Like Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice before it, Suicide Squad was a comic book adaptation that got some things right but most things wrong. So it’s fitting that the Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, and DVD of the Suicide Squad Extended Cut — which includes both the original and a longer version of the film as well as a compliment of extras — would be equally uneven.
Set after the events of Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad has a government official Amanda Waller (Enders Game star Viola Davis) assembling a special ops squad made up of supervillains that includes Harley Quinn (The Wolf Of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Men In Black 3 star Will Smith), and Killer Croc (The Bourne Identity‘s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). But when one of the squad goes rogue, the rest have to work together to rescue a V.I.P. from the combat zone.
In other words, Suicide Squad is The Seven Samurai with supervillains.
If only it was that good. While the general idea behind the movie, and this team, is solid — as evidenced by such comic collections as Sean Ryan’s New Suicide Squad: Volume 2: Monsters — the film comes up short. Regardless of whether you watch the theatrical cut or the Suicide Squad Extended Edition, the flick still spends so much time on the set-up, on introducing us to the characters, that there isn’t enough time for the pay-off. It would be like if the Marvel movies started with The Avengers, but spent half the time introducing the heroes through condensed versions of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Incredible Hulk, and the bits of Iron Man 2 with Black Widow.
Both the Suicide Squad Extended Cut and theatrical version also suffer from some misfires when it comes to the characters. While The Joker, played here by Panic Room‘s Jared Leto, is usually good for a laugh, here he looks and acts like a meth-addicted Juggalo. Even more annoying is watching how The Enchantress, as played by Cara Delevinge (Paper Towns), goes from being likeable in human form and freaky in witch form into someone who shimmies in such a laughably silly way that she loses any credibility.
Ultimately, though, the biggest problem with both the regular version and the Suicide Squad Extended Cut is that the way the story plays out is obvious, overly telegraphed, and thus boring. It even starts raining right when things go bad, as if the weather is totally predictable.
That said, there are some things that Suicide Squad gets right. Both Margot Robbie and Viola Davis are spot-on as Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller, respectfully. Robbie is as electric here as Harley has been in the cartoon and comics, while Davis’ total captures Waller’s tough intelligence. But it’s not enough to save this movie. Especially since their performances are also sometimes derailed, if only momentarily, by having to utter such terrible lines as when Quinn makes an obvious joke about a “killer app.”
Honestly, if you want to see a far better version of Suicide Squad, watch the animated movie Batman: Assault On Arkham. Sure, it’s a spin-off of the Batman: Arkham games, but you don’t need to be a gamer to enjoy it.
Like the movie it presents, the Suicide Squad Extended Cut Blu-rays and DVD have some interesting extras, but ultimately also comes up a bit short.
For starters, Suicide Squad Extended Cut Blu-rays and DVD have a twenty-three-minute long featurette called “Task Force X: One Team, One Mission” that goes into the comic roots of both the group itself and the individual members, while the almost fifteen-minutes long “Joker & Harley: ‘It’ Couple Of The Underworld” mines similar territory for its respective characters, though it goes deeper into how they were portrayed by Leto and Robbie. But while it’s nice to see this kind of comic history, which is usually missing from or given the short stick on the Blu-rays and DVDs of comic book movies, their inclusion is somewhat negated by how the background music in “Task Force X” is sometimes so loud it overwhelms the interviews.
Next, the Suicide Squad Extended Cut Blu-rays and DVD present a series of making-of featurettes: “Chasing The Real” spends just under ten minutes on how director David Ayer tried to root the movie in reality; the nine-minute-long “Armed To The Teeth” has the cast and crew talking about the movie’s physical training; “This Is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles Of Suicide Squad” is a nearly eleven-minute look at the action scenes; while “The Squad Declassified” is a four-minute piece on the characters and their first battle together. All of which are informative, save for “The Squad Declassified,” which mostly covers territory already discussed in the other featurettes.
Lastly, the Suicide Squad has a two-minute-long “Gag Reel” that, as usual, has the cast screwing up…and Will Smith sneezing. It’s what you expect.
Unfortunately, some of the other extras you might expect from the Suicide Squad Extended Cut Blu-rays and DVD are not included. Like a commentary, especially one that features Robbie, Smith, and other members of the cast, or maybe Robbie and Leto on their own, and not just one with Ayer and/or the producers.
There’s also no deleted scenes. Granted, they may have all been reinstated for the Suicide Squad Extended Cut, but even then, fans of the theatrical version would probably want to see them on their own. Which brings up another M.I.A. extra: something explaining what was added to the Suicide Squad Extended Cut and why it was both cut from the theatrical version and restored for the Suicide Squad Extended Cut.
It’s also annoying that Suicide Squad doesn’t include the movie’s original trailers, which were more entertaining than the movie. Especially since, when you first pop the disc in, you get to see trailers for Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Wonder Woman, the fighting game Injustice 2 that has the Superfriends going all supermano-a-supermano, and even the Suicide Squad soundtrack.
It also would’ve been cool, though not entirely necessary, if the Suicide Squad Extended Cut Blu-rays and DVD had “Joker’s Favor,” the episode of Batman: The Animated Series that introduced Harley.
In the end, neither the Suicide Squad Extended Cut nor the theatrical version are what fans of the original comics or superhero movies in general were hoping for, and the same can be said for the Blu-rays and DVD that present this movie. Sure, there are some bright spots, but just as Wonder Woman couldn’t save Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice, Harley and Waller can’t save this flick from doing itself in.