comic book movies

Suicide Squad Spoilers Review Discussion: Does the good outweigh the bad?

suicide squad spoilers review good outweighs bad

Ah so here we are again, the next DCEU movie is out, Suicide Squad, and once again a general consensus cannot be made. So let’s discuss the Suicide Squad movie and see if the good outweighs the bad!                        Suicide squad spoilers review

Spoilers follow.

Suicide Squad is a movie I’ve been following since its announcement 2 years ago. Disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of the comics, Harley and Deadshot are two of my favourite comic book characters and the Suicide Squad comics are ones that I have eagerly followed for years. So obviously I’ve been pretty excited about this movie. And the trailers were insanely good. The marketing people knew how to edit a good trailer.

And so here we are now, I’ve only seen the movie once and at the moment I can’t say I loved it. First I need to say that I had the same experience with Batman v Superman. Didn’t know if I even liked it after watching it the first time. But after watching the theatrical cut a number of times and the superior Ultimate Edition twice, I can confidently say that I love Batman v Superman. However I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach that level with Suicide Squad, but I do feel like I will enjoy it more with multiple viewings.

Overall the characters in the actual Suicide Squad were fun and interesting to see interact, but the villain and overall story severely lacked.

suicide squad spoilers review enchantress villain

First let’s talk about the villain of the film, Enchantress. Not a fan at all. Enchantress unfortunately reminded me of those horribly cheesy comic book villains from the late 90s/early 00s. For a film that talked so much about being about the bad guys, the fact that the main villain of the story was so weak was a huge letdown. DC movies (in my opinion at least) usually strive when it comes to villains, so the fact that such a generic and two-dimensional villain was showcased in this film is baffling to me.

Especially when you have the bloody Joker in the movie! Now I know a lot of people didn’t want another Joker as the villain story, but this Joker is new and different, and it would have been fascinating to see him as the main villain. It would at least mean he folded into the story more naturally and had more screen time.

Joker vs the Suicide Squad might have made a lot more sense. Having Harley hate the Joker (like her New 52 counterpart) and going after him could have made for a really interesting dynamic. This is just personal preference of course because I prefer when the Joker and Harley aren’t a couple.

But we can’t just inject our own ideas and get mad because a filmmaker didn’t do exactly what we wanted. So I’m okay with Harley and Joker still being a couple in the film, but his role in the film seemed very useless.

suicide squad spoilers joker

As we hear more about the behind the scenes stuff, we now know that many of the Joker scenes were cut. So I wouldn’t mind if they eventually release a “Joker Cut” that adds his scenes back. From what we saw, Leto seems like a strong Joker. But we didn’t see much depth to his character. Whereas Ledger Joker had the opportunity to fully flesh out his unique philosophy and personality in his film, Leto didn’t get the same opportunity to here.

His Joker seemed more reminiscent of Azzarello’s Joker, the gangster Joker. But it’s important to note that in Azzarello’s graphic novel, the Joker acts all tough and gangster like, but it’s not until the end that we really see the layers to his character. Everything he was doing was because he was craving Batman’s attention. We saw the Joker get insecure in that novel, but we never got that far in the film (probably because the scenes that really added layers to his character were cut).

As for the Joker and Harley relationship, it was quite interesting. At first we saw the normal, manipulative Joker. Using Harley for his personal gain. But then something interesting happened, he started to actually care about her. During the “chemical wedding” we see that the Joker was initially willing to let Harley die, but then he changes his mind and goes after her. Of course their relationship wasn’t some nice, happy love story. He’s still clearly abusive towards her, willing to ditch her as soon as things get bad. But this Joker was definitely more caring towards Harley than what we’re used to seeing in the most recent comics.

Back to Enchantress, see if this was a random issue of Suicide Squad, Enchantress would be a fine villain. A one-off, single issue villain they fight. And in many ways the Suicide Squad movie felt like a one-off, single issue of a Suicide Squad comic. However, that doesn’t necessarily work in cinematic form. There needs to be more, because a film is more. So having a weak villain really pulled everything down.                           Suicide squad spoilers review

Many people have also commented on the editing and pacing of the film. Whilst I didn’t find it as jarring as the editing in Batman v Superman the first time I watched it, I agree it was a bit messy. We’re thrown into this world and all of a sudden meeting a bunch of different characters who are fighting this bad guy we barely know.

suicide squad spoilers review rick flag

But what about the good? The individual Suicide Squad characters were great. Margot Robbie nailed Harley Quinn (aside from the occasional slip of the accent). I couldn’t think of anyone better. I love that they didn’t just show the super happy, crazy and quirky side to Harley. We also saw her sensitive side, the side of her who yearns for a sense of belonging and purpose in life but hides behind the facade of this crazy girl.

