Suicide Squad might well have been my most anticipated movie of the year.
For months posters have been sprawled across cities brandishing the haphazardly written blockbuster title, complete with kick-ass graphics. We’ve waited with baited breath for even the slightest hint of new trailer footage or character profiles. But was it all worth it?
On paper Suicide Squad had the firepower to be the best superhero movie of all time. The cast alone was a complete spectacle, with big names like Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Cara Delevingne (to list a few) leading the charge.
The movie was meant to be a trailblazer. Never before had we seen a superhero movie focus on and gift humanity to the bad guys, while going deep into their origins to find out how they came to be the way they are.
So why wasn’t I blown away?
Why were my socks still fastened securely to my ankles by the end of the movie? Well, unfortunately there are many reasons why.
First up, while initially I thought having a whole team of super-villains would be a good idea, in practice it ended up distracting too much from the main storyline. The first half an hour or so of the movie was dedicated to explaining how and why the squad ended up under lock and key. We learnt a little about Harley Quinn’s love affair with The Joker, and what the Suicide Squad is all about, but not much of real value.
It felt like they were trying to cram as many origins stories as they could into a short time frame, and ended up compromising on having a sweet storyline.
Now, you can’t really talk about a DC Comics film without some comparison to Marvel, so here goes. When Marvel set out on their quest for an Avengers series, they spent years and years making individual superhero narratives to build up to their main events, The Avengers. This way, when we had 10s of comic book legends throwing their weight around on screen together, we already knew why they were where they were, instead of playing catch-up.
Instead of taking their time with Suicide Squad, DC Comics rushed it, and instead of a rich and deservedly anticipated movie, we received one that was both confused and underwhelming.
But in all honesty, I could have overlooked the storyline, if at least the movie was hilarious (not Will Ferrel hilarious but you know, kind of a halfway point between being punched in the face and Deadpool – that would have been a good middle ground). But the reality is, the jokes were a little bit lame, and a little bit forced. Even in a cinema packed to the rafters with eager movie fans, the most that was mustered was an occasional chuckle and one or two cackles.
The one liners were cheesy and the banter between characters was forced. On top of that, they used all the best jokes in the trailers.
Perhaps it’s my bias but I have to give a massive shout-out to Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) for being the only convincingly hilarious actor the whole movie. Although his part wasn’t massive, his dialogue was genuine and quintessentially Aussie.
Now, the most important analysis of all: how did Jared Leto fare as The Joker? If Heath Ledger was a 10/10 – which he was – I’d say Leto scored around a 7 and a half, which might not seem like much, but in my books is still a great result. Aesthetically I might go as far as to say he was the coolest Joker ever, with his comical yet menacing tattoos coupled with slick hair and a nice suit. His voice was good, his laugh was scary, and I really enjoyed how they played to his soft side through his romance with Harley Quinn.
The only downfall, he barely had any screen time.
Call me old fashioned but a character like The Joker never deserves to take the back seat in any movie, especially when you consider all the work Jared Leto put into his performance.
Well, I guess I’ve pretty much covered everything I can think of for now. I just hope DC Comics can pull their socks up a little higher for their next one.
My rating: 6/10