Suicide Squad is not the darkest mainstream superhero comic book movie ever made, nor is it even the darkest live-action film featuring Batman ever made. However, it is gleefully nihilistic, and it takes a different approach to what has become a fairly familiar story form at this point, right at the moment when it feels like superhero movies either have to evolve or die.
Like Avengers Assemble forced through a Deadpool mangle, Suicide Squad gives new life to DC’s big-screen universe. So bad-to-the-bone it’s good.
Writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) skillfully sets up the film, introducing each of the crazies with caffeinated comic-book energy. But their mission...is a bit of a bust. The stakes should feel higher.
New York Daily News
Fans will probably appreciate Suicide Squad for trying something different — and it gets bonus points for diversity — but the weaker characters and generally weak plot keep it from being one of the better comic book movies.
The action beats are taut, but the story arc crumbles under the weight of all the movies it steals from. The casting fails to pop, in most instances.
Boasting a darker, more nihilistic streak than the typical comic-book film, this Warner Bros. release has its kinky pleasures and some amusing nastiness, but in the final analysis there’s simply too much flexing of empty attitude — and far too much self-congratulation for how edgy it thinks it is.
The Hollywood Reporter
A puzzlingly confused undertaking that never becomes as cool as it thinks it is, Suicide Squad assembles an all-star team of supervillains and then doesn’t know what to do with them.
When you compare Suicide Squad to what James Gunn and Marvel Studios achieved in Guardians of the Galaxy – low-profile property, oddball characters, make-it-fun brief – the film makes you cringe so hard your teeth come loose. But it’s a slog even on its own crushingly puerile terms.
Suicide Squad never has the courage of its convictions — it doesn’t own anything. At best, Ayer rents some pre-existing pop iconography and charges us $15 to watch him take it around the block for a spin. Forget the “Worst. Heroes. Ever.” These guys don’t even know how to be bad.
From the first scene to the last, it’s an absolute mess.