After Batman V Superman disappointed, Suicide Squad was supposed to be the dark, gritty antihero adventure that would get DC back on track. Unfortunately, it does not. I’ve never seen a more misleading set of trailers before a film’s release.
The film begins with Amanda Waller pitching the idea of a secret government project for a team of bad guys who can “do some good.” Okay, so far, so good. Just like the trailer.
Waller springs the team out of jail and introduces them to their first (and what we’d later find out, only) mission…manning a suicide hotline.
That’s it. Seriously.
All the action sequences from the trailer? Gone and replaced by scenes our villains talking to people who want to bring about their own demise. Harley Quinn chomps bubblegum while consoling a man who caught his wife cheating. Deadshot tells a confused woman she has her whole life ahead of her as Will Smith struggles to put his headset on over his weird eye mask. There’s even a ten minute stretch where Killer Croc tries to convince a guy not to jump off a building.
The worst part is they’re not even good at it. Since they receive no sensitivity training in how to talk to someone contemplating suicide, pretty much all the callers end up going through with it. One guy even says, “Hey before I start my car engine, a word of advice: you may want to pursue another line of work, Diablo. You made me want to kill myself even more.”
Oh and also, I’m the movie’s weirdest moment, Green Goblin makes a cameo as a grief counselor. He’s a Marvel villain. Pretty sure they’ve got a big lawsuit coming on that one.
There’s been a lot of speculation about the performance of Jared Leto as the Joker. He also disappoints in a major way. His role here is reduced to a crank caller, calling up with fake suicide stories while using lame accents from the Jerky Boys. Eventually they send some cops to his house to sternly ask him to stop. Joker’s super apologetic, saying he understands this is no laughing matter.
The most frustrating part is how DC still tries to treats the film not as its own film, but as a vehicle to reinforce their “cinematic universe.” Several of the callers claim they had family members killed by Henry Cavill’s Superman in either Man of Steel or BvS. One kid calls to say he’s sad because his Dad was one of the thugs in the car Batman set on fire. The final caller is a radio ad for the Justice League movie. After that the film cuts to black.
This film should be retitled: “Watching This Movie Will Make You Want to Commit Suicide Squad.” Shame on you, DC.
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