Suicide Squad Review

Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterTitle: Suicide Squad 
Production company: DC Entertainment, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, & Atlas Entertainment
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by:  David Ayer
Produced by:  Charles Roven & Richard Suckle
Starring:  Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Adam Beach & Cara Delevingne
Based on: Suicide Squad by DC Comics
Release dates: August 5, 2016 (US) / August 4, 2016 (Australia)
Running time: 123 minutes Rating: PG-13 (US) / M (Australia)

Superhero movies are a way of life in many ways. And with now Marvel and DC Comics both in the field trying to crank out as many as they can, the need to be fresh is important. For if the same film is played over and over again, just with new characters, what’s the point?

Thankfully, Suicide Squad is just that. Yes, it has flaws, but the Squad itself easily make up for all of them.

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Story Overview

spoilers

As Suicide Squad takes place after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the world is still reeling from the “death” of Superman. One such person is Amanda Waller. Who sees his fall as potential for new threats to come. In her eyes, a Metahuman war is coming, and the only question is, are we going to use metas to fight metas, or be on the receiving end of their fury.

Being Amanda Waller, instead of recruiting people with morals, she decides to recruit the “worst of the worst”. Murderers, thieves, psychos, hitmen, anyone she thinks can be useful and be controlled. After showing the government a taste of what some of her squad could do, “Task Force X” is assembled. Not surprisingly, a mission for them comes rather quickly when one of their own goes rogue and raises some major havoc. Thus they’re put into action. Whether they like it or not.

What transpires is a classic romp of action, scares, and surprises that will leave you questioning just who is the bad guy at some times. Then of course there’s a lovely side plot featuring Joker trying to get Harley out from her prison sentence. And oh what lengths he goes to! More on that later though.

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Characters

  • Will Smith as Floyd Lawton / Deadshot
  • Jared Leto as Joker
  • Margot Robbie as Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn
  • Joel Kinnaman as Col. Rick Flagg
  • Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
  • Jai Courtney as Digger Harkness / Captain Boomerang
  • Jay Hernandez as Chato Santana / El Diablo
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Waylon Jones / Killer Croc
  • Cara Delevingne as Dr. June Moone / Enchantress
  • Karen Fukuhara as Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana
  • Adam Beach as Christopher Weiss / Slipknot

There’s a lot to love character-wise in this film. For anyone who’s a fan of the New 52 Squad, or even just certain characters from DC you love, this film will likely make you happy. Deadshot is a hitman but wants to be a good father for his daughter. El Diablo is a repentant gangster who is horrified by the powers he has and the things he’s done. Harley Quinn is a lovestruck psycho who is just waiting for her chance to get back with her “puddin”, it’s good stuff.  There’s a lot of different personalities here, and it’s what makes the Squad work in both the comics and the movies and shows about them.

This is a very packed film, and as you watch, it gets even more crowded. That being said, there are some cameos in here that will make you smile. One has already been revealed in the trailers and behind-the-scenes specials, as Batman is on set for some key captures. But there’s another that will no doubt make fans smile in a big way. Especially after what was revealed at San Diego Comic Con.

Are these cameos necessary? I think so. Because both are important to story in regards to how the Squad members ended up in Belle Reve.

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What Worked?

If you had to name one thing that Suicide Squad definitely got right, it would be the characters themselves. Many act exactly like their comic book counterparts. And for those characters you don’t know, like El Diablo or Enchantress, they give you a really cool rundown on who they are and what they can do.

Easily the standouts for me are Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Rick Flagg, and Amanda Waller. These are four very different characters, yet they’re played very well by their respective actors and actress. The biggest surprise for me was El Diablo. A very obscure DC Comics character, but one that arguably had the most heart in the film. He’s fun to watch when he gets his chances to shine, and his powerset was one of the cooler moments of the film. No pun intended.

What also worked was the team itself. It never shied away from the fact that these are the bad guys. Betrayals, backstabs, and of course the threat of being blown up for disobeying orders are all on display. And that’s just from Amanda Waller! Add the Squad to that and you can see why this team works, it’s because it has to, or they’ll all die.

One of the big complaints from Batman V Superman was the “lack of comedy”. Well, Suicide Squad makes up for that with plenty of laughs, style points, and a killer soundtrack that will likely Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Which for the record is one of my favorite Marvel films, so I don’t make that comparison lightly.

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What Didn’t Work?

I’ll be blunt. Suicide Squad has flaws. Some are small, others are big. The biggest one is easily the villain of the piece, Enchantress, which is sad because they set her up really well. But then when she becomes the villain, she loses her appeal. There’s a point in the film where the Squad are trying to stop her, and she’s trying to tempt them, while she’s dancing in place. I looked at that and went, “why is she dancing?” Part of this is the look she gets early on the film. The horror look we see in the promos is actually the better of the two looks, so it’s sad they ditched it.

Another significant flaw is that while many characters shined, others didn’t get the time to shine. Captain Boomerang, Katana, Killer Croc, they all good points, and great one-liners. But they weren’t given the ability to shine like El Diablo, Waller, or Deadshot. 

Then of course there’s Jared Leto’s Joker. A character heavily emphasized in the trailers and previews, yet only has a few scenes here. Yes, he rocked the scenes he was in, and the “Mad Love” storyline was done beautifully here, but I wish there was more. Yes, there’s plans for a Harley movie, and for potential for Leto’s Joker to be in the solo Batman film that’s likely coming, but they’re not guarantees. So to advertise him heavily, and apparently film him a lot then cut a lot of the footage, is going to bum out people.

Finally, and this is a small gripe. The initial mission for the Squad, while surprising, felt underwhelming. It was only when things went horribly, horribly, wrong that things felt more like the Suicide Squad comics and interpretations in animation. Them against impossible odds. This will likely be fixed in a potential sequel, but you never get a second chance at a first impression.

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Final Thoughts

There’s always a question of “what makes a good movie?” Is it the story? The characters? The effects? What it is? The answer is, there is no answer, as everyone is different. There’s been a sad trend in recent films to bash certain things because they “don’t fit” the reviewers vision of what should be on screen, and thus very low scores are given. Then when non-reviewers go see the film, they love it, and they wonder why the reviews were low.

My suggestion is this, if you’re even just a little curious about Suicide Squad, go see it. Find out yourself if you enjoy it. If you do? Great! If you don’t? That’s ok, but that’s your call, and no one elses.

For me? Suicide Squad was a fun film! I loved the cast, and there’s great potential for the future. Yes, there were problems, but every film has them. Don’t let these flaws keep you from a movie you might like. 

We’re now three movies into DCEU, and I’ve very happy with what I’ve seen. Suicide Squad is definitely the oddest movie of the bunch, but odd works for this film.

Suicide Squad Review

Summary

While it has flaws, the Suicide Squad oozes out style and charm as the bad guys go save the world. If you’re looking for a fun ride with light story and fun characters, then this is the film for you.

Overall
4
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About The Author

Todd Black

A self-proclaimed Nintendo fanboy, born, bred, and Mushroom fed! He’s owned every Nintendo handheld and every console since the SNES. He loved games so much he went and got a video game degree and dreams of writing video game stories