Movie Review: Suicide Squad is flawed but entertaining
Director: David Ayer
Writers: David Ayer
Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis
Synopsis: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
I was always intrigued with the Suicide Squad comics because the idea of villains teaming up and doing good makes for great entertainment. Once I knew Suicide Squad was coming to the big screen, I had several concerns. The biggest question mark surrounded around which members Warner Bros. would choose to represent the Suicide Squad in their universe. The most recognized member is Harley Quinn and I believe her insertion in this film was simply for marketing and the same goes for Joker as well. I am not a fan of how Harley Quinn has changed over the years to be more of a sex symbol than anything else and sadly that is the type of Harley Quinn we get in David Ayers’ Suicide Squad. Jared Leto’s Joker was good but I think he would have been best reserved for a solo Batman film or a movie where he is the primary antagonist. This review was hard to write but I have to be honest and not let the fanboy in me affect my decision.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. The U.S. government enlists Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Diablo (Jay Hernandez) to take on dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency and saving the world from an unknown but powerful threat.
Every character needs to be introduced into the DC universe and the characters are introduced to us through an infographic followed by a few clips that provide a back story to the characters. This is a great way to introduce those who may not be as familiar with other members of the Suicide Squad, but the film gives very little scenes to a few of the characters. The problem with these ensemble films such as Avengers and Justice League is that the most recognizable names will get more screen-time than the others because after all, it’s about selling tickets and not pleasing the comic book masses. Understanding this you will see why characters like Harley Quinn and Joker get more screen-time than Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang. As I alluded to earlier, I personally did not like Harley Quinn and Joker in this movie, and see them more as a marketing ploy than anything else. Margot Robbie is a perfect Dr. Harleen Quinzel and has the potential to be a great Harley Quinn in a full-length film where she is the focus.
One of the reasons I enjoy reading Suicide Squad comics is that despite being villains they are motivated by the same things that heroes are, which makes the Suicide Squad that much more likable. David Ayer and crew effectively make psycho-or-sociopaths relatable by touching on various subject matter that we all relate to. Deadshot wants to do right by his daughter; Diablo’s family drives his need for redemption.
Let’s talk about villains. Since this is a superhero movie there is obviously a threat that needs to be neutralized. Both Warner Bros and Disney have a villain problem and Suicide Squad continues that same trend. No one is more of a victim of Suicide Squad’s editing than the big baddie, who shall remain nameless, but it should be obvious who it is from the trailer. David Ayer is smart and knows that the strengths of this film severely outweigh the negatives, one of which is the villain. The most noticeable issue with this film is that there appears to be several scenes missing, the way the film jumps around it feels like there are huge gaps that are left unfilled.
Will Smith is the star of this film and I am glad that they kept Deadshot as the leader. In Smith’s performance, we are treated to the old summer blockbuster version of Will Smith, and what a treat it is. Much credit may not be giving to Viola Davis as Amanda Waller but she kicks ass in this movie and is not wasted for a second. The cast as a whole is solid and you can tell that the bonding they did before the film makes their chemistry believable and natural.
DC has always been criticized for being too dark and not funny enough by Marvel fanboys, but in Suicide Squad there are jokes aplenty, as the crew like taking shots at each other. Suicide Squad is a character driven film more than it is an action driven film, so you’ve been warned.
As it stands, Suicide Squad is better than Batman Vs. Superman but in order to really make this movie one of the best superhero films, a few things should have been changed. The biggest change I would have made was to the lineup. My team would consist of Deadshot, Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang and Blackfire. The film would also need to be rated “R” to fully allow Harley Quinn and Deathstroke to develop. Warner Bros. needs to let the creative juices flow and have fun. Warner Bros. is in a good position to gamble because no matter what, people will watch these types of films despite critic reviews, so why hold back?
Suicide Squad is not for everybody, but it is a great movie that fits in nicely with the DC cinematic universe that Warner Bros. is setting up. Warner Bros. and DC are definitely behind Disney/Marvel, but I think their formula is working for them as they are not afraid to be themselves, and I think Marvel will always be held back, since they are under Disney’s control. Don’t get me wrong, Marvel movies are great and I like that we have both Marvel and DC movies and this makes it a great time to be a comic book reader.
Although my rating does not show it, Suicide Squad is an entertaining movie that is worth seeing. The cast and their chemistry together is worth the price of admission, but only in 2D.
Overall Grade: B
Hear our full review on Episode 181, coming soon.