Suicide Squad Review
Suicide Squad is the fun and fancy free feature of the current string of DC movies. In other words, the film was meant as a kind of care-free fan service project while the serious DC films reel in from Batman v. Superman from earlier this year and everyone gets hyped for the Justice League film. You can definitely see this less serious approach with the film but for that, it actually went into surprisingly deep places which impressed the heck out of me.
In case you’re completely in the dark, the film’s plot concerns Amanda Waller (DC Comics’ token scheming government operative) putting together a task force of super villains to take down potential threats posed by other super villains and heroes. The team consists of comic accurate members Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, The Enchantress, El Diablo and Rick Flag – as well as fan pandering Bat-alumni of Harley Quinn and Killer Croc, as well as DC B-lister heroine Katana.
The film is stylistically very different from Batman v. Superman with a colourful look and lively (almost frantic) pace. Character back-stories are shotgunned at the beginning and scenes set up for, occasionally, painfully obvious punchlines. But in all that, this super villain action-comedy-drama is surprisingly satisfying and only partially because of the excellent and varied selection of recognisable songs heard in the soundtrack (from Black Sabbath to Eminem).
Will Smith really out does himself. As a self-proclaimed “don’t really care about that character”-person of Deadshot, I was impressed how well Smith managed to humanize the character, give him depth and a personality that clearly stuck out from the other squad members. In fact, if anything, I feel Deadshot and Harley Quinn maybe stole the spotlight too much leaving most of the other Squad members in the background. Even so, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang both had their excellent gag moments as well. And El Diablo’s back-story is actually really good once the movie eventually gets to it.
Margot Robbie is hilarious in her energetic performance as Harley Quinn but also imbues the character with a lot of depth and emotion that we never really saw in the character’s appearances in the animated DC properties. She and Deadshot also have easily the best chemistry in the film which further really made these characters work. My favourite scene by far is the Squad sitting for drinks before the climactic battle which really just showed how awesome this gathering of characters actually is.
The action scenes are also fine and well put-together, but perhaps not as impactful as in Batman v. Superman, which is a shame. People probably want to hear what I thought of Jared Leto’s Joker – but I think it’s best that people see the movie and judge for themselves. I was a little put off by the afore-mentioned shotgunning of character back-stories right at the start, but at least it gives the audience a sense of who the characters are right away. Do I think the film would have been better if these inserts had been dispersed a little more evenly through the film? Yes. But it didn’t ruin the movie for me either.
In all that, the movie’s biggest weakness, hands down, was the plot which got just borderline idiotic and without which I could have honestly said this film beat pants off Batman v. Superman.
!!HUGE SPOILERS BELOW!!
In the plot, Flag and the Enchantress are a tragic love-couple but Flagman’s hubby loses control to the evil spirit. Because Amanda Waller is a heartless bitch, she keeps the Enchantress’s heart in a box so she’ll obey her. The Enchantress releases her brother Incubus and basically keeps Waller hostage while planning to destroy the world’s militaries. The fact that Waller has the balls to even claim that this proves her point about forming Suicide Squad, that meta-humans are a threat (also, I hate the word “meta-humans” and wish DC would stop using it) and need to be dealt with, shows an astonishing lack of a sense of irony by the character. And even after the Squad rescues her (without knowing that they’re rescuing her), she gets captured immediately again, really making me wonder what the scriptwriters were even thinking.
!!SPOILERS END HERE!!
Suicide Squad is the kind of movie where you have to leave your brain at the door and take your heart with you, because it’s a fun-filled ride and slightly screwier than your average super hero flick. It’s got some really butt-numbing dumb parts as well, but I think DC fans are really going to enjoy this.
Score: 3½ out of 5
- +1 The character dynamic of the Suicide Squad
- +1 Deadshot & Harley Quinn
- +1 El Diablo
- +½ Killer Croc is occasionally pretty funny…
- -½ …but that BET-joke at the end was bad.
- -1 The plot.