Suicide Squad Review - Spoiler Free
I'm going to keep this review free of spoilers and get right to the point.
I'm really sorry to have to say this. I know that expectations for this film were high.
But, don't see this movie... and truly... you should give up on the DC Cinematic Universe altogether, at this point.
I'm not sure how Suicide Squad was released as if it were a "completed" movie. It's an absolute mess from the jump.
It seems, at first blush, as if WB is attempting to distinguish themselves from Marvel in terms of style and tone. But, then we get an 80s pop-song every five minutes, in a ham-fisted attempt to mimick the stylistic element that Guardians of the Galaxy employed so effortlessly.
Warner Brothers' executives seem to keep making bad decision after bad decision. These are many and varied, but they essentially all stem from the same core-mistake. This mistake is the root of all the other problems arising in these films; they hire directors who have a directorial voice, and then they (the studio execs) do everything in their power to stifle said voice, once the final product is submitted. Watching Suicide Squad, it is obvious that the movie was chopped-up, re-edited and re-shot over and over again, due to studio notes, and that the end product is a jumbled mess of a film that completely fails to deliver on its trailer-promises. You can see that the director had very different ideas for this movie from what ended up on screen. If the studio wanted a director who would just follow orders and check their notes off a list, then they should have hired a Brett Ratner. Why hire somebody like David Ayer, (that is, someone with vision and style,) if you're not going to let any of that make it to the final cut?
This isn't the first time, either. In my Batman v Superman review, I pointed out a lot of continuity errors and strange, unexplained alterations to well-established characters. Well,... if you watch the extended edition of the film, nearly all of those concerns are explained. They're explained succinctly in short little scenes or lines of dialog that were, inexplicably cut from the final film. But, to make room for what? The theatrical release was loaded from beginning to end with pieces that could have been lost to make room for these much needed expository parts. It makes no sense what they chose to keep and what they chose to cut, and those decisions left the movie feeling jumbled and disjointed.
When it comes to these illogical cuts, however... if Batman v Superman is missing a few fingers and toes, Suicide Squad is the multiple amputee who's basically just a half-torso with its head hanging on by a thin flap of skin.
This is the third film in the DCCU, and the third disappointing outing for the fledgling continuity.
Here's my prediction of what's going to happen...
With each release, they will continue to contradict their own decisions, as the balls they show in the hiring and casting process seem to mysteriously fall off when it comes time to edit these films together. As these deeply flawed products are released, one after another, the greater product (the DCCU) will only grow more and more conceptually convoluted as the mistakes stack-up and compound upon each other. Eventually, the spine of the greater story arc will snap under the pressure.
Watch for an announcement from Warner Brothers, sometime around Summer of 2019, of a full-reboot of the entire continuity.
WB has hired James Wan (writer/director of Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious) to helm Aquaman. He's said that he's going for a more horror-oriented take on the character that will play up the scary elements of the deep-sea. Sounds great, right? Well, if Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and now Suicide Squad have taught us anything, it's that his vision will likely be shot in the head, execution style during the editing process, due to the studio suddenly deciding to hammer his visionary-cut into a yes-man-cut via heavily-noted re-shoots and re-edits before it is released.
Prior to that, we've got the utterly tone-deaf non-actress Gal Gadot as Wonder-Woman. I don't think I'm going to bother reviewing it unless it somehow manages to be great.
For me, the DCCU is a dead-issue until the inevitable reboot. So, I won't be giving it any more time here, unless a miracle happens. Not going to hold my breath.
Again, I'm sorry this review is so negative. I don't like being this cynical about it. I really don't, but it's hard not to be when Warner Brothers keeps botching-up what should, by rights be Marvel Studios's worthy and challenging competition. It's tough, because as great as the Marvel movies are, and will likely continue to be,... I can't not realize that they'd be even greater if WB were offering some real competition.
But, yeah... don't waste your money on Suicide Squad.