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Let’s start out by saying this, I enjoyed my time watching ‘Suicide Squad’, it wasn’t the utter piece of garbage I have heard it was, it also wasn’t fantastic. But I enjoyed my time.
That being said, I can honestly say that I feel like I had a better time with ‘Suicide Squad’ then I did with ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ when I saw it in the theaters in March (I have since seen the Ultimate Edition and I might give a review of that soon as well). BvS was just a dark and depressing film when it was put out back in March. Too dark and brooding and felt like they had a script that they decided to continue to throw more and more “stuff” into.
But let’s focus on ‘Suicide Squad’…so before we go any further, let’s throw up an ole Spoiler Alert Warning…
…this picture dates back to at least 2012:
Don’t cry, you’ve been warned…
What I liked:
I don’t want to get too into reviewing BvS but this had an overall more light hearted feel to it. I do, however, feel that this is because of the studio meddling that was rumored to have happened director David Ayer (Fury) had a much darker toned movie that I would love to see, if this is in fact true. But, again, I did enjoy the film.
While growing up I did read a bunch of Batman and Superman comics but aside from the main villains, I never got into many of the smaller ones that the DC Universe (DCU) has to offer. So, I’m not entirely sure how casting someone like Will Smith as Deadshot, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang or Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is a good thing or not. I will say that their acting in this movie was great. I’m a big fan of Will Smith, so you won’t get any complaints out of me. Jai Courtney on the other hand I loath, his portrayal as Jack McClain in ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ was horrible and I don’t even want to talk about the ‘Divergent’ series, but he was amazing in this movie and I feel like when he isn’t the main character he does a better job as a side character. I know of Viola Davis, but I’m not as familiar with her work, but if she can use the material that was provided to create the character of Amanda Waller for this movie than she is doing a great job.
Let’s get down to Margot Robbie and Jared Leto who play Harley Quinn and The Joker.
I loved Margot Robbie and as soon as I heard they had cast her I thought they did a great job. I hope they use her elsewhere, either in the rumored ‘The Batman’ movie to be directed by Ben Affleck or just elsewhere in the DC Expanded Universe (DCEU). Robbie is a hot Harley Quinn that is literally insane and will kill you just for a laugh. I’m happy that they didn’t use the old 90’s jester outfit for her role as it just seems dated at this point in time, but they do show it for a split second.
I heard a lot of people complaining about Jared Leto and how he isn’t as powerful of a Joker as Heath Ledger, but come on. They aren’t the same character, despite the names. Ledger’s Joker was a terrorist in a realistic world that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight series took place in. Leto’s Joker is the movie version of a comic book super villain that has already been established as the Crown Prince of Crime. He isn’t supposed to be the same character by any stretch of the imagination. I think Leto does a good job with what he has been given. He isn’t a great Joker, but perhaps with another director they might be able to give this character a little more depth.
I do want to bring up that at first I had issues with the fact that the DCEU was a world that is already existing, as opposed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that was being introduced to the audience was seeing it in the movies. When Tony Stark becomes Iron Man in the MCU, you see it for the first time, when Deadshot is introduced, he has been this hired gun for a long time in the DCEU. I had problems with this at first because I think a lot of characters need introductions, but after this, the third movie in the DCEU with ‘Justice League’ coming up, I’m actually OK with the already established world. Batman has been in Gotham for years. Flash, as you’ll see in this movie, has been Central City for a bit as The Flash. The majority of the Batman villains: Quinn, Joker, Killer Croc, Deadshot; have all had some interaction with Batman. I feel like the established nature of the DCEU adds a different level of interest to the universe. This world has already pre-existed before we see them so we are just catching up.
Anyway, now that I got out of the way what I did like, let me talk about what I didn’t like.
What I didn’t like:
The Suicide Squad, or Task Force X as they were officially being called by the Amanda Waller and the US Government was supposed to be comprised of villains to take on Meta-Humans (people with super powers). However, I don’t believe many of them had super powers. Deadshot had good aim (ala Hawkeye in the MCU) and Harley Quinn was just crazy. Not sure if Captain Boomerang actually had any powers himself. That leaves Diablo and Killer Croc who were both Meta-Humans. This bothered me, why were they creating a team of, essentially, people? What did Harley add to the group? She was crazy. That was it. Not complaining about Margot Robbie, but the character just seemed like a waste in this group.
Next, the first half hour or so, specifically the characters introductions felt like they were all edited for the purposes of it being fun and light-hearted; which a film about a group of villains should not be. Also felt like every thirty seconds to a minute they were playing yet another song which became jarring after a while. I could have done without the introductions being done this way as I thought they had to reintroduce everyone again moments later any way. I think it would have made more sense if, for example, while Will Smith’s Deadshot is throwing punches at the punching bag in his cell that he could have hit the bag and upon impact sent us to a quick flashback of one of his previous missions as a hired gun. Also, I don’t think the rest of the movie matched the opening introductions at all. They did play a lot of music, but not like they did in the first 15-30 minutes of this movie.
Another big issue I had was that the creation of Task Force X (the Suicide Squad) was to stop one of their own members. Enchantress, who was supposed to be apart of the Task Force ended up being the villain of the group. Wouldn’t it have been smarter if the team was created after Enchantress had started wrecking havoc on Midway City. The whole story line of Enchantress, played by model Cara Delevingne, was weak as she ultimately became the main villain for the film. Also, what was the plan? You’ll learn that Enchantress has taken over the body of Dr. June Moone and can be summoned just by saying her name. Enchantress, who is a god, brings her brother back and together were taking over Midway City. She begins to create a “machine” but it was never quite explained what she was intending on doing. Sure, take over the world, but why and for what purpose? And finally, what was going on with the movements she was making while talking and creating her “machine”. It just threw me off, looked odd and unnecessary.
One last thing, as it has been over a week since I’ve seen this movie and I’ve been writing this review ever since, but with Jared Leto and the internet pitching a fit over the amount of Joker in the movie; I, for one, was completely fine with the amount of involvement the character had in the movie. He didn’t play a important role in the movie and did not add anything to the events in Midway City so why would they keep any of the cut scenes? Unless, for some reason they help with the Harley Quinn backstory, but why devote so much time to her backstory when we could have had much more backstory from other characters as well. The amount of Joker in the film was great and I would prefer more from him in an actual Batman movie.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with ‘Suicide Squad’ but I wouldn’t recommend anyone rush to see it in the theater as I think it would be fine to see it on cable. I’m hoping for a vast improvement for ‘Justice League’ and ‘Wonder Woman’.
2.5 stars out of 5