This film was bad. Not Batman v Superman bad, but still it was the kind of film whereby you would actually enjoyed it if you checked your brain at the door. Incoherent plot, choppy directing and editing, flat and flimsy characters, and worst of all - for a superhero (or in this case a super-villain) film - it was funless.
Behind-the-scenes studio-involved shenanigans notwithstanding, writer and director David Ayers can be blamed solely on the failure of this supposedly subversive entry into the superhero genre. Ayer did try to inject some fun into the, thus far, dark and gloomy DC Universe with Suicide Squad. And he did succeed in the first third. With a fun introduction to the main characters, but the first signs of trouble were also apparent then with his mismatched choices of "fun music" (trying too hard to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy, DC) to preface the scenes.
It is sad when one of the best scenes is better known for Eminem's rapping.
With so many characters to service, it was not surprising that many ended on the wayside, however for those that he had chosen to focus on - Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and to a lesser extent, Diablo and Rick Flag - he failed to even provide them with decent characterisation. Subjecting them to rote, flat, boring, and uninspired backstories and inconsistent motivations.
The most erroneously treated character was The Joker. Firstly, Heath Ledger's performance was unique and in all fairness to Jared Leto, he will always have an uphill task in following up on that tour de force. Luckily, Leto managed to make his Joker different enough, but sadly he was a peripheral one-note character that only served as a comparison to Harley Quinn.
Speaking of Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie should be offended by her role and her character. I felt offended for her. She was blatantly exploited and used as a sexist and misogynistic tool. Her maniacal craziness was too over-the-top and bordered on just plain crazy rather than sociopathic.
Will Smith should have just continued to stay hidden. He cannot commit to really being a villain can him? His story line really was just one big eye-roll.
And everybody else was just flat, one-note and boring. Quips were not funny and their banter was more like a line-by-line table read.
As for the villainest of the villains. Let's just say that Ayers obviously have been taking notes from The Green Lantern and Fantastic Four.
Viola Davis channeled her darkest Annalise Keating, but without the vulnerability and sharpness. Her role barely tapped into the amazing depth that she possess.
Then we have the directing. The whole film felt like bits and pieces of "moments" stitched together to form some sort of bare narrative cohesion. Ayers does not have an eye for action. This was one of the worst action choreography and directing. I could barely understand and follow the fight scenes. There was no big stand out set-piece at all, with no wow-moment or a real climax. Something to compensate for all the dreary blahness in the beginning.
And TOO MUCH slow-mo! Unnecessary slow-mo! Gosh, didn't Ayer learn anything from Snyder's BvS?
There could have been so much potential in this story, but yet it still felt like another stepping stone for DC before Justice League hits. Although with this, pressure definitely increases for Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash (hate the look!!!) to perform. But perhaps with reduced expectations, the outcome may be better.
Take a leaf out of the pages of The CW.