DC's newest film, Suicide Squad is a hot mess. Achieving visually stunning and humorous highs, while at the same time being bogged down by an increasingly nonsensical story, mostly underdeveloped characters, and a final act that is one of the least interesting, coherent, and enjoyable a superhero movie has produced. It's a film with lofty potential shot down by its failure to ever explore new ground and try something new.
What makes Suicide Squad most disappointing to me is the fact that the film isn't a complete and total mess, there are seeds and promises of good here. In particular, I can not heap enough praise on Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, without whom the film may very well have been a disaster. Smith and Robbie have a chemistry that just sparkles, far more so then Robbie and Jared Leto's Joker. Smith brings gravitas, piercing humor, and insight to proceedings and absolutely commands every scene he's in. He is forced to carry this film on his shoulders and while he ultimately is unable to lift it to greatness, he at least keeps it from succumbing to awful status.
Aside from those two characters the other highlight is the films opening and its wonderful usage of classic rock songs. While some might not like how certain songs were used or their placements at key moments, I felt that nearly every single one was pitch perfect and a wonderful addition to what was happening on screen.
Sadly that's about all the good. The film's villain is bad, like seriously bad. The final act is one of the worst and least coherent I've seen in a long time and the film never really made it clear what the Suicide Squads mission or objectives were. All of the characters other then Harley and Deadshot range from bland to outright bad and most are simply just forgettable.
I can not mention enough how terrible Enchantress and the magical elements are in this film. Totally out of place, awkward, and shockingly unfun, every time she or any of her magical friends are on-screen the film staggers under the weight of how bad it all is. Those scenes are poorly directed, edited, acted, and worst of all utterly uninteresting.
Really though, that could apply to much of the movie, I don't know who edited this film, but they did a terrible job, there are numerous scenes where its not clear at all what is even happening or who all is involved. The worst example of this comes during the climax of the film during an underwater section that is poorly lit and features quick cut-aways leaving you clueless as to what just happened and who did it. Then there is the actual final fight which again is shot in near darkness and features 6 or 7 people all fighting and shooting at each other. Disorienting, mind-numbing, and in the end pointless, it is the textbook example of just how much this film gets wrong.
Ultimately Suicide Squad isn't one movie, instead its about five different movies all stitched together with only about one and a half of them being any good. The strength and force of will of Will Smith and the over-the top performance of Margot Robbie carry this film past bad status and settle it somewhere between mediocrity and ok. It's simply that this film, with all of its expectations and promise of being DC's Guardians of the Galaxy, is ultimately about as far away from that as possible, and most disheartening is the fact that underneath the mountains of bad decisions lays a good movie with lots of promise, it just failed to come together in this film.