I was almost worried for a second that she was about to join Enchantress, but her being misleading and then stabbing Enchantress was definitely very Harley Quinn. And it was great to see her interact with people like El Diablo and Deadshot. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Harley/Deadshot friendship that has been showcased for the last few years in the comics. They accept each other’s craziness and genuinely care for each other (Deadshot once even “killed” himself to save Harley…Amanda Waller eventually brought him back to life but still).

Will Smith was good as Deadshot, still pretty Will Smithy, but good. Again it was good to see the layers to his character. He’s not just some cold-hearted assassin, he has a flawed moral compass, but still has a heart that he reluctantly listens to on occasion.

El Diablo was another standout. He’s always been an interesting character because unlike the others, he doesn’t want out. So it was good to see someone with a different attitude interacting with the team. It’s unfortunate that he died, but we couldn’t just have Slipknot be the only casualty.

suicide squad spoilers who dies el diablo

Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang were both a lot of fun, and I have to say, Jai Courtney was born to play Captain Boomerang (not sure if that’s offensive to him or not). Captain Boomerang in the comics is a character you love to hate. He’s a real asshole, but in the film was a lot more likeable. And of course I can’t forget to mention how awesome the few seconds of The Flash was. The Flash has been quite the great recurring cameo this year.

Even Flag was great, especially towards the end when we saw him become more sympathetic towards the team. As for Katana, she was intriguing but we unfortunately didn’t see much of her.

Viola Davis did a great job as The Wall. Her character was pretty spot on, very focused and narrow-minded when it came to her goals. Ruthless and willing to do anything to protect her ideals for the “greater good”. So whilst Enchantress wasn’t a very good villain, Waller was a great antagonistic force to the Squad. I especially loved her interaction with Bruce Wayne during the mid-credit scene. Ah it all makes sense now. Bruce is able to track down the future League members because of Waller! And does Amanda Waller know Bruce Wayne is Batman? Well she must with all that tongue and cheek “you should stop working nights”.

Another major pro for the movie was the soundtrack. Really great song choices that perfectly matched the characters and the settings. If you haven’t already, check out the Suicide Squad album, it’s a great playlist.

The interactions between the members was definitely the main highlight of the movie. For me, Suicide Squad stories aren’t always really about the actual story. It’s about how this crazy group of people respond to insane situations. Some of the best Suicide Squad stories have the most ridiculous plots (more recently someone trapped them in a castle of sorts and set up a game where you win points if you kill a member of the Squad…yupp). And we did see a lot of that in the film. So whilst the individual components for success was there, put together it was flawed.

suicide squad spoilers review deadshot and harley quinn

It was the scenes like the bar scene where the film was at its best. Just a group of misfits having a chat over their remarkably weird and insane scenarios. Seeing more of those bonding moments would have been nice, and would have really made the conclusion feel that more impactful. It’s nice and all that they considered themselves a family at the end and were willing to risk their lives for it, but was that earned? I’m not completely sure it was, just a few more scenes like the bar scene might have earned that moment.                            Suicide squad spoilers review

I guess this comes down to an overall pacing and structural issue with the movie. With so many characters, and a world that is now introducing magic, the film didn’t allow much breathing room to get to know these characters and world, before being fully thrown into it. Then again I did go see the film with a non-comic book fan and they had absolutely no problem following the story, and ended up liking the movie a lot.

Perhaps Suicide Squad would work better as a TV series, rather than a film. This movie as an episode in a show would have been amazing. Enchantress would make a fine villain in that context. And as a TV series we would get to see the team’s relationship really grow.

suicide squad boomerang and katana

At the end of the day, there’s no denying that this movie is messy. In some ways that chaotic nature works for a film like this, but the film would have served a lot better with a cleaner structure. The overall characterisations of the characters worked, but everything felt slightly rushed so we didn’t spend enough time seeing the team bond. For me though, the biggest issue comes down to the villain. Enchantress is the type of character that shouldn’t make it through the first draft of a script. She was evil for the sake of being evil (other than the typical generic bad guy motivations) and incredibly cheesy. Which was especially hard to watch when such a complex and interesting character like the Joker was being sidelined.

