STARRING: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Karen Fukuhara, Adam Beach, Ben Affleck and Jared Leto
A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
We arrive in the aftermath of Superman’s death, where intelligence operative Amanda Waller is given the greenlight from the United States Government to assemble a team of dangerous criminals to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions. Each member of the team will have a small bomb implanted in their head, designed to detonate should any of them try to escape. A villain besieges Midway City with a horde of monsters, forcing Waller to deploy the squad to extract a high-profile mark in the middle of the chaos.
Suicide Squad is the latest film to come from the DC Extended Universe line and after polarising opinions of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice released earlier in the year, could Warner Bros and DC Films manage to turn that tide into something positive for the film viewing audience to enjoy? Chances are the majority may see similar issues from BVS carry over into Suicide Squad.
The majority of the characters in and around the squad worked for me personally. Will Smith’s take on Deadshot worked really well and while his character is more fleshed out in comparison to other members of the squad, from his backstory with his daughter, he balanced well for me amongst the ensemble. Another standout was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the first time the character has appeared on the big screen and is as playfully loony as I was hoping she would be. Some of the viewers might enjoy outside of the major characters are Jay Hernandez’s performance as El Diablo, a metahuman in the squad that is dealing with his own personal conflict and consequences of his abilities and surprisingly I managed to enjoy a Jai Courtney performance in a big studio film as Captain Boomerang. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller was everything I hoped the character would be, someone whose actions can be just as villainous as those in the squad. Some of the earlier action sequences are done well when the squad initially hits Midway City.
It feels like WB heard some of the feedback on BVS being ‘too dark’ and it feels like within the first act that there was studio heads putting their hands on this theatrical cut as there’s music backdrops, and I mean a lot of music cuts, that it feels like they’re trying too hard to give the film the ‘fun’ tone that’s been set in the marketing campaign from the trailers and tv spots. I found it to be off-putting by about the eighth musical number in and that’s before the action even starts. Also from the marketing if people are going in expecting Jared Leto’s take on The Joker to be a major player then be prepared to be disappointed. He’s used marginally about the same amount as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War and while it took me a while to zone out from thinking Leto was trying to do his best Heath Ledger impression, I eventually took to this portrayal of the character, though it’s just a small appetiser in Suicide Squad that I hope is developed in the Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film. The films key villain and final act sequence also bring the film down quite a bit. It could be argued that the Suicide Squad villain may just be one of the worst villains, not just in comic book films but in general, in quite some time mainly due to the fact that we’re given a quick introduction then…nothing much else really other than belly dance style movements. While I enjoy the characters on screen, the plot itself is pretty straight forward yet paper thin at the same time.
I enjoyed the majority of the character portrayals, especially Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller and surprised to say El Diablo, the film suffers by trying too hard on the ‘fun’ tone, the soundtrack overload I found to be jarring and the villain is absolutely awful. Despite the films issues, I still had a decent time with it. There’s potential for it to be really good in a possible sequel (if it makes money) but the DCEU is still looking for that film to get critics and audiences on the positive side. 6/10