<Review by: Daylynn DeSouza>
Directed by David Ayer. Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margo Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara
Running Time: 2 hours
While the DC Extended Universe may have gotten off to a mediocre start with Man of Steel and plummeted to unimaginably unenjoyable depths with Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad is its return to enjoyable mediocrity. Far from perfect, the movie has you thankful that it wasn’t as bad as Batman v Superman. It’s the best movie in the DCEU so far, but that isn’t saying much.
The framing and visuals of the movie are astounding. Visually this movie is impeccable eye candy. Hats off to the special effects team for their work there. The soundtrack is amazing and my only gripe with it is one piece of music that sounds like a cheap redux of the Wonder Woman theme that plays during the second half of the movie. Will Smith does a good job as Deadshot and Margot Robbie is an acceptable Harley Quinn. This is more so due to the script than anything on her part. Jared Leto’s Joker is an entirely different beast than any of the Joker’s we’ve seen so far. It’s the first Joker that’s actually repulsed me and is overtly psychotic. The movie makes no qualms about hitting you over the head with that fact by having the word ‘damaged’ tattooed on his head and showing him lying amidst a circle of weaponry; subtlety is not the name of the game when it comes to this rendition of the Joker.
But the show is stolen by Viola Davis who is one of the best Amanda Waller’s out there; bested only by C.C.H. Pounder who voices the character in the DC Animated Universe. Ben Affleck makes a brief cameo as Batman where the script makes Batman look awful and later during a mid-credits scene as Bruce Wayne where he is brilliant. There’s a brief cameo by Ezra Miller as the Flash but unlike Batman v Superman this one is enjoyable and not confusing. Cara Delevingne as The Enchantress plays the Big Baddy of the movie, whose motive for destroying the world ranges from non-existent to very shallow. She’s intent on building a ‘Machine’ to destroy mankind but we never really see that machine in its final stages and get to see her squirm around like a stripper having a stroke in front of a big ball of magical energy; whether this is some sort reference to possession movies like The Exorcist or just bad choreography is unknown.
Jay Hernandez as Chato Santana/El Diablo is by far the most loveable character of the bunch, has a brilliant scene where his back-story is expanded upon and is later revealed to be quite formidable and the only character who has an understandable motivation to form a bond with the rest of the Suicide Squad.
Story-wise the narrative is fairly straightforward and the villain of the movie is there just for the sake of it along with her brother who’s more powerful than her but still subservient to her. Deadshot, Harley and El Diablo have some great character depth. Harley Quinn seems to have been over-sexualized but I think fans will be forgiving of that namely because we get to see her in her original costume from Batman: The Animated Series, where the character was first introduced. She and other members of the Squad are also given more heroic qualities and are shown to bond with each other more than they would in the comics or the DC Animated Universe.
The final act of the movie has a number of flaws: a villain who can teleport in the blink of an eye supposedly getting cut down in an act of deception, a slow motion scene that just seems to last forever and seems pointless, a cliché moment where someone who was thought to have died is miraculously alive and the unexpected heroics of the Suicide Squad. But since the movie is in essence an action movie wrapped around a love story and 5 of the members of the Sucide Squad are motivated by love in one way or another, there is a happy ending to one particularly twisted love story and a fairly sweet one as well.
Much like the characters in this movie that end up rescuing their captors and bonding with them as an audience member who has sat through DC’s last train wreck you end up enjoying this movie with a certain sense knowing that had the last movie not been so awful you wouldn’t have enjoyed this one that much. Batman: Assault on Arkham, a DC universe animated original movie, is a far better Suicide Squad movie though.
PS: Read this interesting article, Jared Leto Is Just As Disappointed With Suicide Squad As The Rest Of Us via forbes.com