OP-ROB RATING: BUST
“Suicide Squad” is a DC Comics film directed by David Ayer and starring an ensemble cast headlined by Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis. In the wake of Superman’s demise, a ruthless Intelligence Operative named Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) proposes an idea to assemble a team of villains to combat the next inevitable disaster. The strategy is similar to combatting cancer; her team of destructive villains is the radiation treatment. Despite obvious concerns from government higher-ups, Waller gets the go ahead for her “suicide squad” when an evil witch named “Enchantress” (Cara Delevingne) escapes captivity and begins destroying Midway City.
Waller handpicks several individuals including Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot (Will Smith) a skilled sniper and hit man, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) a psychopathic killer, Diablo (Jay Hernandez) a Mexican gangster with powerful pyrotechnic abilities and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) a cannibalistic man-crocodile. To contain the volatile team Waller employs Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a cocky special forces leader with extensive field experience. After a head-spinning number of introductory scenes, the squad is sent into Midway City to neutralize the Enchantress.
A prominent subplot in “Suicide Squad” involves the Joker, portrayed by Jared Leto. As Harley Quinn’s boyfriend, the Joker is central to her backstory and introduction. When the squad arrives in Midway City, the Joker is there to try and break Harley out of the group and away from captivity. Compared to portrayals of the character by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger in other movies, Leto's is disappointing. Perhaps the underwhelming performance is inevitable, given the legendary status of the formerly mentioned actors. More of an erratic mob boss/gangster than genuine psychopath, the Joker in “Suicide Squad” mostly struts around in an over-stylized costume and mumbles formulaic lines. Having said that, the Joker is an entirely tangential character in the movie, so it is hard to judge Leto’s performance with certainty.
The most puzzling and ultimately damning problem with "Suicide Squad" is that it doesn't deliver on its central promise: that these characters are villains. Villains, if you didn’t already know, are supposed to be bad. In reality, not one of the seven members of the squad is actually an evil individual. Deadshot is a very reasonable hit man and a genuinely caring father. There are several scenes, which are the finest in the movie, in which Deadshot spends time with his daughter. Killer Croc would probably be a regular guy if not for his horrific mutation. Even Harley is just one bad boyfriend away from being a model citizen. In a strange dream sequence Harley envisions her ideal life as a domesticated mother and housewife with the Joker as a clean looking guy in a suit. Of the entire squad Diablo is probably the most evil given his past as a gang lord, but even he has a conscious so powerful that he refuses to use his powers for the first two thirds of the movie.
The main selling point (“Worst. Heroes. Ever.”) of the movie is so false that the whole thing feels like a big gyp. In one scene, the squad puts the mission on hold and visits a deserted bar in downtown Midway. While sitting around and having drinks, these supposed "super-villains" confess to each other and share deeply personal stories. Flag joins the sob fest and mopes about his girlfriend problems. At the end of the pity party, the squad decides they will do the right thing and save the city together. As it turns out the only truly wicked character aside from Enchantress is Amanda Waller. Deadshot directly points this out after she murders several employees and he mutters to Flag, "yeah, and I'm the bad guy".
“Suicide Squad” is a stark reminder that Marvel sets the gold standard for the genre. A few months ago I went and saw “Captain America: Civil War”. At the time, I felt it was pretty average and had felt the same way about preceding “Captain America” and “Avenger” films as well as “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. At a certain point the superhero formula gets old. However, Marvel films are always well written, and at the very worst feel lukewarm. DC Comics has been playing catch-up with the Marvel machine, and “Suicide Squad” is yet another ramshackle production that wastes its actors’ talents and audience’s time. With a slew of DC Comics films set to release over the next few years, one has to wonder if life is too short to waste on another one not directed by a guy named Nolan.
 RIP Paul Allen. Cameo of the year