SUICIDE SQUAD - REVIEW
It’s been a while since I posted on here, so first of, its good to be back. I’ll be posting more articles soon in the coming future.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
Now to start things off, this will be completely SPOILER FILLED, so if you want to avoid spoilers for the film, I’ll say this; Suicide Squad, like BVS, is a film with many cool ideas but simply terribly executed.
The film assembles a great cast, brings in a great mix of characters, but fails to make these characters endearing to its audience. Visually the film is stunning, but for what it has in style it lacks in substance.
I wanted to love this film so badly that I ignored many of the problems I picked up in the beginning, just hoping the film would reward me in the end, but it never did.
So that’s my short little SPOILER FREE review on the film now lets really get into it.
MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW.
Once again, Warner Bros and DC have managed to put together an incredible cast for their superhero franchise. The Suicide Squad cast is simply stellar; with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis and Jarrod Leto easily the standout performers of the film.
It’s always great to see how actors interrupt these characters we love and put their own spin it and still manage to give us something spectacular.
There are certain moments in the film where they beautifully capture the essence of the character leaving you with a cold tingle down your spine and even your special place.
In terms of the visual style of the film, it’s beautiful to look at. Certain shots in this film are beautifully picturesque, vibrant and simply stunning.
THE LINK TO THE DCU
The link to the bigger DCU was handled smartly and swiftly. No long explanations and no emails. Batman’s scenes in the film were awesome, and we got a glimpse of another Justice League member in the film as well.
It’s Flash… Flash is in the movie too… Brief, brief cameo! Still cool though.
THAT MID CREDITS SCENE
Finally, we see DC do a post-credit scene and it was glorious. Not so much for action or anything like that.
But that it perfectly captured the relationship between Amanda Waller and Bruce Wayne! You don’t want to miss that.
From the beginning of this film, certain red flags can be raised in terms of how the story is handled. Certain things seem out of place, whilst many things just feel totally unnecessary.
Like I said earlier Suicide Squad as many good ideas in it but none of them seems particular well thought out. From Joker’s role in the film, to how the team defeats Enchantress, to the mission they were given, to the team dynamic, to action scenes, character development, etc., etc., etc.… It was unimaginative, bland.
The main problem with the film is having the Suicide Squad save the world. Like many instances in the film, this just showed a lack of understanding the essence of the comic book series. They are Villains! The Suicide Squad have always done covert / black ops mission, to give the US government deniability. Having them save the world, goes against the story and logic of the world.
The Suicide Squad looks to be DC’s push for Guardians of the Galaxy, but this is more Deadpool. Not in terms of the R-rated, funny, funny, ass pegging kind of way. But in terms of the smaller scale and anti-hero leads.
The Squad only kill alien/ magic/creature things, in the film. In fact all there villainous bad dead’s is shown to have taken place in the past, leading it to feel as if these guys are turning over a new leaf, which shouldn’t be the case. They should be killing people because that’s what they do, they are villains the audience shouldn’t forget that!
Will Smith as Deadshot is fantastic, but when you have him come off like he wants to do good even though he’s a villain, he just looks like a good guy. Will Smith needed to kill people in this movie so that as much as we love him as Deadshot, we never forget that, oh sh*t he’s a villain!
Now apart from the film having the villains in prison at the beginning of the film, these characters never truly felt like they were supervillains. They felt like they were on the tipping point of being heroes. In fact, in the final third of the film, they abandon their villainous ways, to do the right thing and save the world??
With the right character development, this would have been fine, not good, just fine. But seeing that we don’t spend too much time getting to know these characters, individually or as a team. By the time they decide to do the right thing, it doesn’t feel organic; it feels like it just had to be done to have a big third act.
The way character look and feel is great. There are some fantastic shots of them as a team. But they hardly speak to one another, they hardly fight with each other, they hardly laugh with each other, they fight the alien/magic/monster/creature things together but that’s about it. For most of the film, they are just walking side by side because they have too.
