I believe it’s time we reviewed “The Most Anticipated Film” of the year worldwide “Suicide Squad”. With all the talk about rewrites, re-shoots (was there any truth in those stories), we’ve finally come to the end of the line; the film’s out. And certainly the vultures… sorry, the critics have had their go at it. Now it’s Jollyhood’s turn to tell you how we feel about it.
Suicide Squad is a 2016 American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name. It is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is written and directed by David Ayer and stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne. In the film, a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and save the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for leaner sentences.
Development for the film started in February 2009, with Ayer signing on to write and direct in September 2014, and by October, the casting process had begun. The studio initially considered Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Oprah Winfrey for the role of Amanda Waller, which later went to Davis. Tom Hardy, originally casted to play Rick Flag, dropped out because of scheduling issues with his film The Revenant. Jake Gyllenhaal was then given an offer to replace Hardy as Flag, but he declined (Wonder if he had a crystal ball?) In February, the studio choose Kinnaman to play Flag.
In March 2015, boxer Raymond Olubawale, Scott Eastwood, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Karen Fukuhara had been casted. Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, and Jim Parrack were added to the cast in April 2015. In January 2016, Ben Affleck was confirmed to reprise his role as Batman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Comic book writer John Ostrander (creator of the modern incarnation of the Suicide Squad) was quoted to have said he was impressed with the casting, that they are getting some very good actors to play these parts.
Suicide Squad premiered in New York City on August 1, 2016, and was released in the United States on August 5, 2016, in 2D, 3Dand IMAX 3D. The film amidst the popularity of Pokémon Go and the ongoing 2016 Summer Olympics was still able to draw huge crowds.
As of August 17, 2016, Suicide Squad has grossed $238 million in North America and $243.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $481.4 million, against a budget of $175 million ($325 million including advertising and promotion costs). Despite the critical reception and lower-than-expected box office performance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March, It recorded a worldwide opening of $267.1 million from 59 countries and IMAX global debut of $18.2 million, setting new records for the month of August. Also as the second-best debut worldwide for a DC property after Dawn of Justice ($422.5 million) and the seventh best for a superhero title.
Suicide Squad earned a total of $133.7 million in its opening weekend, setting records for the month of August, previously held by Guardians of the Galaxy and for Will Smith‘s career (I Am Legend). It is also the second-biggest debut ever for a non-sequel, behind The Hunger Games ($152 million), the fourth biggest of the year and the fifth biggest for Warner Bros. pushing the studio past the $1 billion mark in North America for the sixteenth year in a row.
Critics had a lot to say with the general consensus being negative, with reviewers finding the direction and editing choppy, the plot muddled, and the characters thinly-written, though Margot Robbie’s performance was widely praised.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 26%, based on 284 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren’t enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on 53 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
To quote Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair, “Suicide Squad is just bad. It’s ugly and boring.” Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern reviewed, “In a word, Suicide Squad is trash. In two words, it’s ugly trash.” David Fear of Rolling Stone, wrote that the “biggest letdown is the way the movie underserves both Harley and the actor playing her”, and that one “can’t forgive nearly ruining a complex, iconic character who deserves way better than this”.
Drew McWeeny from HitFix and Brian Truitt from USA Today however gave the film positive reviews with both saying that Suicide Squad offers something different to the otherwise staid, fairly familiar superhero story.
In March 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. would bring Ayer and Smith back for a sequel, to be shot in 2017. The following month, Ayer expressed an interest in making the sequel R-rated with Fukuhara stating that she wants to explore Katana’s backstory in the sequel.
Perhaps they should hold off on the sequel after such heavy criticisms, especially if Ayer is doing any directing or writing. Maybe the studio is hoping the second time’s the charm. All I know is that for such a widely anticipated film, Suicide Squad barely scratched the surface. Was the film entertaining; mildly. Worth the anticipation; hardly. While it started off on a whacky, gleeful humorous, funky ferocious note, which should have been awesome fun, it verved seriously off course somewhere along the line, and ended up boring and predictable. And the villains, not the suicide squad villains, the real villains were terrible, terrible, terrible! Not even worth writing about.
I kind of agree with Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly when he said, “For DC, Suicide Squad is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.” Definitely should have been DC’s crowning glory of the year, but ended up a poor finish. The studio for some time now, has had a somewhat poor track record for great films. Maybe DC itself needs a reboot and they better do it fast, if they want to retain their fans, like moi.
Just go see the movie peeps, perhaps you’ll have a better time watching than I did. Do have a blast this weekend. Mwuah! XoXo!