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Suicide Squad Review Roundup: Is an All-Star Cast Enough to Save This Movie?

Suicide Squad

Warner Bros.

Suicide Squad hits theaters Friday, so the reviews are starting to hit the Internet. The highly anticipated anti-heroes movie, which is meant to be Warner Bros. Pictures’ the lighter antidote to the overly serious Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, features Margot RobbieJared LetoWill SmithCara Delevingne and more stars in roles that would have anyone rushing to the theater…but should you actually go? Despite Leto’s headline-making performance as The Joker, the majority of reviewers seems to agree that this movie missed its mark.

Forbes called Suicide Squad worse than The Green Lantern and Fantastic Four: “The majority of the film is such a slog of ‘anti-heroes shooting at CGI blobs’ and ‘anti-heroes slowly walking through a deserted cityscape’ that you almost look forward to Leto’s periodic Swiper-like appearances just for the change in scenery. The film is clearly a victim of post-production tinkering and reshoots. There are plenty of moments in the trailer that aren’t in the movie, there are conflicting expository details, and the whole picture has a sense of forced whimsy.”

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Jared Leto, Suicide Squad

Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros. Pictures

Vanity Fair called the movie the “nadir” of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures’ comic book attempt. “Suicide Squad is bad. Not fun bad. Not redeemable bad. Not the kind of bad that is the unfortunate result of artists honorably striving for something ambitious and falling short. Suicide Squad is just bad. It’s ugly and boring, a toxic combination that means the film’s highly fetishized violence doesn’t even have the exciting tingle of the wicked or the taboo. (Oh, how the movie wants to be both of those things.) It’s simply a dull chore steeped in flaccid machismo, a shapeless, poorly edited trudge that adds some mildly appalling sexism and even a soupçon of racism to its abundant, hideously timed gun worship. But, perhaps worst of all, Suicide Squad is ultimately too shoddy and forgettable to even register as revolting.”

Variety also gives the movie a negative review, but notes it will still probably be one of the summer’s biggest hits. “Despite its nonsensical story and not-nearly-impudent-enough tone, “Suicide Squad” stands to become one of the summer’s biggest hits, with a grafted-on appearance by Jared Leto as the Joker likely to double the project’s already formidable box office potential—a shrewd addition, since no one but comic-book fans will know the other characters going in. Faced with having to introduce all these new players, Ayer opens the film by attempting to compress origin stories, unique abilities and “how they were captured” vignettes for nine different characters into the film’s overloaded first act, blasting hip hop to signify how ‘gangsta’ they are.” 

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Suicide Squad

Warner Bros. Pictures

Time calls Suicide Squad “dead on arrival.” “But all of Suicide Squad is TMI, a bunch of character stuff and plot stuff chopped and diced and tossed up on the screen with no regard for plot or logic or mood, as if we’re just not supposed to care about those things anymore. The script is loaded with jokes and devoid of wit; the movie’s overall tone is snickering and dour. The setting is your standard gloomy, grimy, grayed-out post-apocalyptic city, the same one we’ve seen hundreds of times before in hundreds of other movies.”

The Hollywood Reporter stands behind the cast but says the material doesn’t give them enough. “Problematically, the snappy, quasi-pop-art feel effectively emphasized in the film’s first trailers is felt only in the early stretch. If Ayer had been able to sharpen and sustain something resembling a darkly subversive cartoon style — which is what is suggested in the interludes centering on Harley Quinn — he might have been on to something. But he’s a grim realist at heart, and it’s a sensibility that doesn’t jibe with this sort of material, which, at this stage of the superhero cycle, benefits from being approached with irreverence.”

Similar to other reviews, The Wrap says Leto’s Joker is essentially nonexistent. “The film’s ubiquitous posters are psychedelic and outrageously designed, but none of that aesthetic makes it into the final product, which offers your standard rainy nighttime urban center under attack with a swirling-clouds finale reminiscent of the climax of the original Ghostbusters. And if those posters led you to believe you’d be getting a lot of Leto’s Joker, think again: he’s a tertiary presence here, designed to attract ticket buyers and, presumably, to act as a placeholder for future DC movies.”

Are you going to see Suicide Squad? Sound off in the comments.

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