Suicide Squad could be cut down to like a 45 minute movie about Deadshot and Amanda Waller, with some comic relief from Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang, and it would be pretty good. Unfortunately, it is 2 hours and 10 minutes long, and features a lot of Rick Flagg, Joker, Killer Croc, El Diabo, an antagonist, and other stuff ranging from “meh” to “awful.” Some spoilers after this.
The entire Joker storyline is as if it’s written by someone unfamiliar with the Joker. Deadshot is given a sympathetic story arc. He’s a killer, but we’re shown that he loves his daughter, so in a movie full of bad people, we’re supposed to like him. Meanwhile, Joker appears to really love Harley. Everything he does is motivated by his love for Harley. His arc mirrors Deadshot’s pretty closely. Which is a total failure, in my book, to get the Joker character right.
Margot Robbie is indeed hot, and she had some funny lines, but her character sucks. The movie’s interpretation of how crazy she is largely takes the form of her doing very sexual things (undressing in front of strangers, licking a prison bar like it’s a penis, dancing like a stripper). It takes more skill as a writer, but there are ways to make sexy things happen on screen and have them make sense for characters.
Also I have objections to the Batman/Deadshot cameo scene. Deadshot’s daughter is there, Batman has reason to believe Deadshot is armed and dangerous. So obvious he waits for Deadshot to drop his daughter off, safe and sound, and then apprehend him after, right? Because Batman is Batman and he doesn’t want to put kids in danger? And because it’s a fucking kid walking with her dad in an alley in Gotham City at night, and that has to give Bruce Wayne some pause before he creates a dangerous situation right? I mean I suppose there’s a Bat-God argument that he knew the kid would talk Deadshot into surrendering, but I call BS. Replace Batman with a SWAT team and that’s a great scene.
It’s probably the best movie of the DC movie universe so far, but that’s setting the bar pretty low. There are entertaining parts, but it isn’t a good movie. I think DC wanted this to be their Guardians of the Galaxy, with a group of misfits and a lot of wisecracking, but it’s not as funny, the characters aren’t as interesting, and the story is pretty weak.