I do believe there is a better cut of this film somewhere out there, but either way the villain will remain the same. However if that cut is longer, and has more character moments, it could be a vast improvement.

Suicide Squad is silly, messy fun. It could have been a lot more, but wasn’t. I would say the good outweighs the bad. Interesting characters, quirky tone and insane settings. But whether it was issues with the original script or studio interference, something went wrong.

We know that there is a different cut that was tested to audiences a few months ago. A couple of people who have seen that cut have already talked about the original cut being far superior. So hopefully we get a new cut of the film with the Blu-ray release (although Ayer insists the theatrical cut is his cut, so probably not).

suicide squad spoilers review

But let’s not make a habit out of this DCEU. When Wonder Woman comes out, let the theatrical cut be the cut that everyone involved wants out. Something both critics and fans love. That has strong legs at the box office.                              Suicide squad spoilers review

Talking to people I know who have watched the film, response is very mixed. Some think it’s an absolute piece of shit, others loved it and had a great time watching it. Suicide Squad will have an awesome opening weekend thanks to the on point marketing, but the question is how will it do in week 2, 3 etc. Batman v Superman didn’t have very strong legs, will Suicide Squad suffer the same fate?

In conclusion I’ll be more than happy to see more from these characters, because although overall the movie didn’t completely work for me, I’m invested in these characters and want to see what they get up to next!

 

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35 replies »

  1. I didn’t feel that the movie had any problems, aside from the same kind of “problems” with plot holes, pacing, and story which are present in virtually all super hero and action films.

    By comparison, it had no larger/more glaring problems than Star Wards Force Awakens or the first Avengers movies– its just that reviewers went into those movies intending to like them and went into this one intent on hating it.

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  2. I liked it. I haven’t seen the BVS UE yet but it’s bettwr than Man of Steel and NVS IMO. I do wish Joker would’ve at least slapped Harley or something to show some abuse in their relationahip but I think the ending was hinting that they’ll appear in a future movie (Ben Affleck’s Batman movie perhaps) so I’m satisfied with their portrayal so long as they’re explored morw in future films.

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    • You should definitely check out the UE.
      Apparently some things were changed so their relationship seemed less abusive, but I definitely think we’ll see more from them in the future anyways

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      • It’s pretty clear to me that WB took the fans saying that this movie might end up being the DC version of GotG to literal. The fans meant that they expected to see something different and unexpected. WB though they meant that they wanted popular music, a not so good people becoming heroic and a world ending plot for the end. Which was more or less the opposite which a SS movie should be, imho. It should be about a covert operation, and the main stakes should be totally selfish for the villains. They don’t need to like each other, they just need to learn to work with each other in order to survive.

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      • No, that is the idea of the GotG. The idea of SS is villains being forced to do “good” stuff. The whole point is that they are not good and that they don’t necessarily like each other aside from whatever bonding grows out of being depended on each other to survive to the next day.

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      • Not necessarily true with characters like Harley, El Diablo and Deadshot who have their heroic moments. What was showcased in the movie is pretty close to what happens in the comics

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  3. I really do hope there’s an ultimate edition cut or something that restores scenes that give better context. The pacing was just off for me. Other than that I liked it.

    It’s funny you mention the TV series thing because it’s mostly because of this movie, the DCEU, and DC in general that the Suicide Squad couldn’t have their own Arrowverse show, anything related to it couldn’t show up, or even be featured in more episodes, which is sad considering that the Suicide Squad episode in Arrow season 2 was one of the best episodes of the show and showcased the potential for a series. I like the Squad in this movie, I like Will Smith and everyone in their roles, and I like this movie, but I also like the other version too with Michael Rowe and everyone else.

