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Suicide Squad (2016)

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Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad.jpg
This movie is the exact opposite of what David Ayer originally envisioned.
Genre: Superhero
Directed By: David Ayer
Produced By: Charles Roven
Richard Suckle
Written By: David Ayer
Based On: Characters
by DC Entertainment
Starring: Will Smith
Jared Leto
Margot Robbie
Joel Kinnaman
Viola Davis
Jai Courtney
Jay Hernandez
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Ike Barinholtz
Scott Eastwood
Cara Delevingne
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Roman Vasyanov
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: August 1, 2016 (Beacon Theatre)
August 5th, 2016 (United States)
Runtime: 123 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $175 million
Box Office: $746.8 million
Prequel: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (chronologically)
Sequel: Wonder Woman (by release)
Birds of Prey (spin-off)
The Suicide Squad (standalone sequel)


Note: Not to be confused with James Gunn's 2021 film The Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad is a 2016 American superhero crime comedy film based on the DC Comics supervillain/anti-hero team of the same name. It is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film premiered in New York City on August 1, 2016, and was released in the United States in RealD 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D on August 5, 2016. It was followed by the spin-off film Birds of Prey, starring Robbie, in 2020, with critics considering improvement, but audiences did not, and was followed by the standalone sequel The Suicide Squad in 2021, with Robbie, Kinnaman, Davis, and Courtney returning, with many critics and audiences considering major improvement.

Plot

It feels good to be bad...Assemble a team of the world's most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren't picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it's every man for himself?

