I set off last night to my local cinema with the poor reviews ringing in my ears. Poorly edited, no plot, under developed characters all repeated phrases and all from trustworthy sources. Settling down into my seat my expectations were as low as humanly possible. I'm not sure, but I think these low expectations may have helped me because I'm able to say with full confidence that I (rather unexpectedly) enjoyed Suicide Squad.
Now lets be clear, there are many problems with the film. Editing is a major issue, some characters are under developed and the camera does linger around the bottom half of Margot Robbie for uncomfortably long periods of time. But I still enjoyed myself!
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is a cold hearted government agent determined that assembling a team of villains is the best means of providing safety in the event of a meta-human incident as seen in Batman v Superman. So a team is assembled in double quick time and before long an event requiring their 'expertise' is in motion. Can bad guys really save the world is at least an interesting premise.
The problems with the film are well known by now and probably don't need repeating. I can't ignore them but I want to focus on a few elements I really enjoyed. I believe that beneath the surface problems there are moments of something greater within this pop art super villain piece.
For instance when our villainous crew take a break in a bar this is where we see their true humanity. While the lack of backstory is glaring initially, it is in this bar scene we get under the skin and particularly of El Diablo who tells his story with an acceptance of his true nature that is chilling.
Likewise a moment of clarity comes in the final act with Harley Quinn querying why the ridiculously gyrating Enchantress wants to take over the world. It is clear in that moment that these villains don't want the world. They never have. They simply want to continue their own brands of chaos in the existing world. They are comfortable with that and very happy with their pre assigned roles and that is a very interesting if under worked idea.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn steals the show as the alluring, psychotic Joker's main squeeze and their relationship is very interesting. Leto's appearances are sporadic but they only serve to get back his girl and if there was the opportunity to see them both square off against Affleck's Batman I wouldn't mind seeing it.
Suicide Squad is messy, and problematic but in someways that may be the point. The film may unitentionally be a reflection of the characters it is attempting to portray.