You’ll be glad to know that Suicide Squad is a far better film than the hot mess that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The script is sharper and more nuanced. David Ayer, who also directs the film, doesn’t bludgeon you over the head repeatedly like Zack Snyder does.
The casting is also relatively spot on. Margot Robbie is a revelation as Harley Quinn and Will Smith, while outshined by the Australian actress, puts on his best impression as a hitman with a conscience. Think the depressingly haunting The Pursuit of Happyness (his best role by far) mixed with the smarminess of Focus.
The main problem with Suicide Squad is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. There are great scenes of emotional and character development and then the film jarringly throws half a dozen wisecracks at you in an attempt to lighten the mood. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry so your mouth is perpetually stuck in a smirk while your eyes brim with water.
This might probably be due to the expensive re-shoots that the studio ordered after the scathing reviews of the Batman-Superman vehicle, the script rewrites and the different visions of David Ayer and Warner Brothers.
It’s a shame because beneath the messy cuts, gaping plot holes and ludicrous deus ex machina devices used, there is a really good film. Ayer has managed to cohesively mesh the multiple and oftentimes unnecessary plot lines (which might have benefited from a firm editor saying, ‘No this needs to be removed’) and ensemble cast into a relatively coherent blockbuster, albeit with a few hiccups along the way.
While Suicide Squad isn’t a pinnacle of cinematic achievement it’s certainly a tentative, plodding and much-needed step in the right direction for the DC Comics film franchise.
Suicide Squad is out in cinemas islandwide