Review: Suicide Squad (USA 2016)

Based on the critical reaction, I went to this with very low expectations, and the film lived down to every single one. The first third of the film is a series of progressively less interesting introductions, the overarching plot is completely uninteresting, and not one of the characters pops. I love the old John Ostrander-Kim Yale Suicide Squad comics from the 80s and 90s. They took the chicken shit of DC’s goofy pre-Crisis villains and turn them into the chicken salad of a brilliantly vicious, character-based action and espionage book. Unfortunately, other than taking one of the lamest plot lines from that series, this film borrows far more heavily from the Harley Quinn-starring reboot of the last few years, which has largely been a disappointing mess.

Will Smith is entirely boring as Deadshot (reconceptualized in recent years from a fascinating nihilist into a bland mensch), Margot Robbie is all wacky hijinks and ass shots, and Jared Leto is punchably annoying as the Joker. Viola Davis should have had the most meat to work with as the fascinating Amanda Waller, but the film never gives her any kind of logical motivation or background, and she is left to wander in and out of the movie in a confusing fashion. This was basically a bigger budget Uwe Boll film.

1 1/2 out of 4 stars (Below average).

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