There are two things to know before walking into the theater to see David Ayer’s Suicide Squad:
- The movie has more love and care put into its first 30 minutes than Ghostbusters had in its entirety, yet critics rewarded Paul Feig with 73 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes compared to 27 percent for Ayer.
- Suicide Squad is a frustrating mess — particularly its last 30 minutes.
For those who have been living under a rock for the past year, the story goes as follows:
- Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is tasked by the U.S. government to put together a team of really nasty people — some who are “meta-humans” — who are willing to confront comparably twisted threats.
- Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Slipknot (Adam Beach) are “recruited” (i.e., captured) for the job. Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Col. Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) take part in their big mission to keep them honest.
- Waller’s key asset, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), goes off the reservation, and before long a Ghostbusters-esque scene clears out an entire city.
- The Joker (Jared Leto) is on a mission to rescue Quinn from Waller’s clutches.
This sounds like a solid movie, right? It is — at times — and the soundtrack is amazing. The problem for Suicide Squad, however, is that at some point it becomes obvious that the train is going to derail.
Perhaps the best example of how much Suicide Squad unravels over two hours comes with the supposed death of a key character. This person, for all intents and purposes, is seen during the climatic battle in very, very, very bad shape. After the crew saves the world, however, this person magically appears without a scratch — not one hair out of place — while wearing a spotless set of clothes.
“How are you not dead?” Deadshot asks.
The audience receives no answer.
Note to David Ayer: Just because you acknowledge a giant plot hole, it doesn’t make the hole go away.
Oddly enough, the one thing that probably could have made Suicide Squad a better movie would have been to leave the Joker out of it and save him for a showdown with Ben Affleck’s Batman. Jared Leto did not have the screen time needed to shine and his mission to save Harley had no impact on the plot.
Mr. Ayer should have used the Joker’s creative real estate to tighten up his script because the finished product is another mixed bag for Warner Bros. at a time when it needs an undeniable classic.
I suggest seeing Suicide Squad, but you do not want to pay full price. If you see it on an early Saturday or Sunday morning, then you won’t feel as though you wasted money.
Editor’s Note: No one working for Warner Bros. should be yelling “F**k Marvel,” and they really shouldn’t be copping an attitude until their superhero track record improves. It becomes difficult to show any sympathy for Mr. Ayer when this is the way he behaves on the big stage.