Suicide Squad is a 2016 Superhero crime comedy film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name. It is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe.
In the aftermath of Superman's death, intelligence officer Amanda Waller convinces Washington D.C. officials to allow her to assemble 'Task Force X', a team of dangerous criminals imprisoned at Belle Reve Special Security Barracks. The team consists of elite hitman Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutant Killer Croc, and specialized assassin Slipknot. They are placed under the command of Colonel Rick Flag to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government. Each member has a nanite bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.
One of Waller's intended recruits is Flag's girlfriend Dr. June Moone, an archaeologist possessed by a demonic witch-goddess known as the "Enchantress". She quickly turns on Waller, deciding to eradicate humankind with a mystical weapon for imprisoning her. She besieges Midway City by transforming its populace into a horde of monsters, and summons her brother Incubus to assist her. Waller then deploys the squad to extract a high-profile mark from Midway, which is reported to be under a terrorist attack. Joining them is Katana, a Japanese swordswoman.
Harley's homicidal lover, the Joker, finds out about her predicament and tortures Belle Reve Security Officer Griggs into leading him to the facility where the nanite bombs are made. There, he blackmails Dr. Van Criss into disabling Harley's bomb. On approach, the squad's helicopter is shot down, forcing them to proceed on foot to their target. Boomerang, wanting to find out if Flag isn't bluffing about the nano bombs, tricks Slipknot into trying to escape by convincing him that the bombs are a ruse to keep them in check; Slipknot attempts to escape and Flag kills him via his nanite bomb, confirming Boomerang's suspicions. The squad is attacked by Enchantress' minions several times until they eventually fight their way through to a safe room, where they learn that their mark is Waller herself, who is attempting to cover up her involvement in Enchantress' siege.
The squad escorts Waller to a rooftop for extraction, but the arriving helicopter has been hijacked by the Joker and his men, who open fire on the squad while Harley climbs aboard upon Dr. Van Criss disarming the bomb. However, Waller's men shoot down the helicopter, and Harley falls out while the Joker is presumed dead, after which Harley rejoins the squad. Alerted to Waller's whereabouts, Enchantress' minions arrive and kidnap her. Deadshot finds Waller's confidential files and learns the truth about Enchantress. Flag is then forced to confess the truth, causing the squad members to abandon him. With Waller compromised, Flag relieves the squad of their mission, but chooses to continue. Realizing they have an opportunity to prove themselves, they soon rejoin him and locate Enchantress at a partially-flooded subway station. Killer Croc and a group of Navy SEALs, led by Lieutenant GQ Edwards, go underwater to plant a bomb underneath Incubus. El Diablo embraces his abilities and distracts Incubus long enough for the bomb to detonate underneath, killing them both as well as Edwards.
The remaining squad members battle Enchantress together, but are ultimately overpowered. Enchantress offers to fulfill their deepest desires in exchange for their allegiance, and Harley feigns interest in order to get close enough to cut out Enchantress' heart. Killer Croc then throws explosives into Enchantress' weapon and Deadshot shoots them, destroying the device. Flag takes Enchantress' heart and crushes it, finally freeing June from the curse. Waller, still alive, emerges, and the squad members are returned to Belle Reve with ten years off their sentences. All but Captain Boomerang are allowed special privileges. The Joker, alive and unscathed, breaks into the penitentiary and rescues Harley.
In a mid-credits scene, Waller meets with Bruce Wayne, who agrees to protect her from the backlash against her role in Enchantress' rampage in exchange for access to the government's files on the expanding metahuman community.
Why It Sucks
- Executive Meddling: Based on the initial reveal trailer, Suicide Squad was supposed to be a grim movie similar to the other DC Extended Universe movies, but after the backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the positive reception the Bohemian Rhapsody trailers received, Warner Bros. mandated a large amount of changes and reshots to make the movie closer to the trailers. In particular, WB mandated to have the studio that made the trailer, which is known mostly for music videos, recut the movie in a very rushed way. As a result, the movie released in theaters hardly resembles the movie that David Ayer intially had directed.
- Abysmal editing that constantly jumps from scene to scene with zero flow as if it were a music video rather than a movie (see above) and makes plot points and supposed twists come out of nowhere or leaves threads completely unresolved.
- A waste of a great concept about a group of supervillains teaming up against their will. The idea of having criminals as anti-heroes could've been good, but they just save the world from some generic world-ending threat like every other regular superhero.
- The main characters are introduced at least three times, while the unimportant characters just randomly appear with zero introduction and barely any backstory. For that matter, most characters in the movie are completely useless and severely underutilized to the point that they feel like afterthoughts. Deadshot, Harley Quinn and El Diablo are the only characters in the entire movie with any sort of character development, there isn't much interaction between the other characters either. Examples include:
- Slipknot has no character whatsoever and dies at the very start of the Squad's mission less than 10 minutes after his introduction. His death was even teased due to him never appearing in the trailers.
