The DC Cinematic Universe has been struggling to reach the same praise as the Marvel Universe. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have honestly been hit or miss films, with people either loving or hating them. With the newest addition to the franchise, we take a break from Zack Snyder and see what Director David Ayer has to offer us with Suicide Squad.
The film takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. The movie introduces a new character to the film-verse known as Amanda Waller; a high ranking government official whose goal is to assemble a team of incarcerated misfits & metahumans to do the governments bidding. In return, she has offered them the opportunity to shave time off their prison sentence as collateral. The team consists of Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, The Enchantress, and Slipknot, and is managed by Rick Flag with Katana as his body guard.
In the film, when Waller loses control of the Enchantress, who wreaks havoc on Midway City and threatens the safety of the world, she calls in her task force (The Suicide Squad) to deal with the situation. Meanwhile in the background there’s a side story unfolding involving the Joker and Harley Quinn.
Now before I go on about reviewing the cast let me start this off by saying that Margot Robbie steals the show as Harley Quinn, no pun intended.
She nails the role of Joker’s right hand woman, from her costume, her mannerisms, to the way she fights, and her clear obsession with the Joker. The character was pretty spot on and reminded me of the animated T.V. series.
Actor Will Smith also did a phenomenal job playing Deathstroke, the deadly assassin that never misses his target/caring father who’s trying to reunite with his daughter.
He makes an excellent, witty member to the team and also brings to life the eerie chemistry Harley and his character share in the comics. (Suicide Squad-New 52)
Viola Davis was a perfect fit for Amanda Waller.
Her acting abilities are exceptional and I love how she managed to display Wallers calculated and cold-hearted persona – whose driving motives still remain unknown.
Then we have Jared Leto as the Joker. When I first saw what the Joker would look like in this film, I had my doubts. Disregarding my personal opinion on his appearance, I had my concerns about whether his acting abilities would rival or match that of Heath Ledgers or whether if he would steal the limelight from the main villain.
By the end of the film I found myself conditioned to like this new Joker. He’s not as comical and wacky as Harley or previous versions of the Joker – yet they manage to make him as insane and maniacal as to be expected. I think the best part about him is that he does feel like a criminal Harley would fall for. In the film he goes to great lengths to get Harley back from Waller, yet the director never makes it clear for the viewers if whether it’s because he actually cares for Harley or if he views her as a possession and he’s just taking back something that belongs to him. Regardless of his cause, he comes off as a skilled planner that always comes prepared.
The rest of the team gets a fair amount of screen time but the main focus is on Harley and Deathstroke. El Diablo and Rick are given their moments to develop as characters and Katana does have some nice fight scenes, but the rest aren’t marvelous. Captain Boomerang doesn’t have any stand-out moments, Killer Croc’s costume is subpar to what I was expecting and he doesn’t do much other than glare at the other cast members and throw in a few words here and there. Additionally, I thought his use of slang in the film did not suit his character or add substance to any of the dialogue. This was DC’s attempt to create their very own “Groot” in my opinion and it failed miserably.
Slipknot was the most forgettable character in the film since he was only on screen for a few minutes before he’s killed off. His entire role in the film is to remind the squad that if they step out of line, they’ll be killed. The Enchantress is an interesting concept and she does stand out amongst the other DC villains yet there isn’t much background story to allow the audience to really connect with her. All we really know about her is that she’s a witch from another dimension possessing a human body. This was disappointing as I wanted to know more pertaining to her background and I worry that this won’t be covered in future films.
The story itself is pretty average and doesn’t do anything spectacular aside from bringing these villains together.
The characters work off one another and the fight scenes do a good job giving each character their own fighting style that suits them. While I’ve already noticed that people have negatively critiqued this movie, and I can see why they would, I think it was a step in the right direction for DC. I don’t think this film is trying to tell a compelling story, but rather introduce the Suicide Squad & The Joker into the film-verse. The plot may not be the film’s strong point however I think that the fight scenes and character interaction make up for it.
Overall, it’s a fun film that does the comics justice. I hope that we see more of the Suicide Squad in future DC films.