Why It's Suicidal

  1. Executive meddling: Based on the initial reveal trailer, Suicide Squad was supposed to have a dark tone similar to the other DC Extended Universe movies, but after heavy backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and positive reception towards Marvel's Deadpool as well as the trailers, Warner Bros. mandated a large number of changes and reshoots to make the movie closer to the trailers. In particular, WB decided to have the studio that made the following trailers, 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 had initially directed. In fact, Ayer felt that his cut "had never been seen", the initial reveal trailer displaying his vision and that what was intended to be a "soulful drama" was beaten by WB into a comedy.[1]
  2. Weird and 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.
  3. A waste of a great concept about a group of supervillains begrudgingly teaming up to fight a greater threat. 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.
  4. Too much exposition. The main characters are introduced at least three times, while the unimportant characters just randomly appear with zero introduction and barely any backstory.
  5. Most of the characters in the movie are completely useless, forgettable, 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 and there isn't much interaction between the other characters, either. Examples include:
    • Deadshot is barely even a villain and more closer to a superhero, the only reason he's evil is because he wants Batman dead.
    • Slipknot has no character whatsoever and gets blown up at the very start of the Squad's mission less than 10 minutes after his introduction. His death was even foreshadowed due to him never appearing in the trailers.
    • Katana randomly walks in mid-movie, is given a one-sentence backstory by Rick Flag and then does next-to-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 soldier guy whose only defining 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 bland compared to her comic book counterpart as her "crazy" persona is far more cartoonishly over-the-top and inconsistent.
    • There's a prison guard named Griggs who is established as abusive to the Squad members. He's 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 Enchantress' rampage was entirely her own fault, then all she does for the rest of the movie is try to cover up her involvement with Enchantress.
    • Enchantress is a generic and unconvincing primary villain with a really vague plan.
  6. 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 battle Enchantress, who was originally supposed to be part of the squad. Since she betrays them 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 for creating the squad was to have them take on threats that the now-deceased Superman was originally supposed to handle. However, almost none of the candidates have any special powers, making them completely unqualified to fight a Superman-level threat.
    • Enchantress was able to find the army's satellite easily by using Amanda Waller's mind, this is a very stupid scene because not only is it more than unlikely for Amanda to know the exact location of the satellite, but the movie is acting as if the mind is like a flash drive.
    • Batman came to bring the villains to Waller so that they could fight the "threat". Wouldn't it made more sense if Batman (AKA the actual superhero who fights danger) fought that "threat" or at least joined or led them?
  7. 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. How stupid and confusing is that?
  8. False advertising: The Joker was very hyped and over-marketed 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 screentime and relevance to the plot due to most of his scenes being cut in post-production.
  9. Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker was rather underwhelming, as he acts more like an edgy wannabe gangster than an insane sociopath. He intended to method act like Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight, but ended up failing miserably. In fact, many critics thought he took himself too seriously for a character who barely takes himself seriously.
    • Leto's portrayal would later be subjected to heavier criticism after Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar-winning take on the character in 2019's Joker and Jared Leto's Joker would be a lot more likable in Zack Snyder's Justice League five years after this movie.
  10. Although the soundtrack is good as mentioned down below, the movie overuses popular songs that often don't fit the situation or context of some scenes in the movie.
    • For example, "You Don't Own Me" plays as an introduction for Harley Quinn, even though she wears a jacket that states "Property of the Joker".
    • At least 3 different songs are used within the first 10 minutes.
  11. It was widely speculated that those songs mentioned above were shoehorned in because the trailers used them too and were well-received, as well as the popularity of movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool. You can't use them if they don't fit the tone of the movie!
  12. Despite being convicts and felons, the Suicide Squad members are barely characterized as being affably evil, or even anti-heroic. The characters constantly have to point out that they're evil just to remind the audience that they're evil.
  13. Neon-heavy visuals that don't blend well with the overly dark scenes, most of which take place at night.
  14. Cartoonish-looking CGI. This is why most of the film takes place at night.
  15. Harley Quinn's backstory is extremely disturbing for a PG-13 movie. In fact, many critics and audiences thought the movie should've been R-rated.
  16. In most incarnations and in most of the original comics, 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 Harley, which is very jarring.
  17. At the very end of the movie, all of the surviving squad members except for Harley Quinn, Rick Flag and Katana are back in prison and Amanda Waller is still a corrupt government official, making the whole movie utterly pointless since nothing changed from the beginning.
  18. Weak direction by David Ayer due to reshoots.
  19. The PG-13 rating means a lot of the violence is downplayed.
  20. The pacing isn't that great.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Both Deadshot and El Diablo have very touching backstories on paper, even if the execution wasn't that great.
  2. The cast is good with even the often-questioned Jai Courtney delivering an entertaining performance as Captain Boomerang and the merciless Katana played by Karen Fukuhara. For example:
    • Courtney's performance was so well-received by fans that he ended up being one of the few cast members from this film to be brought back for James Gunn's 2021 standalone sequel.
    • Margot Robbie was a really good choice for Harley Quinn, so much so that she received a spin-off in the form of Birds of Prey (albeit it ended up being arguably even worse or at least better than this movie).
    • Despite being racebended and kind of miscast, Will Smith did a good job playing Deadshot, who is portrayed as a sympathetic father rather than an selfless low-key assassin who just wants to see his daughter again and cares much about her.
      • This has led to director James Gunn not replace him in the sequel, The Suicide Squad, in the hopes that he returns again one day.
  3. Amazing soundtrack composed by Steven Price. There's some good songs, with "Sucker for Pain", "Heathens" and "Purple Lamborghini" being the most notable.
  4. The action, although they are not so exciting, is decent, despite the poor CGI and dark places.
  5. The make-up effects such as the Joker, Harley Quinn, and Killer Croc weren't actually that bad. In fact, it led the movie to win an Academy Award for "Best Hair and Makeup", so that's quite an achievement.
  6. The trailers are amazing along with the Comic Con version that featured David Ayer's scenes not found in the final film.
  7. Great cinematography.

Reception

Suicide Squad was not well-received by critics. While critics praised the movie for its cast and make-up effects, they heavily criticized the plot, direction, editing and characters. It holds a 28% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, being the lowest-rated movie in the DCEU there (yes, even lower than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) 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 apologized to fans, saying that the Joker was originally going to be the main antagonist and was demoted to a minor character due to the rushed, chaotic production.

Despite the terrible reviews, the movie was a financial success, and it even won an Academy Award for "Best Hair and Makeup", making it the first film in the DCEU to win an Academy Award.

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 standalone sequel with very few connections to the first one.

Trivia

  • David Ayer's original cut, dubbed "the Ayer Cut", has received a huge amount of fan support after the announcement of Zack Snyder's Justice League, a 4-hour director's cut of Justice League.
  • The reason Killer Croc doesn't appear much is more than likely due to Killer Croc wasn't meant to be in the movie in the first place, King Shark was supposed to be in it but was replaced with Killer Croc due to the fact that King Shark will need to be 100% CGI.

References

Videos

External links

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