‘Suicide Squad’ review: Yawns and whimpers

Oggs Cruz
‘Suicide Squad’ review: Yawns and whimpers
'What makes 'Suicide Squad' so frustrating is that there is actually promise in its core idea. Ayer, however, squanders it by resorting to cheap thrills and familiar storylines,' writes movie critic Oggs Cruz

David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is a joke, a very expensive joke.

No, it isn’t the joke that its trailer-makers borrowed from the lovely Bee Gees 1968 song – the joke that started the whole world crying. For the movie to move people to tears, it would have to at least produce something that resembles feelings. Suicide Squad doesn’t. It only stirs yawns and whimpers. ([READ] Movie reviews: What critics are saying about ‘Suicide Squad’)


Empty posturing

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

 Not even Will Smith’s oddly charismatic turn as sharpshooting assassin Deadshot can make you care for Ayer’s team of evildoers who are suddenly recruited by the government to become expendable mercenaries. The problem isn’t really with the actors and their performances. They all do what they’re called to do, which is wear silly outfits and make themselves nearly unrecognizable through a mix of facial hair, make-up, prosthetics, and digital effects. (READ: ‘Suicide Squad’ fans demand closure of Rotten Tomatoes)

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

The problem lies squarely with the creative bankruptcy that pervades the genre Hollywood is currently so attached to. The awfulness of Suicide Squad is symptomatic of how broadly repetitive things are when it comes to the profitable business of making films about superheroes and worlds in distress.

Its conceit of carving heroes out of characters that are traditionally depicted as villains is all empty posturing.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

Deadshot, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and the rest of their team aren’t villains. Sure, they’re portrayed as psychotic, and probably dangerous given that they are gifted with talents and skills that make them superhuman. However, the bleakness of their morality is never fully explored. The lousy writing prevents the movie’s audience from delving deeper into what makes the characters evil, rendering what would have been a clever concept of turning amoral characters into unwilling saints lackluster and useless.

Incoherent and messy

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

This is mostly due to the fact that Suicide Squad is too busy pushing for fun and quirks, rendering it incoherent and messy. The film preoccupies itself with too many things that do not really add anything to the movie. The jokes are rarely funny. Joker (Jared Leto, who unintentionally outdoes Heath Ledger in rendering the famous villain utterly dismal) is a downer. The songs are cheesy. The visuals, drab.

The story is haphazardly told.

It begins with a neat-enough rundown of the baddies to be exploited by the government, represented here by shady bureaucrat Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Each of the characters is given his respective story, the length of which seemingly dependent not on the importance of the character in the plot but on how big the star playing the character is.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

The movie plods along clumsily, navigating itself through a storyline involving an ageless witch (Cara Delevingne) and her mission to steal back her heart, wake her brother, and take vengeance on a humanity that has forgotten to worship them. So essentially, the bad guys save the world from spectacular destruction. If this sounds familiar, it is only because this is the same narrative that almost all superhero flicks have abused for profit’s sake.

Sham conceit

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

What makes Suicide Squad so frustrating is that there is actually promise in its core idea. Ayer, however, squanders it by resorting to cheap thrills and familiar storylines. Its ambition of painting the most untrustworthy of comic book characters as gray and broken is quickly abandoned for formula.

Again, the conceit’s but a sham. It’s the same junk all over again. – Rappler.com

Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas’ ‘Tirad Pass.’ Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema. Profile photo by Fatcat Studios

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