My verdict is officially in. Suicide Squad: all 20 fingers and toes way, way up, and I am prepared to go to the mats on that.
The characters I thought I would have issues with ended up being my favorites. The lack-of-mask-wearing issue with Deadshot ended up not being an issue after all, for me. I was glad. There's a quote that's surprisingly self-aware, where he talks about putting on the mask. I shivered. Rarely do actors disappear for me, as in all I'm seeing is the character they're portraying, but in this film? Will Smith who? No no, that's my old buddy Floyd up there on that screen. I was worried about Enchantress, because the trailer didn't instill confidence in her for me, but I really ended up liking Cara Delevingne for the role. I do still have some serious issues with the treatment of Slipknot, Katana, and El Diablo that basically boil down to under-utilization of characters who deserve better and/or plot decisions I disagree with and/or back story errors. Especially Slipknot. Gotta be vague on that, because spoilers, but if you're not a diehard comic nerd, it's not even remotely going to affect your experience with them. In fact, I'll bet it inspires a trip to your local comic store to grab a book and learn more about who they are. And you'll love them, I promise.
The thing I REALLY loved wasn't even, necessarily, precisely, comic related. They came at the Joker/Harley dynamic in a way I COMPLETELY did not expect, and the abnormal psych nerd in me is *geeking out* about it. Seriously, ask John. I haven't shut up about it for two days. There's a relatively easy to miss complexity to their relationship that underscores all of the scenes they share. The female-identifying-comic-book-nerd in me was also really stoked to see the depth they gave Harley in this film as well. She's not just a beautiful face with a whacked out brain who smashes stuff in tiny shorts (bedazzled underpants?) and a crop top. She's all that AND more. It is super hard not to spoiler, so if you've seen it and want to talk about this aspect, hit me up. I could go on about it for *hours*.
I do wish DC had gone the route Marvel took, in setting up these characters with standalone movies before plunking them into an ensemble film. If you don't already know and love these guys, know their stories, know their motivations, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the pace. I think they may have been trying to straddle that awkward middle place where they could pull people from both camps (the hardcore fans and the "oh look a comic movie!" fans) and it's a bit problematic. The pace is *snap* *snap* *snap* fast in some ways and a little draggy in others. A friend suggested in our conversation that it moves like a comic. Vignettes, action, plot, it all happens fast and bold and in your face - in technicolor. It's a LOT to digest in one sitting. I have a feeling I'm going to watch it a few times to really absorb it... Just like I do with a physical comic book. I like this!
All in all, I want to echo Kevin Smith's sentiments from his excellent review on his YouTube channel. This feels *young*. Not like a kid movie (please, for the love of all that is holy DO NOT take your children to this movie. This is a grownup film with a lot of violence. It's a bad-guy film, guys.) but full of this fun, youthful, badass energy. I left the theatre feeling energized. It made me want to hit the gym and take an aerial yoga class and be a bigger, better, badassier version of myself. It made me want to go out and buy more DC books. It made me want to cheer on the leagues of new fans that will come from this film. All in all, it was a great feeling.
So yes. People are being harsh in their reviews. People didn't like it... But I think there's a lot of good in this movie, and I want to see a heck of a lot more of these characters on the big screen. So, from me? 10/10 will watch again, will buy on release day, will put on the shelf among my favorite comic movies. And DCEU? Way to finally make me a believer... And that's coming from a ride-or-die Marvel girl.