DC has been controversial in the film industry the last couple of years based on the criticism of critics versus the movie goer on quality of the film. I don’t know when the last time I seen such a divide between critics and movie goers. Ultimately all that matters is that it makes money and has a fan base, and then the films are successful and more films will continue to come because critics only give a professional opinion, but if the movie goers are willing to pay, then that is the ‘only’ success that matters. Suicide Squad fits the same scenario like other DC movies before, a division of what is “good” in the eyes of the critics or what is “good” in the eyes of the movie goer. This review will try to hit on both points of the movie goer and the critic.
Suicide Squad is directed by David Ayer who is known for directing films ‘Fury’ and ‘End of Watch’. He takes on a very unique approach for an anti-Superhero squad to the big screen. Keeping with the comic feel, the movie is about Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn AKA Jokers girlfriend (Margot Robbie), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), and Killer Croc (Adwele Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who are all mastermind criminals stuck in a “off the grid” prison were they are maintained for the rest of their life’s.
Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis puts together a plan called Task Force X, which takes these villains which gives some false hope in working together to fight a greater evil. So using villains as disposable resources or a “Suicide Squad.” It would be a win for her because if it goes south, they have their patsies, and if it goes well, and then the US Government has assembled these villains to work for them.
On the side, a storyline of June Moon played by Cara Levigne was doing an archeologist dig when she discovered a cursed caved and becomes possessed by the demon witch Enchantress. However Amanda Waller figured out how to control Enchantress when they found her heart in the cave were she possessed June Moon…or so they thought. By the over confidence of Waller who thought she can control Enchantress causes a disastrous mess. This is when the origin story of the Suicide Squad begins.
When I heard the concept of the Suicide Squad, the geek in me was excited to see this film. The idea of super villains having to fight other super villains for the greater good is a unique idea that I wanted to see how they were going to pull it off. The tricky part and (my bad to assume) I thought that using the formula of a Marvel team like chemistry would have to be used. What that means is taking a team like mentality into the film with individual highlights/moments. Marvel has accomplished it, and even Zach Snyder who directed Watchman and also Batman vs. Superman has used this same chemistry to make it work. Like the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately Suicide Squad decided to go a different direction, and it failed.
Suicide Squad should’ve been called Deadshot with side kick Harley Quinn, and oh yeah, the others… The fact that the majority of the movie focused on Headshot (Will Smith) took that chemistry and threw it on the floor and shot it up with an AK47. So we don’t learn much about Boomerang, Killer Croc, nor Diablo except for how they were caught originally.
Another interesting twist felt like Deadshot was a good guy instead of an evil villain but was a villain because he is a hired assassin killing “only bad men” not woman or children, and wanted the best for his daughter. What is ironic is instead of killing bad men for money, he is killing bad men for the Government. So is Headshot according this this movie a bad guy? It just smelt funny. I don’t know if this is how Headshot is supposed to be, or if he is a villain and we only saw a small portion. For a character that was focused upon, I felt that the movie try to justify is reasons more than others. (Yes, I am scratching my head.)
I have heard many rumblings regarding the issue that there are “too many characters in one movie” is not the case. Just see movies like ‘Magnificent Seven’, ‘The Great Escape’, or ‘Silverado’, were you have multiple leading characters all working together in one film. This isn’t a new concept that started with the Avengers, it is just depends on how the film is executed. On a positive note, there are interesting characters that DC can expound there origins in future films to come.
Were Suicide Squad missed the mark is the use of Jared Leto’s Joker. In the comics, and in prior films, the Joker is the opposite of Batman. The story between Harley Quinn and the Joker was marvelous. The villainous duo were the spice and the life of the movie. The chemistry was great but too bad that it was all a footnote in the film. The film needed to see more about the Joker which I hope will be in more films to come.
Instead of the Joker, we met the Enchantress and her brother who are ancient beings that want to take over the world. The concept of Enchantress made sense and would have worked, except the way that she was portrayed in the film. I thought I was watching Ghostbusters rather than Suicide Squad when she unravels her evil plan. It became very ‘cheesy’ to see how they would fight enchantress and her brother. The original outfit of Enchantress seemed promising till the film progressed. It was like the villain became conservative in the way it would rule the world, and felt like there was no real threat. It reminded me of Apocalypse in the recent X-Men. The villain who has so much power yet when it comes to fight, they just stand there or become less of a scary threat then one had thought.
What I really liked was the music used in the film. It did bring some good flavor to each of identity and the flow of the film. I never felt that there was a dull moment in the film. The use of color and style also worked, to make it look a modernistic fashionable.
The use of Batman and the Flash was also a great piece to add onto the cast. Again, Batman and the Flash were not utilized enough. It brings me back to my previous point made earlier. Even Diablo has a great storyline, and his defiance to use his power could’ve been more powerful.
Bottom line, I am not sure if there was too many restrictions on what could be used in the film or if the script was just poor. It only had to hit a broadside of the barn and it missed.
Would I recommend this film? Yes to some and no to others. Weird to say this but if you like a lot of action, cheesy lines, and dark humor, go see this film. Don’t carry a lot of expectation, and you will be entertained. However, if you are about a good storyline, you look for quality, then this film isn’t for you. It has potential at times but overall lacks confidence in itself. It does entertain. I am optimistic that if future Suicide Films is made, it will succeed. Because this is apart of the DC universe, the future use of the Joker and Harley Quinn is exciting and promising. I do think if a future Suicide Squad is used, I hope that Zach Snyder/Christopher Nolan can heavily council with the future directors of the future films. If David Ayer is back, hopefully he learns from his mistakes and/or DC allows him to free reign.
I would give this film 2 stars out of 5.
If you liked this film, I recommend:
The Wild Bunch
X men Apocalypse