Suicide Squad is the 3rd installment of the Current DC Cinematic Universe (Man of Steel/Batman v Superman) and is directed by David Ayer. High ranking government official Amanda Waller has taken it upon herself to put together a team of supervillains, the worst of the worst, to protect the world against a growing meta-human threat. As one might imagine, they are all very reluctant. However, Waller offers incentives like reduced sentences for the successful completion of a mission, and micro bombs injected into the vertebra of each member to ensure their cooperation. After a potentially world-ending threat emerges, this unlikely band (or Squad if you will) of heroes is forced to answer the call.
Aesthetically speaking, this is a wonderfully gorgeous movie full of color and vibrancy. The visual flair used when introducing the Squad members alone was stunning and stylish. Everyone’s costume/look was the perfect blend of comic book faithfulness and creative adaptation for a live action movie. Something I really appreciate is their choice to use prosthetics on an actual person (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) for the character of Killer Croc. It would have been all too easy for a CGI rendition of the character to be used instead. This was some amazing work, and Killer Croc legitimately looked like a human shaped, and very intimidating crocodile.
The best word to sum up this movie would have to be “fun”. I actually loved “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman”, but those are definitely more gritty/realistic movies that aren’t for everyone. If you weren’t a fan of these first two entries, then Suicide Squad might be more to your taste. Even though I have my issues with this movie (which I’ll get to here soon), I couldn’t help smiling and laughing throughout the majority of the film.
Suicide Squad was cast very well (with one exception), so I’m only going to talk about the three that stood out the most. First is Viola Davis’s part as Amanda Waller. Davis played this part perfectly. I’ve seen multiple iterations of Waller throughout the comics, cartoons, and live-action TV shows, and she captured the very essence present for every single one of those translations. Will Smith was the most surprising for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed most of his movies as he brings an undeniable chemistry to everything he touches, but I’ve never seen him in a role quite like this and wasn’t sure what to expect. He took the character of Deadshot and made it his own. He commanded one of my favorite scenes in the movie, and I genuinely hope to see him in the part again. The third is obviously Margot Robbie. I strongly suspected that she would do well with Harley Quinn, but she still managed to exceed my expectations. She was funny, lighthearted, cute, unpredictable, and her devotion to the Joker was perfectly captured. All these things were exactly what I wanted out of her character.
As much as I would love to say to say Suicide Squad was flawless, I simply cannot.
From the very first image released of Jared Leto as the Joker, I had my concerns. I didn’t care for the tatted up, grill wearing Clown Prince of Crime. I continuously told myself that the performance is what mattered the most, and I could get over the appearance if the part was done justice. Unfortunately, his performance did not impress. There were one or two moments that teased real potential for this Joker (most of which we saw in the trailers), but mostly all we got was a gangster who slightly resembled him with a few quirky traits. This was the most disappointing thing about the movie, not just because of the effect it had on the film itself, but also that this iteration is what we’re stuck with going forward in the DC Cinematic Universe.
The story’s delivery was another issue. There were several moments that felt incomplete or rushed, which leads me to believe that quite a bit of cutting was performed on the final product. The introduction to our villain (the evil one that is) was very abrupt and caught me off guard. There was no real build up to its reveal and that dampened the moment’s effect. This choppy editing was pretty consistent throughout, and at times made it difficult to keep up or stay focused. Once we made it to the big finale, although it was a lot of fun (there’s that word again), the events didn’t quite make sense. I understood what the end goal was for our big bad villain, but the process of how they were going about it felt off.
With the over-saturation of comic book movies released these past several years, Suicide Squad falls into a sub-category all on its own. Never before have we seen an ensemble movie of not heroes, but villains. It must have been a daunting task to accept, and I salute David Ayer for taking it head on. Although the clunky pace and editing may have kept Suicide Squad from its true potential, it was a refreshing break from the standard that we have grown used to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Final Score: B+
So I really liked Suicide Squad, which puts me in the minority as far as critics go. Do you plan on seeing it soon? If you’ve already seen it, tell me what you thought in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.