Film Review – Suicide Squad (2016)

by Nick Kush
Suicide Squad

After the disappointment that was Batman V Supermanmany DC fans then turned to Suicide Squad as the possible savior of the DCEU.  Many cited its seemingly lighter tone and feel to be a turning point from both Man of Steel  and Batman V Superman for the betterment of the overall franchise.  This was not the case as the film was panned by critics.  But are there any redeeming qualities?  The following review will be spoiler free.


Suicide Squad is directed by David Ayer and stars a solid cast with notable actors such as Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis.  We follow a group of people coined “the worst heroes ever” who are assembled by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and tasked to take down an evil threat that is terrorizing Midway City.  Along the way, we discover more about this large group of villains led by Deadshot (Smith) and Harley Quinn (Robbie) as they uncover some of Waller’s hidden plans.  All the while, the Joker (Leto) lurks in the background, ready to pounce.

suicide squad

image via Movie Quotes and More


As has been well-documented, Suicide Squad numerous issues in production.  After the initial backlash to Batman V Superman, extensive reshoots were done on the film to add more humor and lighten the tone of the film in fear that many would be turned off to the film’s somber feel.  To make matters worse, Warner Bros. hired Trailer Park, a trailer-cutting company, to make competing edits of the film that contrasted with David Ayer’s original vision for the film.  The different edits were showed to test audiences and the Trailer Park cut won out, turning into the final theatrical release.

Surprisingly, despite this major instance of studio interference, David Ayer remained quiet.  He refused to lash out against Warner Bros. The end result was a film that limped to a 25% Rotten Tomatoes score and put the future of the DCEU on hold until Warner Bros. could make a new strategy moving forward.

suicide squad

image via Aceshowbiz

What I Liked

A large portion of the enjoyment for this film comes from two distinct performances: Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Although many who read the comics complain that Will Smith largely played a version of himself, it’s still a lot of fun.  Smith channels his younger self in this role, quipping with a certain swagger that only he can muster.

His character is also one of the few that has legitimate character moments and motivations.  We understand why he’s bad and why he commits crimes.  In a film about villains, it’s important that at least some of them are humanized so that we have someone to root for him.  Smith certainly pulls this off, adding a large majority of the heart and humor.

suicide squad

image via

In the same vein, Margot Robbie nails the character of Harley Quinn.  There’s multiple traits that an actor must convey in order to make Harley Quinn work: insanity, sexuality, playfulness, ruthlessness, and humor.  She certainly accomplishes all of these characteristics with ease.  Robbie understands the toxic relationship that Harley has with Joker while also adding to the fun with her ditsy humor.

Is she portrayed as overly sexual in some scenes?  Probably.  However, her character uses it to her advantage to get ahead in some cases which was greatly appreciated by this critic.

suicide squad

image via Screen Rant

What I Didn’t Like

However, other than some fun performances, Suicide Squad is a complete mess.

I can’t really blame David Ayer for this horribly display of editing considering this film was taken away from him in post-production.  But, the flaws are quite abundant.

This film is so chopped up from editing that even plain dialogue scenes have weird, awkward cuts in the middle of them which completely throws off the rhythm of the film.  Since the main editors of the film are from a trailer-cutting company, the film seems more concerned with making a music video than a film with an actual story.

I’m totally on board for a film that features stylized movements to a fun soundtrack, but even that idea is squandered.  When a scene begins, it feels like an executive uttered the phrase, “What’s the most on-the-nose song we can put in here?”  I mean c’mon, “Sympathy for the Devil” when a villain is introduced?  The first fifteen minutes of this film is one big trailer.  It jumps from obvious pop song to another obvious pop song.  Not only is it not subtle, it’s just annoying.

suicide squad

image via Get Mp33

What I Didn’t Like…Continued

Probably due to its behind the scenes issues, Suicide Squad devolves into a generic mess.  If you’ve seen a blockbuster movie in that past ten years, then you’ve seen practically every story beat contained.  The following sentence describes an integral part of Suicide Squad:

An other-wordly creature creates a disposable army for our heroes to mow down all the while having a weapon that shoots a beam into sky.

The above line applies to the following films: Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Independence Day: Resurgence, Marvel’s the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Big Hero 6.  And that’s only films since 2012!

How can a film be given praise for such a generic plot?  Where’s the originality?

suicide squad

image via Observer

With such a cliched script, the movie needs fantastic characters to be successful.  Does Suicide Squad have those?


Other than Deadshot and Harley Quinn, each character is mostly hollow or even borderline offensive.  Killer Croc is especially ridiculous as his character is essentially a racist caricature.

What I Didn’t Like…Continued…Continued

There’s a serious problem with Jared Leto’s Joker.  Whether or not you enjoyed his rendition of the Joker is entirely up for debate.  However, the main issue is that his character is completely wasted.  He adds nothing to the plot nor is given enough screen time to actually have a presence in the film.  The Joker simply shows up and then leaves soon after.  If you were to remove the Joker from Sucide Squad, it wouldn’t alter the plot whatsoever.

