Written by Andrew Garrison
I have been excited for this movie since July of last year, when the trailer got leaked at Comic-Con. It looked like it was going to be a lot of fun, and really twisted and strange; although, admittedly, with a PG-13 rating, it can only get so strange. This may be another case where an R rating would have allowed for a more authentic, visceral film. Nevertheless, I already love most of the cast, and the marketing work for ‘Suicide Squad’ looked fantastic; this film looked to be everything I could want from a ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, and more.
Once again though, this DC movie has received quite a lot of negative criticism. Thankfully, my most trusted sources thoroughly loved the film, and after seeing it myself, I have to say I loved it. I am really surprised about the hate it has been getting, but I understand some films are bound to be divisive. If you didn’t enjoy ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, there is a fair chance that you probably aren’t going to love this one either. However, for those that didn’t hate the aforementioned film, I’m confident you will have a pretty good time with this film, and indeed, I actually think this is a better film than the theatrical version of ‘Batman v Superman’.
Now, it’s hard to talk about the plot here without spoiling too much, but I’ll do my best. ‘Suicide Squad’ is about an elite team of incarcerated super-villains – including the likes of Deadshot, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn – who are collected by the notorious Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) in order to do a job few others could handle. Ultimately, we see a group of bad guys doing good things, albeit for a variety of personal reasons.
Of course ‘Suicide Squad’ isn’t a perfect film. For a start, the beginning is a bit awkward and you kinda get the feeling that they didn’t quite know how to start the film. Especially in the first half of the film, there were a few lines from various characters that came across a little flat; it wasn’t often, but the few times it were noticeable. Whilst I’m being critical, the villain for the film is pretty generic and I can see why some people were upset about that. However, for me, the focus of the movie should be the other villains doing heroic things – those are the characters which mattered most.
That said, some of these characters have back stories that simply weren’t covered; I want to know more about them, but I never got that. I guess we can point out that the CGI, at times, looked very much like CGI. However, I don’t want to hold that against the film too much, because I feel it was done for stylistic purposes. This film has it’s own tone and style; it is a legitimate comic-book story come to life, much akin to Tim Burton’s Batman films.
Which leads me to the positives I found in ‘Suicide Squad’, and let me tell you, there are a lot. First off, the soundtrack was absolutely amazing – in fact, the soundtrack alone is worth buying. The visuals too, are very unique to ‘Suicide Squad’. I feel like it’s something of a statement almost – that this is a much darker, more twisted comic book movie, which still boasts its fair share of humour.
The cast was pretty awesome, with Will Smith and Margot Robbie really stealing the show. They certainly have the best lines, and their characters are the most defined and developed. Other members like Croc, Diablo, and Captain Boomerang have their moments, too. Diablo and Deadshot’s backstories are explained, which adds some depth and heart to the movie. Viola Davis too, plays Amanda Waller perfectly; she is a mean lady with some very powerful friends. Now, the character everyone will be keen to see – The Joker. I personally loved what they did with The Joker here; we really got a taste of him as something of a wild card; unpredictable, but not just some mad man causing havoc, this is a mad man with real substance and depth. Truth be told, I still prefer Nicholson and Ledger versions more. However, there is something beautiful about this version. Jared Leto is a good Joker, and perhaps with more screen time in another movie, he can stand alongside the others – only time will tell. The film also has a couple of cool cameo’s, but I won’t discuss those and spoil the moment.
David Ayer’s directing style was ambitious, and while I can see how some would be thrown off by this non-linear format, I think it was very effective in building characters and setting up various scenes. I did notice a few things cut from the theatrical version though, and similarly to ‘Batman v Superman’, I hope to see them in an ultimate cut sometime in the future.
In the end, I have no idea what movie the critics saw, but it couldn’t have been the version of ‘Suicide Squad’ that I saw. It mixed in dark and twisted elements with humour very effectively, and the cast does a marvellous job. There was enough action to keep me satisfied throughout too, leaving me with no time to get up out of my seat because it always felt like something was just about to happen, and I didn’t mind at all. This felt like what a ‘Suicide Squad’ movie should be like – wild, twisted, and entertaining. I’d happily take two more at this point. If you have been on board with what DC has done in recent years, this may even wind up being your favourite of the fledgling DCEU – it certainly is for me.
Directed by: David Ayer
Cast: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne