Okay, so I just came back from seeing Suicide Squad. Here are my brief NO SPOILERS impressions.
The movie is . . . interesting. Deeply problematic, but interesting. Like all of the DC films so far, it’s a mixed bag, with some really good stuff intermingled with some not-so-good stuff. Take a look at that poster, for example. What are they trying to sell us on? The Joker, right? Well, the Joker has less than five minutes of screentime, if that.
I think there was an earlier version of the movie where he gets much more time, and sadly that time is on the editing room floor. This is a shame, because Jared Leto’s take on the character is awesome. It’s not going to replace Heath Ledger’s Joker, but it stands on its own just fine. So they’ve sold us on a movie that doesn’t exist. I can’t WAIT for the director’s cut, if there is one. I want to see the Joker as a prominent character in this film, as he was (mostly likely) originally intended to be. The reshoots probably really hurt this movie, and especially his character.
The heart of this movie is the relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker. Harley is the stand-out of the movie, hands down, and it should have focused on her and the Joker. It would have been the most twisted relationship ever given a big budget, but it would have been mesmerizing. Instead we get poorly developed side characters and clunky, nonsensical, even repetitive plot mechanics.
I know, it sounds like I’m being hard on the movie, and it really does have some huge, huge problems. On balance, though, I would recommend seeing it, unless you’ve developed a deep dislike of the DC movies (I’m wary but hopeful). Suicide Squad, when it’s working, has a lot of charm, and even some genuine pathos and heart.
Plus I LOVE villainous couples. From Drac and Mina to Chucky and his Bride, I love when lovers go bad, or when baddies fall in love. And even though this movie only gave us a hint of that, that hint was electric. So, if only for Harley and the Joker, I would say go see it. You may hate me afterward, though. I saw this movie with a group of people, and several of them truly despised the movie. So your mileage may vary.
POSTSCRIPT: In some ways, this movie is the opposite of the new Bourne movie. The Bourne movie was a bland but competently made “meh” of a film. Suicide Squad was a lovingly crafted, passionate mess.
If there’s a director’s cut, and it still doesn’t fix the movie, I might try to make a fan edit splicing together the two movies.