Written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
A few months back we got the aggressively mediocre Batman v Superman, then a few weeks ago we got the more cohesive but still slow and clunky directors cut. It was up to David Ayer in one of the most hyped movies of the summer to "right the ship". So did it?
Not really. Now I didn't hate this movie, it had moments. Will Smith and Margo Robbie are the stars of the show and they did a good job as Deadshot, a hitman with a code and Harley Quinn, the slightly crazy lady who's good with a baseball bat and a one liner. His charisma and her crazy really elevated the story at times when it would otherwise be dull. The rest of the team is more or less over shadowed but they all somewhat get their moment to shine. Amanda Waller was played with genuine authority by Viola Davis and was a decent gatekeeper for the unruly bunch, staying a step ahead of them at all times, thwarting their attempts to escape her team.
The opening 20 minutes or so plays out the longest introduction scene ever, and it repeats itself with Harley and Deadshot for some reason. It was an awkward start for sure. My other issue was the almost constant needle drops and the flashy graphics at the start, making the characters look like twisted neon baseball cards. It just clashed with the movie and felt like they were trying too hard to be "Guardians". It is also pretty choppy things don't seem to flow very well, it's sort of cut up and jumpy during some scenes to get them to move along faster by just kind of skipping ahead a bit to save on walking time.
The main issue is the story. It's really bland. The villain is bland, the plan to take them down is bland, the fight sequences are like every other fight you've seen, save for the occasional cool power or show of strength. Also, whats with The Joker? He's almost too into Harley I find, at least compared to Batman TAS Joker. Jared Leto was really strange as Joker too, his voice, mannerisms, it felt like he belonged in a completely different movie. I also wasn't a fan of his thug life persona they gave him. I think that was the problem with this movie, it's characters were second to the story, and it resorted to flashbacks to get that backstory instead of within the movie's main plot save for a bar scene that I rather enjoyed and was a good character expanding moment for Diablo.
Some of the humor was good too. Captain Boomerang providing the most laughs in my opinion, with Harley a close second. Being a "Flash Rogue" we see in his opening montage being taken in by Ezra Miller's Flash. It was a quick clip, just to put that connection in and it worked. Batman's appearance in the film was cool too, Affleck is convincing me more and more of his abilities in the role. Katana was a bit too minor in my opinion, I was interested in her and her story but ultimately she was under-utilized. The other bright spots I found were in the costumes and makeup, all were great and it is more visually interesting than some Marvel movies just in the color palette and style they choose. Civil War being an example of something that looked a bit too squeak clean.
Overall I think it was a movie that got a bit mangled in it's message. Things jumped around and it felt like the movie didn't stop to breath very often and when it did, it didn't provide us much. It certainly felt like style over substance at times and the style isn't up to Snyder's level of pizazz. The team itself was cool, their mission was about as lame as can be. I was hoping we would see a director's cut but Ayer insists the film we see is his cut, so for better or worse this is the Squad we get.