With the summer winging down, it’s time for yet another comic book film. This time, DC Comics is giving us it’s team of bad guys. Let’s talk about the Suicide Squad…
Suicide Squad starts with the introduction of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a government official with a great deal of influence. With the death of Superman, her goal is to make a team that can fight secret battles the US government would never admit to. Using her connections she assembles a team, Task Force X, to take the fall if battles go wrong.
The team; Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot (Will Smith), Waylon Jones aka Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje), Chato Santana aka El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Digger Harkness aka Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) are activated after another Government asset Dr. June Moone aka the Enchantress breaks her brother free and starts destroying Midway City. The team, lead by Waller’s commander Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), have to deal with Enchantress’ evil army as well as the Joker (Jared Leto) whose looking to reunite with Quinn.
This might shock some who read the early reviews of the film, but Suicide Squad is ok film. Not amazing, but still better then the polarizing Batman V Superman. While the plot and editing might not have been up to high standard, the overall product is solid.
The films strongest attribute is by fair it’s characters, with the roles of Smith, Robbie, Davis and Leto being the strongest examples of good casting. These four seem to embody a great deal of character and dominate all of the scenes that they’re featured in. Past the stars the rest of the cast is good but isn’t given the time to really step out of the shadows. That being said, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t fun to watch as all of the characters seems to mesh well with one another over the course of the films 123 minute running time.
Additionally, the films production is strong, with great detail given to the DC Comics cinematic world. The designs of the Enchantresses army feels like they were rips from the dark mind of H. P. Lovecraft and make the film different from the past doom and gloom of Man of Steel and BvS. Magic is an idea that even Marvel is just dipping it’s toe into and this film adds depth to the relatively new world DC films.
But sadly solid casting and production aren’t the only factors of a good movie. What’s also needed is a strong plot something that Suicide Squad seems conflicted with.
At it’s core, the idea of Suicide Squad is great; bad guys doing good cause they want to lessen their sentencing and not get killed by their captors. But the film ends up falling into the superhero trope of a beam of light going into the sky and destroying things. While the story has been done time and time again (Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four Remake, Man of Steel) the film doesn’t take the time to do anything different with the idea.
Also at fault is the films editing which ironically feels schizophrenic at times. From the opening frames of the film to it’s final in the mid-credits scene the movie doesn’t breath. The pace is so fast paced that the viewer could get whiplash from the opening origins alone.
These factors make it hard to love this movie, a movie that I was hoping so much to love…but hey that’s how it seemingly goes with DC Comics films.
One wonders if there’s another directors cut coming that makes the plot move better, albeit adding to the running time much like the Ultimate Cut of Dawn of Justice. According to Leto a lot of the Joker’s screen time was cut, but in the end is more gangster Joker what the film needs? Maybe? The whole Africa subplot in BvS made me like it a little more.
In the end, Suicide Squad isn’t a terrible film. It’s a movie that has all the parts to be great, but just doesn’t put the tools to use in the best way. Are you wasting your money in seeing it? Heck no, it’s fun and features some well done scenes and shows off a number of fun characters. In a world where Pixels exists this feels like it’s deserving of your money.
Suicide Squad was produced by DC Entertainment, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment and Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.