Review: Suicide Squad: Extended Cut (2016)


When Suicide Squad hit movie screens earlier this year at the tail end of the summer movie season; expectations were high. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice had been a massive critical disappointment and, aside from kudos for the respective performances of Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, most found the film to be overstuffed and dour. The trailers for Suicide Squad promised a lighter film; one akin to Marvel Studios’ recent 2014 success Guardians of the Galaxy with a team of lovable rogues teaming up to fight a greater evil, accompanied by repurposed classic rock songs. Director David Ayer had great success with mainstream ensemble films like End of Watch and Fury and many were expecting a film with an auteur’s touch that would rival Deadpool in hewing close to the source material.


Instead, the movie audiences received was a micromanaged and ADD-addled mess of jumbled characters who sometimes appear and disappear from the film with no explanation, an endless string of montage/info dump scenes of exposition masquerading as character development, and a bizarro edit which left Jared Leto’s Joker in the finished product of the film with less than 3 minutes of total screen time.

Regardless of these issues, Suicide Squad was a massive box office success; one that inspired the people at DC Entertainment to announce a new extended cut of Suicide Squad was on its way that would be a “true” director’s vision of what David Ayer intended to put on the screen. Given that the “Ultimate Edition” of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was widely praised for addressing many of the films editing, pacing and storyline issues, expectations were high that the Suicide Squad: Extended Cut would fix many of the editing issues plaguing the theatrical cut.

Upon watching the Suicide Squad: Extended Cut, I was reminded of our review of the film from back in August ( read that review HERE ), where I wrote that “(Suicide Squad is) … at war with itself in terms of what kind of movie it wants to be and that makes it kind of forgettable in the long run. It feels like a lot of it is lost in an editing bay somewhere and the film’s exposition heavy structure and messy editing belie a better narrative elsewhere that the audience didn’t get in this version.”

Unfortunately, Suicide Squad: Extended Cut is not that better narrative.

The movie has the exact same ham fisted editing that plagued the theatrical cut. Harley Quinn and Deadshot are both introduced twice, once prior and then once after the credits, exactly the same way they are in the theatrical cut. The jarring intro of the film, replete with stock footage from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is still here. Ultimately, this cut has superficial changes at best. Despite an additional 12 minutes of runtime, the film was not recut in any meaningful way. Someone who casually watched the film might not even notice the changes, that is how little the additional footage adds to the film. The intros for a few characters are a few seconds longer. The most meaningful contributions to the film manifest themselves in five scenes:

1. The Harley intro scene where Joker uses electroshock on Harley Quinn is a bit longer. This is so Joker can have some additional dialogue prior to the “I’m not gonna kill you, I’m just gonna hurt you really really bad” line about how Quinn has been getting into his head and trying to change him. Clearly this is some more smoothing over to try and make the Joker/Harley relationship seem more like a “doomed love due to psychosis” or even more of an ersatz Mickey and Mallory relationship – especially when he puts a gag in her mouth to make sure she doesn’t chip her caps.

2. This is followed up moreso in an additional Joker/Harley flashback where Dr. Quinzel chases down Joker on a motorcycle and demands he profess her love, but instead he tries to scare her off. Leto has a lot of dialogue here, where he channels the Heath Ledger version of the Joker; claiming he’s not a person but an idea. A trucker shows up to try and break up their fight and Quinzel kills him as the Joker refuses to admit he loves her. This was likely cut due to the fact that in the Extended Cut, Harley has 3 different flashbacks of her life with the Joker while randomly looking at things.

3. When Deadshot tells Harley to “stay evil” and spread the word about their planned escape with the Joker; we see her approach the other Squad members. She tells Boomerang, who tells Diablo. Diablo says he’s not interested, then tells Boomerang not to bother with Croc, since he’s a cannibal and doesn’t care.

4. Harley gets bored after stealing the purse from the department store in Midway City and tries to psychoanalyze various members of the Squad out of boredom, from Katana, to Killer Croc. This adds elements of camaraderie to the team which pay off later in this cut.

5. Ike Barinholz’ character offers Croc a choice of a cheeseburger, onion rings with all the works or a skinless goat to eat. Croc picks the obvious choice.

Ultimately, most of the changes are just extended scenes. Some is character development, but most of the changes are slight due to the radical ed-edit done to change the nature of the Joker/Harley relationship in the original cut to make it a consensual, non-abusive one. Thus, in this edit, Leto’s Joker is still not in the film for more than five minutes.


The choice presented to the consumer thus is whether to purchase a half-crippled cut of the original vision of the film, with warts and all. That or a version with slightly longer scenes in some areas. Thankfully, the Blu Ray release includes both versions (theatrical and extended) on Blu Ray with theatrical on DVD as an extra. So at least the need to pick and choose or double dip is not present. I still maintain that this Squad has great chemistry and would thrive in a movie that doesn’t have to bear the heavy load that Warner Brothers placed on it in terms of universe building. You get more of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and that may be a purchase point for many and she is still the movies MVP along with Viola Davis. As audience members, we still deserve a better cut than this Suicide Squad: Extended Cut provides; one that provides more character development and less music video ambience.

Suicide Squad (Extended Cut Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) hits stores on December 13th

Purchase Link

Suicide Squad (Extended Cut Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)