The embargo has lifted and the reviews are in! Suicide Squad hits theaters this Friday, August 5th, and you can check out what all of the critics are saying below.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the movie was a hit among most critics, but what’s most important is how you feel about the movie. You may want to avoid reading some of these reviews and just judge it for yourself.
Whereas “Batman v Superman” managed to raise certain pseudo-provocative questions about how real people might react to being protected by vigilante “meta-humans,” “Suicide Squad” deals with a 100% unreasonable solution to future threats. Like “Deadpool” earlier this year, it’s entertaining insofar as it allows the characters to crack wise and act out, though they can only go so far within the confines of MPAA guidelines and the rigid DC mythology. On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same.
A puzzlingly confused undertaking that never becomes as cool as it thinks it is, Suicide Squad assembles an all-star team of supervillains and then doesn’t know what to do with them.
Such is not the case with “Suicide Squad,” the latest entry in the onscreen DC Extended Universe, which launched with Zach Snyder’s “Man of Steel” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and will eventually enfold the upcoming “Justice League” and beyond. Writer-director David Ayer (“Fury,” “End of Watch”) tries hard to make this dirty not-quite-dozen into an engaging band of misfits, but the results feel undercooked and overstuffed, with 10 pounds of supervillain backstory being crammed into a five-pound bag.
Suicide Squad is a decidedly different flavor than Batman v Superman. It goes for subversive, funny and stylish, and it succeeds wildly during the first act. But then the movie turns into something predictable and unexciting. It plods on, checking off boxes on a list of cliched moments and meaningless plot points, making you wonder where all the razzle-dazzle went. The movie feels thin, and with such little meat on the bone, it almost makes you appreciate how overstuffed Batman v Superman was (despite that being its downfall). Amanda Waller and Deadshot nail their roles, and Harley Quinn makes a fine cinematic debut, but there’s not much to be said about the rest of the ensemble cast — and as disappointing as it is to say, that includes the Joker. Suicide Squad is more like writer-director David Ayer’s flat-footed Fury than his razor-sharp Training Day (which he wrote), making for another unsatisfying entry in the DCEU.
Writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) skillfully sets up the film, introducing each of the crazies with caffeinated comic-book energy. But their mission — to take down Cara Delevingne’s undersketched witch, Enchantress, and her giant golem-like brother — is a bit of a bust. The stakes should feel higher. As someone who isn’t fluent in Suicide Squad lore, I can’t imagine there wasn’t a better villain in its back catalog. Still, it’s nothing compared with how wasted Leto’s scene-stealing Joker is. With his toxic-green hair, shiny metal teeth, and demented rictus grin, he’s the most dangerous live wire in the film. But he’s stranded in the periphery. For DC, which blew it with Batman v Superman last spring, Suicide Squad is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.
Suicide Squad is a mess. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a studio film so clearly and clumsily manhandled with reshoots and rejiggering; the whole first act plays like an extended montage, an endless “Previously on” segment set to a staggering series of on-the-nose needledrops (Sympathy for the Devil plays when master manipulator Amanda Waller is introduced), and the third act is full of emotional beats and character turns that are not set up and as such can’t land their payoffs. But, swimming through all that, pushing against the current of a botched movie, are four lead performances that salvage the whole thing.
Suicide Squad‘s story may be messy, but it more or less wraps up before the credits roll. If you never returned for another DC movie, you’d still feel like you got a complete tale with Suicide Squad — well, give or take an end-credits stinger. But what Warner Bros. hopes, of course, is that audiences will want to come back. Suicide Squad more or less succeeds on that front. It’s far from perfect, and I hope Suicide Squad 2 (or whatever the next chapter of this story ends up being) will fix some of the issues of this one. But the characters are lovable, the world they live in is intriguingly weird, and all in all Suicide Squad offers a playful alternative to DC’s more straightforward superhero films. Can Suicide Squad singlehandedly save the DC cinematic universe? No, probably not. But it’s an encouraging reminder that yes, DC knows how to have a good time.
It was hoped that Suicide Squad could be a major step forward for the DC Extended Universe, but it’s not exactly that — with the film frustratingly and consistently stepping on its own toes. It lacks the convolution problems of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but is also so simple that it doesn’t carry any weight. It has a sense of humor and fun, bolstered by a bombastic and multi-textured soundtrack, but its action is also repetitive and disengaging (hurt by the villain’s plot lacking clarity and specificity). And while Ayer’s vision for these characters is exciting, you’re still left wanting more out of the ensemble as a whole within the story being told. It’s definitely an improvement over the last chapter of the DCEU, but we’ve still come to expect more from the comic book movie genre.
Though wonky in structure, it makes a certain sense that this antihero tale wouldn’t play by the rules. Packed with attitude, “Suicide Squad” is ferocious fun, boasting a bounty of action, mirthful mayhem, and a cavalcade of curious characters. It’s just the kick in the pants Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment need to correct course ahead of next year’s “Justice League.”
Suicide Squad is the fun, action-packed movie DC Comics fans have been waiting for, delivering two hours of great quips, crazy action sequences, a pitch-perfect Harley Quinn, and other actors stepping swiftly and easily into their roles. Its flaws will bother some more than others – comicbook fans? You won’t have to worry. Moviegoers less familiar with this structure or being introduced to these characters for the first time will still find so much great character work that the flaws should be able to be overlooked in favor of a good time at the movies. It’s crazy, sexy, funny, but most of all full of heart – several elements that the DC Films universe needed sooner rather than later. Ultimately, I left smiling, thinking and talking about the individual characters more than even the action, and wanting more. Whether that’s in a full team sequel, solo movies for several of the characters, appearances by them in heroes’ movies, I just hope this cast gets to continue building their world, and sooner rather than later.