Suicide Squad Review

Gritty, emotionless nonsense seems to be a speciality of the half-hearted efforts of the DC Extended Universe. Panicked at the head start their rival conglomerates had when crafting a cinematic universe, Suicide Squad jumps the gun, as does Justice League. An ensemble of villains the hardcore comic community will no doubt know about, but the average audience member will know no such thing, and will never need to know. Nothing within this film is worth knowing or considering, and director David Ayer is in on the joke. Surely, he is. As that is the only convincing conclusion to come to when considering his, or the involvement of anyone for that matter, it is safer to consider Suicide Squad a massive practical joke, rather than a concept and creation people made consciously.

With Jared Leto’s hilariously poor performance, a cross between Jim Carrey’s vocal and physical presence and the cringe-inducing writing only Ayer could present, Suicide Squad provides a character that will appeal to a very slight, specific demographic. Those that have kidded themselves into believing Bohemian Rhapsody could sound good as a cover, or that the bond between two psychopaths with little character development could represent edgy romance. It is neither effective nor fun. The least one could hope for with an Ayer film would be the utilisation of a strong soundtrack that weaves the music into these relationships. Instead of that, the songs express what the dialogue should. Why explain or showcase a character is villainous when you can pop a bit of Sympathy for the Devil on? A jukebox set to random, you never know what pop-oriented classic Suicide Squad will throw up next.

Bland performances are the direct result of such an underwhelming script. Suicide Squad has moments that are identifiable with its intentions. Some scenes attempt to express emotion, parts which depict comedy, and a whole chunk dedicated solely to the backstory of characters you will most likely never again see in great detail. It is not worth the slog. Margot Robbie and Will Smith are ineffective here, succumbing to the deranged madness behind the scenes. Is it any coincidence that this bland, turgid piece of superhero shlock is produced by Zack Snyder? No, not particularly. His vision of a matte-grey background filled with unpolished losers comes through unscathed thanks to Ayer’s lack of coordination in the directing chair.

Relying on the soundtrack to tell the stories of its opening characters, rather than effective, fitting dialogue, Suicide Squad knows where its few strengths lie and stays far away from them. Its soundtrack represents the greatest hits approach Ayer takes, and in doing so has more montage moments than he does actual story. A Borderlands style of character introduction, each with an assigned song and setpiece, eventually coming together to vanquish a forgettable villain. Leto and company are embarrassingly poor, to the point where their performances should be locked away, far from the reaches of any soul that wishes to witness them. It is simply not worth it. Not in the slightest. Bland, emotionless, and worst of all, plain boring. It succeeds neither in coaxing care out of an audience for its characters, nor in shocking or derailing expectations. Exactly what you’d expected, and somehow far worse than that.

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