Suicide Squad Movie Review

Thank goodness for Harley Quinn because without the psychotic silly clown who possesses the Joker as a boyfriend, SUICIDE SQUAD makes about as much sense as a boomerang throwing criminal expected to save the world.

A government agency, led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), secretly recruits some of society’s worst criminals from captivity to fend off unstoppable forces that might threaten the world. Lo and behold, one of the recruits, a witch named Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) doing her best Zuul impression, escapes from the agency on a CGI rampage. So who are they going to call?  Since Superman has left a void in the world (and the Ghostbusters are out in their own movie), the greatest super villains of all time must be the the logical choice.  Clearly they must be greater than our most skilled military soldiers. One of those soldiers, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), holds the key to their lives and is tasked with leading them into action without being taken. It’s like a more dangerous game of capture the Rick Flag. Let’s meet the Mystery Men  Suicide Squad:

Will Smith, Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad

Deadshot (Will Smith) – The greatest assassin to ever live.  He can’t miss a shot and has a young daughter at home that keeps him grounded.  A lethal weapon who sounds like an understandable choice. Plus, he’s played by one of our biggest superstars who has been choosy about roles when the direction displeases him.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) a.k.a. Dr. Harleen Quinzel – She’s basically a sexy clown who likes to swing a bat.  I’m not quite sure why she’s a great choice but at least her insane personality provides a moral boost.  Apparently the “I may not know Karate, but I know Crazy” joke is an effective battle tactic even outside a child’s playground.

Diablo (Jay Hernandez) – A tattoo-covered gang banger has the ability to create and control fire to his will.  However, he’s a bit reluctant to use his deadly power. Okay, now you’re talking. He can’t really be reluctant to use that power against evil forces that threaten to destroy the world though right?…right?

Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) – A man who looks like a crocodile and kept in a sewer prison.  It’s not quite super strength, but he’s moderately stronger than the average man and a pretty good swimmer.  Hmmm. Not sure how that’s terribly helpful in a supernatural fight.

Katana (Karen Fukuhara) – Not technically a bad guy, she is driven by the murder of her husband. Proficient at martial arts, she believes her Samurai sword captures the souls of its victims.  Pretty cool, I hope she does more than stand around.

Boomerang (Jai Courtney) – A master thief from Australia who uses knives and boomerangs while drinking beer or an energy drink or something in an aluminum can.  I’m sorry, what?!   Is this really a thing? Because I might know some trailer park doors to start knocking on. At least they might be carrying some more useful weapons.

Slipknot (Adam Beach) – He’s a master at ropes. Okay you’re straight up messing with me now.

Rounding out my top 3 are:
The Blue Raja  – A master at throwing kitchen utensils.
Shoveler – He swings a shovel.
Mr. Furious – He gets really really really angry.
Whoops, those guys are from another movie.

Margot Robbie, Will Smith in Suicide Squad

I’m not sure what DC and Warner Bros. are doing.  But with the raised bar from Marvel, DC is looking more and more foolish with each outing.  SUICIDE SQUAD isn’t all bad. In fact, it has some playfully fun elements, but it almost comes entirely from Robbie’s carefree insanity as Harley Quinn. The rumor is that the late reshoots were to add more humor to the film.  A wise choice since the funny moments are far better than the drama and action.  The soundtrack is also great, full of popular rockin’ tunes to support this team of punk misfits.  However, it also feels like a cheap trick in post production, simply to throw in cool music to mask the film’s shortcomings.

While the Suicide Squad might be the most diverse cast we’ve seen in a superhero platform, they are also the most poorly constructed and underutilized within the context of the film. I can’t speak on the merits of the comics and I understand these characters are probably more fleshed out within the DC universe, but the film gives the audience nothing of sensible reason to hang on to.  We care very little about any of them and even less about the action.  Writer/director David Ayer (FURY) seems to have difficulty fully grasping what kind of film he is making.

Margot Robbie, Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

Furthermore, I’m not sure what all the fuss for Jared Leto’s Joker was about.  In his limited and mostly unnecessary scenes, I found his take to be a little manically lackluster.  And I’m one of the one’s who was actually interested in the new look. The best thing about him is that it usually means we will get to see a bit more of Harley Quinn.

SUICIDE SQUAD is ultra violent but Hollywood’s bloodless, sexless standard keeps the film at a PG-13 rating. Batman has a few scenes but those feel almost like an entirely different movie. At roughly two hours, SUICIDE SQUAD is DC’s shortest film but still a bit too long.  The energized atmosphere and humor are the film’s highlights but it’s not enough to save the fact that it ultimately takes itself too serious.  Clearly the filmmakers only really cared about one of their characters. So next time, just make it the Harley Quinn show.

OVERALL 2.5
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