to her and also shoehorn our introduce to this iteration of The Joker. We are barely introduced to the other 4 characters, immediately making us care significantly less for them, even bringing in a 7th member late on who is unashamedly drafted in to be used as an example of what can happen should the Suicide Squad (oh there is even a part where Will Smith/Deadshot actually says the words “so we’re some kind of Suicide Squad” YOU SLIPPED THE TITLE OF THE MOVIE IN WHY!?!) choose to disobey therir direct orders. We are then rushed to the City where something is destroying everything and trying to become so powerful that it can destroy the world. How, I don’t actually know as I don’t think we were actually told. Also, yes, they really did this same story-line, AGAIN. Everything is so rushed that by the time the team are on their first mission, we barely know which character is which and why they have actually been chosen for said mission.
The CGI is poor, the jokes aren’t funny, the action sequences are okay, the camerawork is shaky and the acting is so over the top, ridiculous and cringe-worthy I actually kind of felt bad for them. Should that be the fault of those doing said acting or lie on the shoulders of the scriptwriters I do not know, but why did nobody just stop and think, wait, this is horrendous!? I cannot count the amount of times I huffed, rolled my eyes, tutted, slapped my forehead or just plain sighed in disbelief at what I was seeing. I know it is not right to compare, but we have gone from The Dark Knight (2008), one of the greatest comic book films, if not just one of the greatest films of all time, to a film where a girl in 3 inch heels, a crop top and hot-pants, who also happens to be an established and qualified Doctor, running around beating up supernatural zombies (?) with a baseball bat, saying things like “What a ride!” after a helicopter crash! What has happened!? Have you given up Warner Brothers? Does making a profit on every film mean more than pleasing the fans? Does it mean more than having a film that is received well with critics and fans alike? Because that is the vibe I am getting, along with many many others.
I also want to take a minute to talk about The Joker. The Joker is one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. I have a huge canvas in my room of the cover of The Killing Joke, and have seen most of, if not all the cinematic works in which the character features. I tried to view this film with unbiased eyes as, as many people know, I hold Heath Ledger very dear in my heart and with him combining with one of my most loved characters of all time to create one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema, my all time favourite performance, I knew I was going to find it incredibly difficult to actually be impressed by the newest rendition of this astonishingly iconic character. I was sceptical with the initial casting of Jared Leto, I was even disappointed in fact at first. But, knowing that Leto was an immensely talented actor, and knowing that if executed well enough, anyone could really play The Joker (he is so far descended from real humanity, that we all have a little Joker inside of us and therefore could potentially tap in to this to create a The Joker) and after watching Dallas Buyers Club (2013) my worries turned in to excitement, and even after reading/hearing the terrible reviews Suicide Squad had received the week before release, I didn’t let that ruin my excitement, and could not wait to see what Leto had done with the character. My word was I let down. Not only let down, but angered by what they had come up with. The Joker is scary. The Joker is funny. The Joker is obsessed with Batman and has no feelings for anyone but Batman. Leto’s Joker was none of the above! Granted we didn’t get to see as much of The Joker as the marketing for Suicide Squad had led on, but I was still so so disappointed. As opposed to a psychopathic clown, The Joker had been come a sex crazed, tattooed, grill sporting gangsta, throwing a tantrum that his girlfriend had been caught being naughty and trying to get her back to be naughty elsewhere together. He wasn’t scary, he wasn’t funny, he was just creepy and weird. I pray that should he return, which I have no doubts he will, they delve a little more in to the workings of his mind, and not paint the picture of the Clown prince of crime actually being the worlds weirdest pimp.
I went in to Suicide Squad with low expectations and I left disappointed even so. This was an absolute hash of a film that concretely confirms DC have some serious work to do if they are to ever catch up with Marvel. A disappointment for critics and fans alike, Suicide Squad could only have been worse if it had cameos of the characters of Ice Age, had our antagonist being dead all along or if it was all a dream! DC and Warner brothers have really got to pull their finger out now, every 6 months they fall further and further behind Disney and with this their 2nd poor film of the year, they need answers and fast. Perhaps they could put together a team of villains from cinema, say a film directed by Michael Bay starring Adam Sandler, Nicholas Cage and the Wayans brothers with a soundtrack by Nickleback and see what they could come up with. Surely that would be a recipe for brilliance? Right? It couldn’t be more of a mess than Suicide Squad that’s for sure. Avoid at all costs, this really is a stinker.