Film Review: Suicide Squad
My opinions seem to not follow the status quo of many others, which is something I am getting accustomed to. So when I heard about the negative press Suicide Squad was getting, I didn’t mind. I means sure, it meant that I wasn’t going to be in for the blockbuster I hoped at the beginning of the year, but I wanted to see it. I knew that I would likely enjoy it – and enjoy it I did. But I am not afraid to point out the already well documented flaws of the title.
Sure, the film suffered in many respects, but it also did a good job in many others. This was supposed to be a fun movie, with explosive personalities and an intriguing plot to tie them together. For once, it wasn’t up to superheroes, but rather the villains. It was time for some of DC’s greatest baddies to come together and work towards the greater good. Their city and their own lives depend on it.
But as you might expect, villains rarely work well with authorities. We start the film being introduced to the primary characters of the Suicide Squad, most notably Harley Quinn and Deadshot. There’s a quick glance at Killer Croc, El Diablo and Captain Boomer as well – but be warned that not all these characters get a fair treatment in this film. If you’ve come to it as a Captain Boomerang fan, you might be disappointed!
The film revolves around Amanda Waller’s plans to create a team who were expendable and dangerous enough to handle anything, from a massive beast to a maverick Superman. Whilst getting a team of destructive villains together and allowing them access to their weapons and suits seems like a bad plan, Waller does exactly this. Giving the mercenary Deadshot his weapons, Harley gets her costumes, El Diablo gets… non prison clothing, Killer Croc gets some freedom to go into sewers and Captain Boomer gets his boomerangs. Well this sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
Of course, Harley is still obsessed with her “Puddin’”, the Joker. Herein lies one of the main issues of the film. The Joker, in the few scenes he’s portrayed, plays a prominent part to the Suicide Squad story. He is the trigger for Harley, making her unpredictability off the chain. In fact, whilst the performance portrayed by Margot Richie is awesome, it’s not enough to save this dynamic, as there’s no time investment. Therefore, we’re treated to a somewhat ditsy character goofing around with little reason as to why she’s there. I mean she did kill off those grunts when she took the elevator instead of the stairs, I guess. Essentially, although somewhat dark, I feel that they should have held more scenes of Joker being his manipulative and abusive self to Mrs. Quinn.
The real star of the movie lies with Deadshot, portrayed by Will Smith. This was a great rendition of a rather complex character and was pretty accurate to the source material. Yeah, he decides to help the authorities far too early, but in fairness the Deadshot character is always this way in Suicide Squad. Whilst we can point out that Will Smith is playing as Will Smith, he does a great job of proving why he’s still a phenomenal actor and he took Deadshot on wonderfully. Exploiting emotional motives behind characters is what Smith does best and he manages to bring back memories of Deadshot’s daughter, memories that don’t feel forced.
However let’s address the real elephants in the room here. The villain is Enchantress who seems to not be what I was expecting what so ever. From the trailers, I was led to believe we would be treated to the broken Enchantress throughout the film, but instead she gains power rather early on. This then turns it into a love story (of sorts), but also confusingly conjures out a big scary brother of the antagonist from seemingly out of nowhere. After a scene of him being destructive, we’re left with very few scenes with them in. The film needed more information as to why we should dislike them, rather than “They sent some grunts at us.“
The characters aren’t all treated with the respect they deserve, likely due to plot, cuts and time constraint. You see, El Diablo is the only other character who feels like he matters in our Squad. Whilst Killer Croc is simply muscle and gets no extra looking, Captain Boomer gets even less purpose. Almost all of the big baddies shrug off his attacks, like a pesky fly constantly being an aggressor. El Diablo gets a small reprieve when he makes his powers known and the draw on his character was compelling. Good thing too, as he was portrayed wonderfully!
Finally let’s talk about the Joker. He was one of the main selling points of the film and so we were treated to so few scenes with him. Harley’s obsession with “Mr. J” in this adaptation of the Suicide Squad was not right. She shouldn’t be all over him at this point, but since she was, this should have played a greater role. The Joker, performed by Jared Leto, was a rather fun spin on the already highly recognisable character. It’s criminal that so much of his performance was cut out of the final edit… and although I don’t think it will happen, I would love to see him perform as Joker once more.
This isn’t to say that the film is all bad, as I thoroughly enjoyed it – though the less said about the antagonist, the better. All in all, Suicide Squad is a film that tried so very hard, but due to scenes being cut and questionable storyline interference, this is a film you would be forgiven from missing… even if it is actually good fun. If you just want an entertaining film featuring baddies behaving badly (but better than usual), then you will enjoy Suicide Squad. If you want a deep, meaningful backstory to the Suicide Squad, then go watch the old cartoons. As always, leave your thoughts below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
P.S: The soundtrack is absolutely top notch!!