Movie Name: Suicide Squad
Studio: DC Entertainment
Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Release Date(s): August 1, 2016 (Premiere)/August 5, 2016 (US)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has assembled a team of the worst of the worst villains. Under her control and the watchful eye of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Waller plans for Task Force X to act as a suicide squad by sending them on missions where the options are death or success. With bombs implanted in their necks, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Slipnot (Adam Beach) are being teamed with Katana (Karen Fukuhara) on a mission to stop one of their own. Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne) has been transformed into the Enchantress and she and her brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine) have laid waste to Midway City. It is up to the Suicide Squad to save Midway City…or take the blame for it.
Written and directed by David Ayers, Suicide Squad is a comic book action adventure. A follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, the movie was critically panned but became a massive box office success for its opening weekend. The film received an Academy Award for Best Make-Up but also received Razzie nominations for Worst Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) and Worst Screenplay.
People had a lot of wrath for Batman v Superman…I actually kind of liked it because it wasn’t a Marvel movie with a stock plot with heroes and villains. Suicide Squad is essentially the DC Cinematic Universe’s equivalent of Guardians of the Galaxy (which I liked)…but went off the tracks.
Suicide Squad fails because of its story. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, the characters are essentially unknown to non-comic book readers and have to be introduced to them. Guardians of the Galaxy did it deftly and didn’t feel it was necessary to explain every character. Here, you get about thirty minutes of exposition with no story…and you don’t get to see these character really interact, talk, or live…there is just too much going on. It does help when they start to “become a team” when the danger breaks out but it feels like you’ve already wasted a lot of time as they go up against one of the most ineffective “super-villains” of all time.
The next mistake was a big weird writing one (along with other similar smaller ones which peppered the script). It is revealed off the bat to the viewers that the Enchantress has gone nuts and that is who the Suicide Squad is taking down. This should have been a reveal because in a later sequence, Flag tells the Suicide Squad what has happened…but the audience already knew it when it could have been written as a twist. On a side note, it was pretty obvious that poor Slipknot didn’t have a chance since he just showed up with no backstory or character build up…he might as well have been wearing a red Star Trek uniform.
Suicide Squad also tries to be too cool. There is a lot of argument after Deadpool that the movie should have been R-Rated. This probably would have helped, but it didn’t seem as necessary as I thought it would be. The movie uses a lot of music (then abruptly stops using it for a chunk of the film) and also a lot of stylized cartoon edits (which also kind of stop). I wish the imagery had been consistent and the editing less choppy though-out the movie…it wasn’t very consistent.
What saves Suicide Squad from being a complete mess is the cast and characters. I’m not a Will Smith fan, but he along with Margot Robbie help hold the plot together. Jared Leto was good as a different type of Joker and Viola Davis was good as the cold Amanda Waller. Jay Hernandez brought a relatively flat character of El Diablo to life, and I like Cara Delevingne as the creepy Enchantress. Joel Kinnaman was rather generic as Rick Flag. I found Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang a real undeveloped waste, and Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc served no purpose as a character who just spends most of the movie mugging to the camera like a guy at a local haunted house.
I’m glad DC is finally getting into the movie business since they really started it in the ’70s. I do feel that DC’s films are graded harder due to the mass appeal of Disney’s backed Marvel movies which always seem to get a pass, but DC does need to start putting movies together better since the superhero bubble is going to bust sometime…and it could be soon. With a big success, Suicide Squad will be back. I just hope they put together some sort of story for the characters. DC is following Suicide Squad with Wonder Woman in 2017.