5 bad things about Suicide Squad


After what felt like an eternity of hype and all the pressure in the world from fans to drag the DC Cinematic Universe out of the trenches dug so deep by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is finally here. Comic book fans will get to see a scene-stealing live-action incarnation of one of the most popular comic book characters of the past few years, Harley Quinn, as portrayed by Margot Robbie, along with an incredibly acted version of Deadshot courtesy of Will Smith.

Compared to other movies in the DC universe like Man of Steel or Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is a home run… but unfortunately, I am not a DC fanboy and if you can remove yourself from the mom goggles that undoubtedly many people will be watching this movie and break it down for what it is, you will see that there are many things Suicide Squad has done wrong. There are many gripes, but I have narrowed it down to only the top 5 bad things about Suicide Squad.

5. The Juggalo Joker


Whether you love or hate Jared Leto’s Joker, chances are you feel pretty strongly one way or the other. After the screening I had a chance to talk to both regular movie enthusiasts as well as fellow critics. When I would ask about the Joker, I was either met with fervent enthusiasm for how incredible he was or an absolute look of disgust and horror. You essentially get in this movie what you saw in the trailers. He played a bigger part in Suicide Squad than I had anticipated, but most of his scenes were relatively short and were nowhere near the Joker masterclass that was Heath Ledger. I feel like the Joker we have now is equal parts Lil Wayne, Malibu’s Most Wanted, and Juggalo. While the Joker was in the Suicide Squad a whole lot, he mainly served as a vehicle for us to learn more about Harley Quinn. In quite a few ways we are left with more questions about this incarnation of the Joker than we have answers.

4. The Villain

enchantress suicide squad

In a movie full of protagonist villains, there has got to be a lot of pressure on the actual antagonist villain… who in this case happened to be Enchantress. She felt like a fish out of water and way too overpowered from the get-go to be a believable threat for the Suicide Squad. It’s one of those dicey film situations where you are left wondering why she didn’t just use her crazy witch powers and speed to snap everyone’s necks who were trying to thwart her grand master plan, or at the very least teleport them far away and deal with them later. Her motivations were not very clear cut and her master plan was a little ridiculous. I think wanted to build a ‘machine’ to destroy the world because humans worship machines now and don’t worship her and her brother like they used to. So she spends most of the movie performing a ritual to create a giant spire of smoke and garbage that can shoot lightning at things. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, you are normal. If you are trying to type a comment right now explaining the entirety of the villain’s plot, please feel free to waste your time. I wish they had chosen a less sheer powerful villain and one(s) that would have made for more interesting fights.

3. Selective Bullets


I fully understand the necessity for suspension of disbelief in movies, especially comic book films. Sometimes though these movies just do some stuff that is so ridiculous, you are just left scratching your head. In The Amazing Spider-Man, when nerdy Peter Parker dunks a basketball from pretty much half court and breaks the hoop right around the exact same time, this new Spider-Man fella shows up into town, and nobody even thinks to start question the fact that this high school kid is capable of landing dunks better than Lebron… it’s concerning. In this movie I call so much shenanigans when it comes to selective bullets. What bugged me about was that if you were not a member of the Suicide Squad, your bullets were in fact not bullets. Instead they were shooting tickles and hugs. Rounds and rounds of gunfire were unloaded into the faceless evil minions taking literally zero effect, meanwhile, if you were a member of the Suicide Squad, especially Harley Quinn or Deadshot, not only did your bullets have incendiary-like properties, but you also have unlimited ammo!

2. Too Much Licensed Music


Here is one of my biggest issues with Suicide Squad. I love a good licensed music track in a movie. Guardians of the Galaxy used licensed music to create depth in storytelling in the comic book genre better than any other. The Galaxy playlist was so awesome it even charted when the soundtrack was released. With that in mind, it feels like in many ways, Suicide Squad was trying to imitate Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s use of music in many ways. The usage of popular licensed tracks in the trailer as well as during key plot points. The problem is that Suicide Squad took a great film technique and ran it into the ground. The songs weren’t even bad, but just like the movie itself, the song choices were all over the place and made no sense. These include “Fortunate Son” by CCR, “Without Me” by Eminem, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and even “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum (which also appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy). There was just too much too often and after a while the overuse of licensed music was much more of an eye-rolling distraction than it was a useful storytelling tool.

1. It just Tries too Hard


To sum up the problems I have with Suicide Squad: It just tries too hard. It tries way too hard to be funny. It tries way too hard to fit one hundred character arcs and backstories in one movie. It tries too hard to appear edgy. It tries too hard to get people hyped for Justice League. It tries too hard to be the DC equivalent of Guardians of the Galaxy. It wants to be liked so much that half way through the movie looks completely transparent.

All that said I actually enjoyed the movie. As someone who loves comics and comic book movies, I hate hard, but I love harder. There were so many redeeming qualities in this movie. I absolutely adored the portrayal of Amanda Waller by Viola Davis. I thought Will Smith and Margot Robbie were fantastic. I love how the Joker’s relationship wasn’t as disturbingly abusive as it is in many of the comics and how you do feel a general love for one another throughout the course of the movie, and as far as DC movies have gone in recent history, it is the best. I realize saying that Suicide Squad is the best DCEU movie is sort of like calling Khloe the smartest Kardashian sister… but take it for what it is.

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