Movie Review: ‘Suicide Squad’

August 6, 2016 at 8:25 am | Posted in DC Entertainment, Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment

There’s been a lot of hype for Suicide Squad as the competition between DC and Marvel has heated up. When it comes to the big screen, Marvel reigns supreme, and DC is looking to take the crown. While the Suicide Squad isn’t a complete miss, it does fail to threaten Marvel’s box office supremacy. It’s a great idea with some great moments, however it falls short of what it could have been.

In a way, Suicide Squad is the antithesis of The Avengers. Whereas the Avengers movies are clean, polished powerhouses of good guy team-ups, the Suicide Squad is a dirty, chaotic mess of the bad guys. Because of that overall feel and theme, the film can afford to get away with some of that messiness, even though it still hurts the film overall. The editing and flow of the movie is a little clunky as backstories are hamfistedly shoved in at the beginning as some of the characters are introduced. Other flashbacks are awkwardly dropped later in the movie. That flashbacks in of themselves aren’t bad, and they do give audiences a taste of who these people are, but the way the director put them into the film lacks a bit of finesse. They’re just kind of shoved in there with some blunt narration. There’s no subtlety, and not much style to the way they tried to integrate most of the backstories and flashbacks into the movie. On top of that, there’s some issues with the overall direction of the film. As long as you don’t look to deeply into anything, it’s fine, but when you start examining things are trying to put things together, the story and elements start to fall apart.

Nevertheless, there’s actually a lot in the movie that works. The casting, for instance, is perfect. Each of the members in the Suicide Squad live up to the roles they’re stepping into. Even Jared Leto as the Joker does a remarkable job, which is no small feat considering the legendary performances that have come before him. While he’s not in the same league as Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, he puts in a good performance that works and should certainly earn him the right to carry on. Will Smith does a good job of playing the mercenary with a buried heart, while smaller performances like Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang add a nice flavor and variety to lineup. The casting goes so far as to cover even the non-hero roles like Amanda Waller, the person in charge of putting the squad together. She’s not a metahuman or a caped crusader. She’s just a bureaucrat trying to keep law and order with a steel fish and no remorse. It’s an interesting role but a tough one to play when you’re overshadowed by the likes of everyone else in the film. Yet Viola Davis pulls it off and makes her characters standout. Throughout the film, the casting shines as it’s an excellent collection of talent.

In the end, though, Harley Quinn steals the show. Yes, Batman is in the movie. He actually gets quite a bit of screen time early on during the flashback scenes. And yes, there is a lot of Joker in this movie. But the surprising thing is how much Harley Quinn is able to avoid being overshadowed by Mr. J. While David Ayer may have made some mistakes, he did a good job of taking the Joker out of the picture and allowing Harley to shine for most of it. She has some fun dialog, some silly but enjoyable action moments as she quite proudly goes into battle with a baseball bat, and some intriguing glimpses into her fractured psyche. This is a person who fell in love with a psychopath, was tortured by the person she fell in love with, and who cannot escape that damaged path she fell upon. Throughout the movie, there’s a lot of meat thrown out there for the fans to dig into. It might not be the best executed story, but it’s a well loved character, and there’s enough there to still satisfy fans.

All in all, the movie does suffer from the approach of it’s directing and writing. Interestingly enough, David Ayer was both the writer and director, so a lot of the blame for the movies shortcomings can easily be pointed at him. It certainly wasn’t an easy task to take on. Sometimes he gets it right, and other times he misses. Deadshot only gets one trick shot in the movie. The flashbacks and backstories are jammed in. The flow of the movie kind of stutters and stops then rampages on. But the acting is excellent. There’s some great dialog moments. Some of the visuals are perfect as they capture the essence of the DC universe and the characters. The idea of the film, taking a bunch of bad guys to go fight other bad guys, is golden as it allows a different feel for a superhero movie. Yet the villain they go with struggles a bit with CGI that falls a little short, some odd character movements, and is regrettably not a standout among all the villains they had or could have gone with. There’s flaws and shortcomings, but Suicide Squad is still worth a watch if you’re a fan of the characters. Don’t dig too deeply. Just sit back and enjoy the show. It’s messy, but sometimes a hot mess can still be entertaining. I give it a three out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

Side Note: if you’re unfamiliar with the characters of Suicide Squad, I highly recommend checking out Comic Book Noob’s two part podcast covering the characters. It’s a great way to get familiar with them before seeing the movie and it’ll only take about an hour to listen – Part One and Part Two.

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