“Suicide Squad” Falls Short, A+ Cast, C+ Script

Carlie Morgan , Reporter

Justice showed its bad side this summer in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad,” the newest addition to the DC Comics Extended Universe. On Aug. 5, the DC cinematic empire was revamped by a ragtag team of villains, pulled together in a desperate attempt to protect a post-superman world. Task Force X, or Suicide Squad, as Deadshot (Will Smith) affectionately refers to it, is composed of six previously incarcerated villains, one emotionally involved soldier and one magic-katana wielding bodyguard whose new job involves going on a doomed mission against an unexpected, but overall disappointing, villain.

The team is sent to dispatch an overpowered villain whom they are only able to defeat through the power of friendship and a few plot holes, a cliche storyline to say the least. The film proves that not all characters are created equal, as it’s obvious Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) were only included for comic relief and a nod to the original comic storyline. The real stand-outs of the film were Deadshot (Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), who were the only two characters with a fleshed out backstory and believable character development. Diablo (Jay Hernandez) also shines during the last half of the film in particular, creating one of the most memorable moments of the movie.

This A+ cast of  B-list villains with C+ writing evolves throughout the film from a team brought together by necessity to a family of friends through questionable means. The development overall was rushed and out of character for many of the villains who don’t have a tragic emotional backstory to fall back on. While Deadshot already has somewhat of a moral compass as an assassin who refuses to shoot women and children, Killer Croc, the resident cannibal, doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of caring about other people. This somewhat unnatural progression could be chalked up to lack of time to develop all six villains, but is more likely an example of poor writing.

The script is lacking in many areas, but the most prominent has to be Harley Quinn’s constant delivery of hot topic slogans such as “normal is just a setting on a dryer.” Her dialogue sounds more suited for a seventh grader in all black than a former psychologist gone mad. Deadshot, our other prominent villain, has his fair share of witty one-liners which typically go over well due to Smith’s natural charisma. The actors really elevate what would normally be a subpar screenplay.

Speaking of subpar screenplay, one of the most disappointing aspects of the movie was the lack of screentime for one of the most hyped characters during pre-production, Jared Leto’s Joker. While this character featured prominently in every trailer released for Suicide Squad, his actual screentime totals to around 10 minutes of the two hour run time. Even in this short window, each of his scenes center around Harley Quinn, whether through flashbacks or his persistent rescue mission. His contribution undoubtedly helps Harley to become one of the most rounded out characters in the line-up, giving him an important role to play regardless, but it also points to how much footage was cut from the original movie. In almost every trailer, it’s possible to point out a scene that didn’t make it to the big screen, leaving us to wonder what the movie might have been like had those lost moments remained in the film.

If you wanted to see the movie for the Joker, I say you may as well pass this one up as Jared Leto himself did according to IGN. However, the movie itself is highly entertaining, with decently choreographed fight scenes and solid performances by the cast with only a few exceptions. Overall, I give “Suicide Squad” a 7/10. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to buy a blu-ray copy the second this film hits the shelves.While the movie is worth watching again, I would recommend waiting for it to show up in your local redbox or on Netflix before you spend any extra money on it.