The Suicide Squad poster
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Let me begin this Suicide Squad review by saying, “there is an audience for every movie.” Sometimes you’re part of the audience, where you’re able to enjoy the film and give it at least a decent review. Sometimes you’re not. Unfortunately this time, I was not part of the audience for The Suicide Squad. 

For this Suicide Squad review, a MASSIVE spoiler alert applies to the entire thing. I’m serious, we’re talking major plot points. You’ve been warned! 

Starting off with a bang 

Mongal, Javelin, Captain Boomerang, Savant, and Rick Flag at Belle Reve prison.

The “getting the team together” scene at Belle Reve prison was actually really enjoyable. Although pretty expedited, it gave us a great introduction to our new characters and at least some of their motivations. I walked into this film excited to meet these characters, and to see one of my faves from the previous film (Captain Boomerang, portrayed by Jai Courtney) finally get in on the action. In my own opinion, he was grossly underutilized in the first film. 

So imagine my surprise when all but 2 of the characters we start the film with die within the first 10-15 minutes. INCLUDING CAPTAIN BOOMERANG. It may be that his death (and the opening sequence in general) clouded my judgment for the rest of the film because I understand using that team as a distraction so the other team can sneak in quietly. Using all but 2 of that team as pretty much cannon fodder just didn’t sit right with me as a viewer, even though yes realistically this is a film about sending villains on suicide missions. 

Also, I understand that the fact that the Weasel drowns is supposed to be funny, but it didn’t land with me. I felt that more than a few times throughout, unfortunately. Perhaps I need to rewatch sans-note-taking in order to have the jokes land when they’re supposed to (if the moments in question were supposed to be funny.)

Finding the Plot 

Polka Dot Man, Peacemaker, Bloodsport, and Ratcatcher 2 in the jungle.

If I get one point across in this Suicide Squad review, I hope it’s this: the idea was there, but the film goes all over the place from where we started to where we end. I just have so many questions on why certain things happened, because they don’t seem to serve any narrative purpose. When they shoot all the people in the rebel camp they happen to shoot a man who for some reason steps out of his tent naked from the waist down, was that supposed to be funny?  I understood the need for a pissing contest between Peacemaker (John Cena) and Bloodsport (Idris Elba) but that bit, in particular, felt unnecessary as if just to show “look, we’re rated R!” 

There were many moments like that scattered throughout the film. Especially brutality for the sake of brutality. Also, how is Harley Quinn some “symbol of American rebellion” all of a sudden, and why was Luna so concerned with getting a wife? After a violent military coup I feel like that’s probably not top of mind for a lot of citizens. That whole sequence where Luna courts her, ending with her killing him felt very odd. 

Unforgivable sin #2 for me was killing off Colonel Rick Flag. With his death, we are left with only one surviving member of the original Suicide Squad. Whatever the reason was, it didn’t feel narratively driven at all. If they wanted to show that Peacemaker was willing to do anything Waller told him to, the fight with Flag proved it. Bloodsport would have ended up “killing” Peacemaker anyway as long as the building exploded and landed him in the same spot. Then Bloodsport would have been saving the life of someone he served with (a connection they had already established earlier) rather than the emotional stand-in for his daughter. 

Similarly, why kill Polka Dot Man, one of the only sympathetic characters in the film? And why wait till the end to do it? Personally, I liked his character, but if you were gonna kill a character that’s likable at least give it some emotion.

Silver Linings 

Harley Quinn with her guns drawn.

While I didn’t like the film as a whole, it has some AMAZING action sequences. The cast also did a terrific job with their characters, but most of all Margot Robbie and David Dastmalchian. The scenes in particular that stood out were the scene with Flag, Peacemaker, and Bloodsport in the Humvee (“on one”) and Harley’s escape from her captors. 

Polka Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2 for me had the greatest potential as characters. I was glad we dove more into Ratcatcher 2’s backstory (complete with a surprise cameo I didn’t see coming), but I wanted to see more of her in action (although Sebastian was adorable and remained a highlight of this film for me). We got a STAR Labs connection through Polka Dot Man— whose powers are actually really cool, mind you, with a cool explanation for them— and then kaput. 

Final Thoughts  

I was not the intended audience for this film. If I had gone into it and just shut my brain off to enjoy any antics I may have enjoyed it more. I felt more exasperated than exhilarated for a lot of the film when I was genuinely so excited for this to come out. A lot of the best moments were given away by the trailers, and the entire Starro zombie sequence just felt odd rather than comical. Using millions of rats to take down Starro felt like too much of a Deus Ex Machina to feel satisfying (although it was cool to see Harley jump into its eye). 

Take this Suicide Squad review with a grain of salt, you might end up liking it more than I did. That is, if all the spoilers I just levied don’t bother you. We know for sure we’ll be getting a Peacemaker series, but there’s a post-credits scene for us to really drive that home/remind us of it (even though for one small moment I had hoped it was Flag and not Peacemaker). 

If you’re interested in more reviews, click here, and for more geeky pop-culture goodness, follow me on Instagram @glamgeekguru.

Stray Thoughts From my Notes: 

  • Okay werk Folsom Prison Blues 
  • Does James Gunn have something against birds? Or are the birds like a metaphor for freedom or something? It’s getting ridiculous 
  • “All names are letters, dickhead” 
  • They fucking killed boomerang at the very beginning. I’m PISSED. 
  • This is a flip from the father daughter relationship in the first one 
  • If king shark eats sebastian I’m quitting 
  • Okay, dicks out I guess, for no other reason than to show this is rated R?
  • She says her spanish with a lisp like in spain 
  • Is she making this all up in her head? 
  • He wants her to marry him???? 
  • Okay he IS hot but I’m still confused 
  • What is it these people have against birds for fucks sake???
  • This feels overly violent for the sake of it? Like some of this feels like it’s serving the story where some of it blatantly isn’t 
  • John Cena sticks out like a sore thumb lmfao 
  • Sebastian doesn’t vibe with this place so I don’t either 
  • If peacemaker kills Flag I’m stopping the movie 
  • Are there IS THAT TAIKA WAITITI???

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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