One is put in mind of Shakespeare. Sort of. Watching SUICIDE SQUAD, that is, and thinking that here we have a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying much worse than nothing, signifying a major financial loss for its studio. Not to mention the time lost by the viewer. This irredeemable mess is so obstinately, so insouciantly incoherent that even Margot Robbie’s otherwise sublime and blissed out turn as a psychotic nymphet with a baseball bat and a cheery smile is rendered moot.
Based on the DC comic of the same name, it begins with an extended prologue designed to introduce us to, as the advertising copy promises the worst heroes ever. And so they are. Deadshot (a subdued Will Smith), a hitman who never misses; the ci-mentioned Ms Robbie as Harley Quinn, ex psychiatrist turned criminal by her patient, the Joker (Jared Leto); Boomerang (Jai Courtney) a bank robber with a unicorn fetish; Killer Croc ( an inert Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), an evolutionary throwback of a crocodile man, and Diablo (Jay Hernandez all but overwhelmed by his facial tattoos) a pyrokinetic gangbanger. There’s also a 6000-year-old witch, Enchantress, who is possessing a singularly mousy archeologist, the bespectacled and be-bunned June Moon (Cara Delevingne). That particular situation is held in check only by the constant monitoring of said archeologist by the finest soldier on the planet, the stalwart Captain Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), who, conveniently, is also in love with Dr. Moon. The idea of assembling them into an anti-dream team in the wake of Superman’s death (see the equally awful BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN) is courtesy of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a government functionary in very proper pearls who frets about what would happen if a Superman type without our values showed up one day to snatch the President from the Oval Office. How this squad could help is not made clear, though the scene of her sitting at a posh restaurant with other government functionaries while making her case goes on for what seems like an eternity, besmirching with its low rent homage a similar looking restaurant scene in JFK.
That is, until the rest of the film arrives, stretching that eternity out the way time is pulled like taffy at the edge of a black hole, which is a fine comparison to this flick, where explosions and CGI, helicopter crashes and a glowing altar of planetary destruction are trapped with no hope of escape into a story that might make them worth seeing. Even the flaming emoticons generated by the gangbanger, which, alas, are not without a certain charm.
These characters scurry around on short electronic leashes, spewing one-liners and pretending that what is happening at any given moment makes sense. Harley having a flashback for no readily apparent reason about when she and the Joker leapt into a vat of something undefined but mildly acidic in order to prove their love? Why not? Top secret files printed out and labeled as such left lying about rather than being encrypted on a thumb-drive or, better yet, not removed from the secure filing cabinet in which it should reside? Of course. Endless forays into non-sequitors of plot designed to show up something going kerplooy rather than telling a story? We’ve come too far to let that stop us.
And just when you think it can’t get worse, the Enchantress engages in a deliriously unhinged speeches about taking over the world while she performs a sort of stationary cha-cha that has nothing to do with rhythm or sensuality. Loincloth and studded bra notwithstanding. It’s like nothing so much as a prolonged twitch executed under duress. One wanted to turn away in bemused horror and wonder that this was committed to the final edit.
Bright, brash, and very loud, SUICIDE SQUAD screams its satisfaction with itself without ever showing us anything to back that up. It joins the legendary ranks of JUPITER ASCENDING, FANTASTIC FOUR, and BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN as a colossal failure of epic proportions.