One of the reasons that it feels like that is because the film’s title is wrong. The film is not SUICIDE SQUAD. It’s SUICIDE SQUAD: Accompanied by the US Military.
From the time they get bombs injected into their necks to make sure they comply with orders, and not run off, the Suicide Squad is surrounded by a squad of soldiers. Why is that bad? Because it’s like going camping with all your friends, where you guys can do whatever you want, create a bit of mischief, do things you do not suppose to. But if you go camping with all your friends and their parents, that freedom to do whatever you want is limited. In fact, you conspire to get away from your parents in order to have some unsupervised fun.
The problem is the Suicide Squad never even attempt to get away from the soldiers; they just walk behind them for most of the film, they never really feel like they in peril because they are protected. In fact, the mission they gave is so pointless you will be asking yourself why didn’t the military just do it?? The Suicide Squad didn’t look special.
They never really got an opportunity to showcase their abilities, apart from one Deadshot moment in the entire movie. The Squad never looked like villains who could stand toe to toe with Batman and the Flash, these god-like superheroes. They looked average.
Amanda Waller came out looking good at the end, but there were many instances in the film that you realise having Rick Flag act as a buffer between her and team, was unnecessary.
In fact, if you lose Rick Flag and the soldiers he leads, plus Enchantress and her magic portal weapon thing in the sky and her magic/alien/creature things, the movie would have been so much better.
The action in the movie looked good in terms of shootouts. But when you have a team of villains in the movie, you expect to see exactly why they are so feared. You never do.
Like I said earlier, Deadshot only has one cool ass moment in the entire film. No other Squad member got a really cool moment in the film. For the most part, there was a lack of imagination in terms of how to use these characters power sets. They just shoot and punch, and not in a cool way, in a pretty standard action movie kind of way.
In the third act, the Squad stand one side yelling and enchantress stand on the other side as they watch a fight between a flaming skeleton and giant metal witch man. If it sounds stupid, it is, it's dumb.
Not to mention how they manage to finally defeat this all-powerful witch, in Enchantress. I understand they wanted to give Harley her due, but it just came off stupid.
EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
The humour in this film is really hit or miss. There are times when the humour is good, and a lot of the time the humour is just bad, misplaced, timing is wrong or the song playing in the scene just undermines it (the movie has a lot of music sometimes its good sometimes it's not).
One of the cooler aspects of the film was Jared Leto’s Joker. For the most part, I think most people will enjoy his interpretation of the character, and most will say that the film needed more of Joker.
To which I say, nay! Nay! Nay! Nay! The film doesn’t need more of the Joker, what the film needed was a scene-stealing the moment with the Joker. Joker looms behind the story of the Suicide Squad given his connection to Harley but when he finally manages to catch up with the Squad it's pretty forgettable! That’s a sin!
Joker should have been a wild card in the film, someone who would come in and turn the entire situation on its head. His presence as brief as it needed to be should have had a deep impact on the team and the mission.
Instead, Joker and Harley’s relationship seemed more like Twilight fan-fiction, with Joker and Harley being very affectionate and madly in love.
Which isn’t that big of a problem, but there were times that Margot Robbie was just pitch perfect as Harley, and there were quite a few times that the character’s actions and motives were so far off what we’ve come to know about Harley that it just wasn’t the character at all.
For instance, Enchantress reveals the Squads deepest desires, we see that Harley wishes for a normal life with Joker, where they live happily and have kids together. Deadshots desire is to kill Batman, which yes that’s perfect for the character if he wasn’t trying to be the hero for most of the film. But Harley’s desires are so far off from the character if anything she would want to cause chaos and mayhem with Mr J by her side and Batman dead and gone.
It’s things like that, that shows you how far the filmmakers are off, in terms of understanding their characters.
Truth be told, there are many more facets of the film, which I think leads to it being a bad film but truthfully, I would rather want to spend my time watching a good film than writing about a bad one.
The first official Suicide Squad trailer was one of the best trailers I have seen in the last decade, and speaking truthfully that’s the most memorable thing about the film.