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Suicide Squad extended cut review: More Joker, more Harley Quinn, more nonsense

The Suicide Squad Extended Cut has more Joker, more Harley Quinn, and more talking. But is it a better movie? Here’s a review.

movie reviews Updated: Dec 01, 2016 18:51 IST
Rohan Naahar
Suicide Squad

The extended edition has around 11 minutes of extra footage than the theatrical cut.

Suicide Squad Extended Cut
Director - David Ayer
Cast - Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman
Rating - 2.5/5

We got one for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now, we have an extended cut for Suicide Squad.

It’s our own doing, this. How can we ever complain about such decisions when it is our fault really, that they happen in the first place? The second we slapped our money down on the counter (or, more likely, pressed a button online, punched in our payment details, and watched a loading bar for a couple of seconds), we gave the Suicide Squad Extended Cut our unwitting endorsement – and more worryingly, also to extended cuts of The Flash, Aquaman 12, and Justice League 34 (which has already been slated for a prime July, 2068 release). *

It’s not that we were too dim to realise what was going on, but in hindsight, those Bohemian Rhapsody trailers did a really good job hypnotising us with their psychedelic pinks and strategically placed Jared Letos. We looked right into their eyes and fell for it, without realising, that at the very same moment that we were staring at a screen, drooling at a glimpse of Batman, the capitalist machinery had already begun plotting its next nefarious scheme - this.

The Suicide Squad Extended Cut, it must be understood, is nothing like its predecessor Batman v Superman’s Ultimate Edition. Where the Ultimate Edition was a more traditional ‘director’s cut’, a version of the film in which the changes actually made improvements on the theatrical version, the Suicide Squad Extended Cut does exactly what it says on the tin.

For honesty’s sake, and context, mine was one of the few positive Suicide Squad reviews out there – but only just. It was unfairly bullied, I argued, slapped around the playground, in front of a gawking crowd, just for trying to please us.

For a film that reportedly has multiple cuts in existence, and whose theatrical version was put together by the same people who made its trailers (which is preposterous), the final product was hardly as terrible as it could have been. Like Batman v Superman, the general takeaway was that the material was all there, it was just that the film was edited rather haphazardly, with dangling plotlines, jarring transitions and depending on who you asked (and their threshold for withstanding discomfort), way too little of Jared Leto’s Joker.

But unlike the BvS Ultimate Edition, which is the closest we’ll come to director Zack Snyder’s grim vision for the film, it seems unlikely that Squad director David Ayer had any say in this extended cut. All it does is basically slap on a couple of deleted scenes willy-nilly (most of which feature Leto, possibly to stop him from going around town and blabbing to whoever will listen about how all of his scenes were chopped out), that if anything, make the film slightly worse.

This is still the studio’s cut of the film, complete with all the lurid titles, grating character introductions, and the most-expensive-soundtrack-ever. The extra scenes don’t affect the film tonally, story-wise or in any meaningful way. And since most of them centre around the Joker-Harley Quinn relationship (which was already the best part about the film and not the one that needed tinkering), they are, in other words, pointless.

Watching films like Suicide Squad, and (some of) the Marvel movies, is like getting a quick meal from your third-favourite fast food chain. They are (usually) unmemorable, probably not very good for you and definitely created in some far-off laboratory by mad scientists with sticks (although the veracity of that is still up in the air). But they are also, at least till the time you’re consuming them, the best damn thing to ever exist.

The Suicide Squad extended cut comes with the mistaken assumption that giving someone two slices of cheese instead of one is somehow better. So instead of getting this and wasting time scraping off the extra gunk, just get the regular and hope Suicide Squad doesn’t end up like Oliver Stone’s Alexander, which, at last count, had 4 versions in existence.

*It hasn’t.

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The author tweets @NaaharRohan