Sadly the negative reviews are spot on about the film, though some are a little nitpicky. On the other hand, the positive fan response isn't completely unjustified either, though maybe a little in denial.
For someone who is already a fan, there are some legitimately likeable things in this film, but isn't necessarily what you were expecting from watching the trailers. The right components are there (some of them anyway), but they maybe could've been assembled together better.
"How it Should Have Ended" has a great review on YouTube. I thought I would riff on that a little because it got me thinking: What is this movie really about and what should a movie like this be about? How do you say to a movie fairly, "You were supposed to be about something other than this," and be right. No one was disappointed that Saving Private Ryan didn't explore the divisive themes of slavery vs states' rights vs federal government that the Civil War provokes, because it wasn't about that war. Nobody says to Back to the Future that the romance is under-cooked and the drama is hyperbolic because it's a fun buddy adventure series, not HBO. But people will complain that the new Star Trek isn't "cerebral" or "socially relevant" enough or that it's too "action-packed" and has too many lens flares (for the record, I love the new Star Trek Beyond, but we'll talk about that another time). People also complain about Star Wars, the same way, "It's not like [fill in the blank] enough."
So as much as I could write a blog about the origin of fan expectations and whether they are valid or not, instead I'm going to explore the concept of Theme in story. I believe that every good story has a theme or two and whether or not you are satisfied at the end is dependent upon whether that theme was coherent and properly depicted from start to finish.
If there is a problem with Suicide Squad, it is that there is no coherent theme. There are hints of a theme here and there, and echoes of accepted genre tropes we're used to seeing elsewhere so much that we almost don't question them here, but nothing internally consistent. This could be the byproduct of too many changes to the film in post-production or differing opinions on final edits of the film. Or just lazy writing.
So here is what I think the theme should've been...