Suicide Squad opens with our anti heroes tucked away in a hyper maximum-security environment. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is the woman responsible for successfully adding a hit man who’s never missed a shot, a beautiful psychotic with a propensity for extreme violence and a man who commits cutthroat crimes with his trusty boomerang to the list of current American intelligence assets. It’s not just about these three either; there are tons of new characters to meet.
First thing’s first, there’s Waller. She's ruthless, a master manipulator and incapable of empathy. She's thug life incarnate. Not only was she able to capture the misfits that eventually make up the Suicide Squad, she's also responsible for capturing the Enchantress. Enchantress is a an evil and powerful witch currently under Waller's control because Waller must control everything at all times. June Moon (Cara Delevingne) is the unfortunate archeologist who is currently possessed by the Enchantress and who is rolling deep with Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Rick Flag is the finest soldier that has ever lived. He reports directly to Waller.
In this corner of the DC Universe, Waller is dealing with the fallout from Superman’s death. National security is in a vulnerable place right now. What if the next terrorist attack comes from another meta-human with powers like Superman? Could you imagine the impact of such a thing? Waller explains her motivation and asks a room full of square jaws and broad chests (adorned with countless military ribbons) for the authority to put the Suicide Squad to work for her. She sees the squad as an opportunity to strengthen national security. Unmoved at first, they resist. But then Waller introduces them to the Enchantress. Once everyone in the room realizes the potential benefits of an asset that can teleport in record time, they change their tune.
No sooner is Waller cleared to move forward with her plan to make America safe again does Enchantress escape and immediately summon herself a co-villain.
Now, instead of using her Suicide Squad as a national safety net, Waller pulls them to get the Enchantress situation under control. Waller alone must have all the control. She does not have the patience to tolerate Enchantress’s delusions of manipulation. Suicide Squad is the story of Waller’s team of criminals attempting to survive not only the Enchantress but Waller as well. At least that's the most I managed to glean from watching this movie. The mission is to take down the Enchantress, but all I cared about was Harley Quinn and the Joker. While Robbie was great, there simply wasn't enough of the Joker (Jared Leto) to go around.
It doesn't sound good, but it wasn’t all bad. I swear. Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn is just as engaging as everyone’s been saying in their reviews. Robbie blends a perfectly portioned mixture of lovable, laughable and insane. In other words, she makes Harley Quinn relatable as hell, even with her ridiculously good looks. Will Smith gives Deadshot some depth and reminds everyone why we love Will Smith to begin with. His charisma shines like a beacon of hope through this mess of a story.
I even dug Jared Leto’s Joker. His portrayal feels a little over the top in places, but Leto makes all that drama palatable. No, he didn’t pull a Heath Ledger, but that’s fine. Look folks, I think it's time we level with ourselves and check our expectations. It’s unlikely anyone’s going to top Ledger any time soon. That's a once-in-a-generation type of performance. Leto’s Joker is a little more modern day glam with hints of old school unhinged. It was an interesting choice and I was intrigued, but sadly, I never got a chance to sink my teeth into his portrayal because the man only has a few minutes of screen time.
There was a moment during the movie when my interest floundered so hard that I started to get bored. I soon realized it was because I never got the chance to connect with any of the characters, not just Joker. Luckily, I managed to snap out of that funk rather quickly. Then, toward the end of the film, our merry band of lethal & lovable (?) misfits start referring to one another as family. They literally just met and David Ayer (Director) wants me to believe they're legitimately down for one another. Nope, not with their trust issues. This quirky bunch barely exchange more than a few sentences, and a series of one-liners does not a conversation make. They're barely associates, so I couldn't help but laugh when they called one another family.
Most of the time while watching this movie, I felt like the confused Travolta meme. Befuddled and desperate to understand what was unfolding just about covers it. I suppose it all boils down to something rather simple. There were just too many characters, subplots and back stories for the plot to make sense. Instead, a slice of the DC Universe was shoved into my face and smeared all around in the hopes that the good stuff would stick. Sadly, there just wasn't enough of the good stuff.
Suicide Squad - C-
C- = A whole lot of OK does not equal great or even good for that matter.