Film Review: Suicide Squad

Even as I write this I’m sure you can sense the dripping tone of disappointment hanging off of each word. I’ll let you know straight off the bat – the rumours you’ve heard circling amongst the shame faced former hype men for DC Comics first ensemble anti-hero movie are true. Put diplomatically; this film is not great.

Okay so lets see if I can get this straight; The captured spirit of an immortal voodoo witch – Enchantress is out for vengeance when she manages to manipulate the body of her host (Cara Delevingne) and begins reigning terror on Gotham City. Clearly saving the city from the supernatural is too mainstream for Gotham’s Dark Knight, and so we’re left with Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) brainchild; A team made up from the worst criminals in the city. If they die on the job; good riddance, if they get caught; feign ignorance, if they succeed; 10 years off a triple life sentence. Win win.

SS Deadshot and HQ
Caught between a rock a hard place and a miniature explosive in their neck is Floyd Lawson aka Deadshot (Will Smith) high paid assassin known for wasting no more than one bullet for his target, and Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie), the Jokers girlfriend – who arguably has more screws missing than her man. There are at least three other members of the team including a firebending pacifist and an alligator, (but their backstories got less than a minute of screen time and so if the writers can’t even pretend their existence is important then why should I?).

 

I know what you’re thinking “That’s not a lot” and you would be right. The movie spent what felt like up to half an hour explaining three characters backstory – including one whose role was mainly in name alone – then brushed over the rest before starting the principle plot from the middle. There was no gradual lead up to the main event, everything just happened. I found myself pausing and being like; Oh, oooh this is it?! Okay cool.

Would someone at DC Comics like to tell me what the rush was? After spending months and millions on unmissable advertising you think they would have spent just a little more time devising a plausible and enjoyable storyline. There was no definitive B-plot, character development felt forced, I wasn’t routing for anyone to succeed or fail, and I wasn’t even sure what I was supposed to have concluded by the end of the movie. I was honestly more interested in the firebending pacifist than the dancing witch .

SS enchantress

What was pretty cool was the new visualisation of The Joker (Jared Leto), the last time we saw Batman’s calculated and carefree nemesis he was all riddles and suits. The latest depiction has him adorned in gold chains and grills, hanging out in strip clubs and driving lavish cars. He’s a gangsta and there’s something thrillingly unnatural about his humanisation – stripping away the hair and the make-up, he could be anybody.

Although utilisation of the many characters used in this film fell flat, the inevitable incorporation of the rest of the DC universe felt natural; talks of the events at the end of Batman vs Superman, metahumans and the Joker all helped solidify the standing of the Suicide Squad.SS TeamHowever when it boils down to it, between the thoughtlessly placed cheesy one liners and overzealous shots of Margo Robbie’s hot pants – I went way over my quota of eye rolls for the week in those 123 minutes.

Next on the slate for the DC Universe is Wonder Woman. Though I have so far been pleased by her portrayal both in Batman vs Superman and the recent trailer, after watching Suicide Squad, my hope for it being the franchise’s saving grace is slowly depreciating.

 

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