Screw Katana's soul-catching sword, you could cut through the characters of "Suicide Squad" with a moist towelette.
(Mandatory spoiler warning)
By now, you've heard the early reviews that "Suicide Squad" from David Ayers and DC Comics is a fiery bag of rotten hot dogs. While the early reactions are eerily familiar to "Batman v Superman," the final result is even worse. I went into this movie without reading a review, the only thing I had heard was that it was "disappointing" and that Leto was already banging the deleted scenes gong.
Let's talk about the good here up at the top, it won't take long, so we might as well start on the Good Vibes train.
The use of Superman's death to drive Waller's Task Force X plan from terrifying brainchild to reality is a fantastic painting of using fear to drive political maneuvering. We see a man outside selling Superman shirts that read "Remember" on the back before we cut to Waller using this fear to gain more power and control.
It's an effective way to make the formation of this team seem believable. We get fun looks at Batman and Ezra Miller's Cybor ... I mean Flash bring some of the group into prison. Batman is used brilliantly, he's there, he's not distracting and they move his and the Justice League's story along both subtly during the movie and in the post-credits scene.
After about 45-minutes of thinly-veiled, cliched and predictable character development, you start to realize that there isn't an antagonist.
Outside of Amanda Waller and the cardboard cutout characters that make up the Suicide Squad, there is no one to hate, well, besides the cardboard cutout characters that make up the Suicide Squad.
As catastrophic as this is, I'm not even sure it's the most damning aspect of the movie.
Viola Davis plays Waller, who passively aggressively appears on iPad screens and phone calls throughout the movie before randomly shooting FBI agents and doing other random things.
Will Smith plays Will Smith with a cool headset. Think "Pursuit of Happyness" with an assassin.
Margot Robbie delivers Harley Quinn dialogue like a sarcastic, northeastern soundboard. Robbie's performance in the first hour is probably the highlight of the movie, but the last remaining hour of the movie just seems to be a rehash of funny things she said in the fast half.
She plays crazy well, and I think if she's actually given something of substance to work with (LIKE A BATMAN MOVIE) , that she could win the hearts of Harley fans. Robbie is so much more than a sexy quote machine, and that's where it falls flat.
I will say this, fans of the animated series will enjoy Robbie's Quinn more than others. She's funny, she's weird and completely insane.
I am a fan of the animated series, hence why I am sitting here telling you she is the best part of the movie.
Jared Leto plays the Joker like he's trying to do a Marlon Brando orange in mouth "Godfather" impersonation. We seriously get him in such random, sporadic increments that it makes you wonder why in the blue hell they wasted this character to do a poor, duct-taped build to Harley.
When he gets time to creep people out, it's good. When he's talking in a quiet room with his ridiculous Grill and terrible tattoos, it's cringe-worthy. More on Joker and David Ayers' costly missed opportunity.
Oh, and also this, #TRANKED:
Joel Kinnaman plays Rick Flagg as the stereotypical grounding, white, motivating military figure.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Killer Croc might be the worst ensemble character a comic book movie has ever witnessed. Seriously, every time he got to say a sassy line or walk across the screen for two seconds, I painfully laughed. Croc did get one genuine laugh out of me near the end with his sewer TV, so that happened.
El Diablo feels like a dark take on the Breakfast Club bad boy.
Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang was somehow ... enjoyable? He didn't really do anything besides distract me from hating things, but, hey, it worked. COMEDIC RELIEF!
Kickin' Wing dies immediately with no reason or payoff.
Cara Delevingne as Dr. June Moone/Enchantress is our antagonist (?), yeah, that sounds right.
While the character development was sub par at best, at least they attempted to show us something at a personal level because at a Metahuman or ability level, they give us absolutely nothing.
In a movie with no heroes, there is also somehow no villain. The half-assed use of Jared Leto's Joker makes this last sentence that much more appalling.
There was something here. When it comes to Joker, more is always better. This was DC's villain, this was the backbone they should have clung to, this is what would have made people more invested.
Seriously, think about these two scenarios:
Reality: Enchantress gets her heart back, brings her brother back to life and they create this mysterious weapon that never gets explained. Why are they our villains? "Humans used to worship us, now they worship machines." WOW WHAT A FRESH, INVENTIVE IDEA. LET'S NAME SOMETHING SKYNET.
Not reality: The team gets formed, knocks out a couple of missions when Joker decides he's had enough, snatches Harley and it turns into Suicide Squad takes on Joker to get Harley back at Waller's orders.
When you use the Joker. Use the fucking Joker.
I left wanting more Joker and Harley. My greatest fear coming into this movie?
Leaving with the empty feeling of needing more Joker and Harley.
"Suicide Squad" is another failed attempt by DC's Cinematic Universe. There is no way around that. There are too many hands in the pot. Too many characters with nothing to do and no real antagonists.
Marvel develops villains with some forethought. DC doesn't develop villains period. That's where they are falling flat. If there is nothing to hate, there is nothing to love in these types of movies.
Yes, each member of the Suicide Squad has their own personal motivation but what are they really coming together for? We don't have a credible villain. We don't have any background on the evil. We don't know what the weapon is. We don't have anything to hang onto.
I kind of want to be done yelling now.