‘Where are Batman and Wonder Woman in all this?’ I thought to myself as a highly noticeable, CG storm proceeded to lay waste to the planet. Superman is dead (for now), but you’d expect the other two thirds of the trio to be slightly concerned by all the exploding taking place. The obvious answer is they weren’t invited. Even though they’d probably get the job done a whole lot quicker (and with more flamboyance), this mission is for expendable, criminal scum only.
Enter Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje), the incarcerated antiheroes assigned to fight the witch (Cara Delevingne) conjuring the generic, blue swirly stuff in the sky. Led by military man Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), they’ve been brought together by U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) as a means of fighting off nasty metahumans. But here’s the hilarious part: by forming this ‘Suicide Squad’, she’s actually created the threat.
Even if you ignore that clichéd setup and the good superheroes supposedly being on holiday, there’s still plenty to make comic book fans pinch the bridge of their nose in Batman v Superman-esque frustration. Flashbacks and cameos are crammed in, which is detrimental to Jared Leto’s Joker, who is as inconsequential as flatulence in a hurricane. It also means we don’t get as much time with each squad member as we should. Deadshot and Harley Quinn naturally get the most attention – the latter stealing the show in the process – but Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang might as well be knitting in the corner.
Structurally, it’s as deranged as some of its characters. The film gets off to a strong start with some enjoyable how-they-ended-up-in-jail montages, but then director David Ayer adopts Zack Snyder’s habit of erratically pacing and stuffing, like an overindulgent child. That puerile influence might explain the bewildering amount of pop songs used in place of a proper soundtrack. Eminem’s ‘Without Me’ being a particularly distressing inclusion.
So perhaps it’s for the best that Affleck’s Batman is sunbathing in the Costa del Sol. I can’t imagine him being backed by Bohemian Rhapsody while punching villains who actually say ‘brah’.
Long-time survivor of birth with three years' experience in film and entertainment writing. Somehow published with two of the UK's biggest newspapers – The Telegraph and The Times. My alternative style of film, TV and game criticism (hopefully) offers readers a different and amusing way to read about the world of entertainment. I reside in the greyness of London, so I'm a bit miserable. You can follow me on Twitter @CMEcontent.