Maybe the Joker had an actual importance to the original plot of Suicide Squad, but his character is a whole lot of nothing.  Even his scenes come out of nowhere within the flow of the movie, acting as an inconsistency from actual through-lines and character beats.  Does arguably the best super-villain of all-time deserve such treatment?  Absolutely not.

suicide squad

image via YouTube


Aside from some solid performances, Suicide Squad falters mightily, failing to create a cohesive, compelling, or intriguing film.  It gets a D.  If you have any type of editing background, stay away from this film or you’ll have a minor heart attack.

I enjoyed some the Suicide Squad as characters, but not the film that they were a part of.


Thanks for reading!  What are your thoughts on Suicide Squad?  Comment down below!

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intrepid8 June 4, 2017 - 5:09 pm

What’s unique about this film is that it had shards of awesomeness in there. It had stylish characters, cool moments and some interesting ideas.

Rewatching it I began to understand the movie’s purpose a little more. Nonetheless, it left much to be desired.

Nick Kush June 4, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Yeah i think those moments were probably the original cut of the movie that were then mashed together lol

raistlin0903 June 3, 2017 - 7:57 am

This is the only DC movie that I have yet to see. I am very disappointed to see that this movie has gotten such a low rating, and reading this review, especially about the things you are saying about the way the editing is done, I don’t think I am going to have a different opinion for it. Shame really, as the trailers looked very promising indeed. Still, I am going to check it out on some point, when the dvd has it’s price lowered for a bit. Great post as always ?

Nick Kush June 3, 2017 - 1:04 pm

That’s a good call, I think it’s on HBO right now so you can check it out there if you have it!

Jason June 2, 2017 - 12:48 pm

To me, the movie wasn’t completely terrible (as some were portraying it to be), but I can’t ignore all the negative problems it had. There were too many characters, the plot was very thin, and it tried to be too similar (in tone and style) to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Nick Kush June 2, 2017 - 1:59 pm

Totally agree! I just wish that it tried to be it’s own movie instead of following the Marvel formula

Chris Scott June 1, 2017 - 7:26 pm

I too like Smith and Robbie and their charisma kind of drove the film enough for me to enjoy it. I also didn’t hate Leto’s Joker. It’s a different take and I understand people not being down with it but I thought it worked in the context of the trash pile the rest of the film was.That said, I can’t remember a whole lot about the film as a whole and it doesn’t hold up to the comics in any way. And who thought a trash cyclone was a good idea?

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 10:33 pm

Well apparently every major studio does because there’s one in every single blockbuster lol

CalebRaves June 1, 2017 - 2:47 pm

I preferred this film over Batman V Superman as well. I on the sneak thought it was good. The performances by Will Smith and Margot Robbie made up for all the deficiencies(this critic did not mind the camerawork on Margot Robbie either by the way) also is this the first time you did a what you didnt like continued continued lol

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 3:36 pm

Suprisingly I’ve done the dislike continues continued more than you think. It’s a shame that I have to…lol

coolcomix0221 June 1, 2017 - 1:04 pm

Although I agree in that it’s not a good film, I personally prefer this over “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, since it’s nowhere near as painfully long as that film, plus Zack Snyder is just limited to a scene where Flash captures Captain Boomerang. I agree that Will Smith and Margot Robbie turn in the best performances of the film and that most of the other characters (expect maybe Diablo and Captain Boomerang, the first time I didn’t Jai Courtney as a block of wood in a bad action movie) ranged from OK to Meh to utterly superfluous. The character development was some of the worst I’ve ever seen in the film (it’s laughable that Katana doesn’t show up until the gang is about to head out), the soundtrack is obviously trying to copy “Guardians of the Galaxy” without knowing why that film’s soundtrack worked, I was never able to properly gage Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker (most likely because his good scenes were cut out) resulting in him being woefully underwhelming and the situation seems more like something that the Justice League could take care of and not a team of delinquents. Maybe if their mission was in a hostile area that the U.S. Government wasn’t allowed to go to and their opposition was a tad more down-to-Earth, then there wouldn’t be as much complaining from us.

By the way for those who aren’t comic book-inclined, Midway City is Hawkman’s turf. Funny how we place a crisis in his domain and yet he’s nowhere to be found.

In the end, if you want to see a good Suicide Squad film, watch “Batman: Assault on Arkham” instead. Their mission is much-more plausible, hardly anyone feels unimportant to the plot and the Joker is given far more dignity here as the MAIN VILLAIN!

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 3:34 pm

I’ll have to check that out that because I think this movie could have been really great if they used the Joker as the main baddie!

coolcomix0221 June 1, 2017 - 4:05 pm

Here’s my review of “Batman: Assault On Arkham”. I loved it so much that it’s one of my favorite entries in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line.

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 4:05 pm

I’ll check it out!

After Credits Corner June 1, 2017 - 11:32 am

Great review! I’m glad someone else noticed the awful editing in it. It was painful to watch. Poor Will Smith was trying so hard to save the movie.

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 3:31 pm

I felt reaaaaaally bad for him because he truly is giving his all!

movieloverspeople June 1, 2017 - 6:50 am

Hugh information where you have been ?

Nick Kush June 1, 2017 - 3:30 pm

I do my best!


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