Suicide Squad

Dullest. Heroes. Ever

Film Review by Joseph Walsh | 05 Aug 2016
Film title: Suicide Squad
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Scott Eastwood, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Viola Davis
Release date: 5 Aug
Certificate: 15

After Zack Snyder’s abysmally bleak and lacklustre box office disappointment Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a lot is riding on David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, for fans and Warner Bros alike.

We have been barraged with madcap technicolour trailers, reshoot announcements and endless accounts of Jared Leto’s method approach to the Joker, with it widely reported he sent cast members everything from used condoms to live rats. Apart from the hype, many are hoping this will be the film to swoop in and save the DC Extended Universe from disaster.

Suicide Squad won’t be enough to convince naysayers. The results are messy as we jump from chaotic action sequence to even more chaotic action sequence within Midway City, intercut with Viola Davis as the scene-stealing stone cold government agent Amanda Waller, who is in charge of controlling Taskforce X, the code name for this bad-guy menagerie. There is a sense that Warner Bros have had to respond in rapid time to the hostile reaction to Dawn of Justice in a hope of saving the franchise, but these changes haven't stopped the film being crushingly dull and strewn with weak dialogue.

This latest instalment from the DCEU is, undoubtedly, an improvement on the grim misery of Dawn of Justice, yet the film suffers a common complaint of many an ensemble movie. Despite DC having a large canon of iconic bad guys at its disposal, much stronger than that of Marvel, these supervillains are tiringly two-dimensional, with their back stories played out like cut scenes from a video game. Each character is given time, but not enough for us to invest enough to care about their fate. 

There has been much excitement for Margot Robbie’s turn as Harley Quinn, despite her character coming across as a cross between Tank Girl and Barbie, and she's one of the film's bright spots. The fast-rising star gives a full-throttle performance, conveying Quinn’s gleeful love of anarchy in her desire to impress her Mr. Jay. Speaking of Leto’s appearance as a punk-inspired Joker, it is fleeting, and forgettable, whereas Will Smith, as the sharp-shooting, wise-cracking hitman Deadshot, reminds us of his lasting charm as an action-hero.

Outside these few vivid performances the story is thin, providing little more than a canvas on which the characters can run riot, ambling towards a tiresome final battle. The film struggles to find its footing, being neither as funny as it thinks it is nor dark enough to match the best DC comics. There will be plenty contained within to please diehard fans, but Suicide Squad is a hollow addition to this summer’s blockbusters.

Released by Warner Bros