    Seriously I think DC needs to rethink their multiverse thing. Doing the multiverse kinda helps give DC something a bit unique compare to Marvel. It’s like how Geoff Johns said that it gives everyone involved a chance to create the best world and product in their own way. But then it’s kinda shot in the foot the moment they say there can’t be multiple versions of certain things, which probably explains why Suicide Squad, Deathstroke, and a couple other things can’t be on Arrowverse, and this robs of any story opportunities. And yet there can be multiple Flashes? At least there’s a step forward in getting a different version of Superman in Supergirl 🙂

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    • Yeah a longer cut would definitely help flesh things out more.
      I wish they didn’t feel the need to kill off the Squad in the tv universe, I liked them too. But yeah now with 2 Supermans it seems they are going to be more lenient with these things

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      • Judging by the mixed reception the movie is getting, and again I liked this movie, maybe yeah it’ll get DC to be more lenient about having multiple versions of stuff. I could see the Squad returning to the Arrowverse in some form, and maybe as far as TV show is concerned, maybe implement that in a different way, like adapting Gail Simone’s Secret Six, which I think was originally created as a spiritual successor to Ostrander’s Suicide Squad. That’d be cool to see and could bring back Rowe’s Deadshot.

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  4. I didn’t dislike the movie. It has good things, and bad things. I personally am not too sure yet how I feel about this Joker, he was definitely not what we are used to; and I didn’t think his scenes were particularly relevant either.

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  5. I thought Suicide Squad was Ok, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped it’d be. It was still a lot of fun and action packed tho. Still not totally sold on this version of the Joker tho, but overall, I actually enjoyed this much more than I did BvS – although I’ve yet to see the Ultimate Edition / cut of that to properly make up my mind.

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  6. Messy is a great adjective for this film. I feel like it suffered from the same malady that plagues a lot of ambitious, yet inexperienced genre directors who write and film a lot of great scenes, but then have real issues assembling them in a seamless order with smooth transitions. It’s like watching a movie in the manner of a James Patterson novel, with a new chapter every other page or so, flipping back and forth between storylines and arcs.
    And while I agree that the villan was weak, I feel that’s not as important as a lot of people think because just take Deadpool as an example of a great comic movie with a D-list (at best) villan. What we aren’t privy to here is what villians David Ayers may have WANTED to use in the story, but was not ALLOWED to use by DC Comics. That’s actually a thing.
    I give it a C+ overall. Pros were individual acting, visual brilliance, Margot Robbie, storyline continuity, and Margot Robbie. Cons include shoddy film organization and editing, excessive exposition at the beginning, weak antagonist, and some character inconsistencies.

    Typed on an iPhone, excuse any typos.

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    • Good way of putting it, there’s definitely a big problem with the way the overall film was put together.
      Well according to Ayer he had a lot of freedom so I feel like he wanted to use Enchantress
      And agreed about Margot, she’s amazing!

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  7. If there’s gonna be a sequel, and I have no doubt there will be, hopefully it can really go full force. Make the characters actually more villainous and despicable, have em go out on an actual black ops mission instead of a “save the world” story we’ve already seen a million times especially this yr with certain movies, maybe even adapt some of the classic SS storylines like The Janus Directive. That’d be cool to see.

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      • Another good idea would be to change the roster a bit for a sequel. One standout feature for SS is the ever-changing roster. Keep some of the characters from this movie like Flag, Deadshot, Boomerang, Katana, and maybe Harley Quinn pending on her movie that’s being made. Add in members from comics like Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, Nemesis, Count Vertigo, Doctor Light, and others.

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      • A changing roster would be good, but I feel like this film didn’t have the chance to really explore this team’s dynamic enough. So I do want to see more from this team before we change it too much. But new additions would be good, especially to replace the ones who died

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  8. Crossing my fingers for a Suicide Squad Ultimate Edition. It seems like a lot of movie got cut. Jared Leto says they shot enough footage to fill an entire Joker movie, and Margot Robbie says they filmed so many flashbacks that ultimately did not make the film. It’s true that an extended cut won’t solve all of the movie’s problems (sadly, we will be stuck with the same lame villain), but it can give us more context, which sometimes makes all the difference. I hated Batman v Superman when I saw it in theaters. But the Ultimate Edition managed to sway me in the end. Now, I can’t get enough of BvS (that, and the total lack of coherence in Suicide Squad makes BvS a way better movie). I may not be a fan of Suicide Squad right now, but I am eager to understand it and hopefully appreciate it one day.

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    • An extended cut would really help improve things. Yes the villain will still be weak, but really to me the most upsetting thing is the ruined potential of the Joker in this film. Would really love to see the stuff that got Leto so excited

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