Summer is almost over, so it's time to review the only movie that will matter for about 2 months...or whenever Doctor Strange comes out.
Suicide Squad is the second movie in the DC Extended Universe and stars a myriad of people ranging from Margot Robbie from Wolf of Wall Street to Jared Leto of Dallas Buyer’s Club fame. The movie revolves around a group of criminals from the DC Comics lexicon – Harley Quinn (Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) – who have been commissioned by the ruthless Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to take care of a problem that has escalated out of hand involving the witch Enchantress (Cara Delevingine). Led by Col. Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) and assassin Katana (Karen Fukuhara), the crew of bad guys go to save the day, all while the Joker (Leto) searches the city for his psychotic misses. Now, for the second time, a DC Comics movie was destroyed by critics, with a recorded 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. But is it as bad as those reviews made it?
The cast of Suicide Squad seemed to have the most fun I’ve ever seen a DC cast ever be on screen. All of the actors played their roles beautifully, making you care about all the characters despite the fact that they are all villains. Easily the two standouts are Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Smith’s Deadshot. Those two have the most backstory and are easily the emotional drive of the film. Harley’s mental instability is a perfect complement to the emotional turmoil she is under constantly throughout the film. And with Deadshot, they humanize him by making him a family man and driving home the fact that he is, in fact, a family man. The humor within the group felt natural and organic, while also distancing itself from the humor in superhero films. Just through the nature of the characters, the humor feels much different than that in any superhero/comic book films in the modern age. Also, the action is top-notch. It’s not at all extremely flamboyant like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The action is fairly gritty and down-to-earth, because most of the Suicide Squad don’t really have superpowers. El Diablo is an exception and so is Katana, but most have enhanced abilities and not what we usually define as superpowers. It’s still intense and electric as ever, with awesome set pieces and great fight choreography.
Jared Leto as the Joker is both fun and a bit of a disappointment. I was always hyped for the Joker since his casting, and he was pretty good in the movie. He captured the fun of the Joker and was also different from the Jokers of past. He’s more of a gang lord than a jokester, but he did have some awesome moments, including the moment with Harley and the vat of acid. That scene showed incredible character for not only Harley, but also the Joker. This movie did the unthinkable: made the Joker seem human and make their relationship more like an organic relationship than the abusive relationship that was in the comics. Both Joker and Harley both have feelings for each other instead of Harley being the lover and the Joker being…well, the Joker. The bummer is that he isn’t in the movie for long. Maybe 10-15 minutes of the total runtime has the Joker in, even though he had more scenes shot. He was good in the film, but there wasn’t much of him to warrant a real analysis of his character.
There are other huge issues I had with the film. Starting off with some of the characters. While I do praise Ayer for most of the character portrayals, Adam Beach’s Slipknot was by far the worst character in the movie…most likely because he wasn’t in the movie long. Spoiler alert: he was in the movie for about 3 minutes until he gets his head blown off. Slipknot was not even necessary for the film nor did he do anything remotely close to important. Also, there were a lot of pacing issues throughout the film, and while I compliment the movie for having the Enchantress be the main villain and the orchestrator of what could be destruction at a cataclysmic level, her brother was not at all used in a convincing manner. It did lead to a really great reveal from Diablo, but that’s about it. Also, the movie did feel a little short and it was a 2 hour long film. Usually that’d be a good thing, but because there was so much more that could have been, it’s disappointing.
Suicide Squad isn’t as bad as critics say it is. It doesn’t deserve the 27% it received on Rotten Tomatoes. While it’s not perfect, it’s still leagues better than what we got in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With great characters (most of the time), some intense action sequences and a rocking soundtrack made it a fun time at the theater.