- Katana randomly walks in mid-movie, is given a one-sentence backstory by another character, and then does nothing for the rest of the movie.
- Captain Boomerang only throws three boomerangs in the movie, and only one of them comes back after being thrown.
- Rick Flag is a completely generic forgettable soldier whose only trait is that he's dating the Enchantress' human host.
- Killer Croc's only contribution to the movie is swimming underwater for a few seconds of screen time and often goes for over 20 minutes without a single line of dialogue.
- Harley Quinn is overly sexualized and her "crazy" persona is cartoonishly over the top and inconsistent.
- There's a prison guard named Griggs who is established as abusive to the Squad members, he is foreshadowed to be punished for his abusive actions, but is then randomly disposed of with zero payoff.
- Amanda Waller is utterly incompetent, the team she assembled is mostly unqualified to deal with otherworldly threats, and the Enchantress' rampage was entirely her own fault, then all she does for the rest of the movie trying to cover up her involvement with the Enchantress.
- Enchantress is a generic and unconvincing villain with a really vague plan.
- Due to production problems, the script was written in just 6 weeks, as a result the plot feels very rushed and confusing and has major plot holes:
- The movie tell us the Suicide Squad is formed in order to fight a "threat", but they eventually have to counter Enchantress' plan, who was planned to be part of the squad. Since she rebels only after the squad was already established, we never get to know what the "threat" the Suicide Squad was intended to fight was.
- Amanda Waller's motivation to create the squad was to have a response against an evil Superman, but almost none of the candidates have any special powers, making them completely unqualified to fight a Superman level threat.
- The Squad members don't trust anyone and even try to get each other killed at the start of the mission, then randomly become close friends who work as a team with zero build up towards it other than the scene in the bar.
- Batman came to bring the villains to Waller so that they could fight the "threat", wouldn't it made more sense if Batman (you know, the superhero who fights danger) fought that "threat" or at least joined or lead them?
- The Joker was hyped in advertising and trailers made it seem like he would be the main antagonist, yet in the final cut he was just a minor character with little relevance to the plot due to most of his scenes being cut in post-production. Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker was rather underwhelming, as he acts more like an edgy street punk than an insane Sociopath.
- The movie overuses popular songs that often don't fit the situation or tone of the movie.
- For example, "You Don't Own Me" plays as an introduction for Harley Quinn, even though she wears a jacket labeled "Property of the Joker".
- At least 3 different songs are used within the first 10 minutes.
- It was widely speculated that those songs were shoehorned in because the trailers used them too and were well-received and due to the popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Despite being convicts, the Suicide Squad members are barely characterized as being affably evil, or even anti-heroic (like Deadpool, released that same year). The characters constantly have to point out that they're evil just to remind the audience that they're evil.
- Neon-heavy visuals that don't blend well with the overly dark scenes, most of which take place at night.
- Cartoonish-looking CGI. This is why most of the film takes place at night.
- Harley Quinn's backstory is extremely disturbing for a PG-13 movie.
- In most incarnations, The Joker treats Harley as a meaningless slave, in this movie however their relationship is heavily romanticized with the Joker spending most of the movie trying to rescue Harely, which is very jarring.
- At the very end of the movie, all the squad members besides Harley Quinn are back to prison and Amanda Waller is still a corrupt goverment officer, making the whole movie pointless because nothing changed from the beginning.
- Both Deadshot and El Diablo have very touching backstories on paper, even if the execution wasn't that great.
- The cast is good, with even the often-questioned Jai Courtney delivering an entertaining performance despite the uselessness of his character. .
- Amazing soundtrack. With examples being "Heathens" and "Purple Lamborgini".
- The action is decent.
Suicide Squad was panned by critics and holds a 28% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.8 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing." Critic Colin Covert of Minneapolis Star Tribune stated in his review "This is what happens when the comic book fanboys have taken over the asylum. It is damaged goods from the get-go, the kind of film grown in a petri dish in Hollywood."
Director David Ayer later stated that he regretted not making the Joker the main villain, which happened due to the rushed chaotic production.
Despite the terrible reviews, the movie was was a financial success.
A large amount of reviewers described the movie as "A Guardians of the Galaxy knock-off". Ironically, James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, was hired to make a new Suicide Squad film. Due to Warner Brother's efforts to soft-reboot the DC Extended Universe into the "Worlds of DC", the new Suicide Squad film directed by James Gunn will be a full reboot without any connection to the first one.