Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
Upon hearing of the initial negative impressions regarding Suicide Squad, I was a little perplexed, and frankly the first act of the film does nothing to sway you of that notion, feeling as haphazard and fractured as Harley Quinn’s cognitive process. Throughout the opening act we are introduced to a multitude of characters - some of whom we’ll spend time with, and others who are merely throwaway screen fodder - but each with their own factsheet and 30 second flashback - which is where those Batman (Ben Affleck) cameo’s come into play. Unfortunately there’s no rhythm to any of it, feeling like a bunch of scenes all thrown together, reminiscent of those nightmarish snippets within Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The story likewise is nonsensical, feeling rushed and existing purely as a reason for these characters to team up, but in doing so creating wholly illogical leaps and making no sense within the context of the universe they are trying to create.
Thankfully once the second act commences - with the Suicide Squad beginning their action movie mission within Midway City - which is basically an atomic testing town at this point - the prowess of writer and director David Ayer comes into play. Known for work such as Fury, End Of Watch and Training Day, Ayer’s sensibilities when it comes to characters steeped in shades of grey - and making you root for them as they commit horrendous acts - coupled with the natural way in which his ensembles interact with one another whilst overcoming their personal demons, makes him a perfect fit for Suicide Squad as those qualities shine through.
Whilst the movie is indeed full of villains, it’s Will Smith’s character of Deadshot - known for his ability to ‘never miss’ - that is the not only the films morally ambiguous compass, but its heart too. Likewise Margot Robbie perfectly encapsulates Harley Quinn, delivering laughs throughout and nailing the mannerisms the character is known for within the animated series. Unfortunately her clown-in-crime the The Joker - or Puddin’ as she likes to refer to him - doesn’t fare quite as well. Akin to the annoying Team Rocket within the Pokemon cartoon, The Joker will periodically pop-up throughout Suicide Squad and this portrayal of the character is by far the worst - well not including the 60’s Batman show of course. Jared Leto is a fine actor, and it's understandable he would want to differentiate his version of the character away from Ledger and Nicholson, but it comes across as a caricature of the iconic villain, adorned with a body full of tattoos and silver grill, it’s all far too on the nose (no pun intended) invoking a visage of an odd looking nightclub owner rather than the menacing force of nature that all within the world of DC Comics should fear.
This newly adapted DC Cinematic Universe of films - that started with Man of Steel - hasn’t had the best track record, but of the current three Suicide Squad is easily the better film overall; offering a far more entertaining ride with characters that actually emote, don’t have issues with a woman named Martha and oddly act far more like heroes than either Batman or Superman. Whilst the structure of the film is fairly basic, similar to the recent Deadpool adaption that seemed to consist of only two acts, Suicide Squad ramps up within the city and aside from a brief trip to the bar it continues to stay there, keeping at a consistently fun pace until the credits roll. I would say Suicide Squad definitely did miss a trick though, as recent shows such as Game Of Thrones have shown how to enrapture an audience with shocking deaths of characters and Suicide Squad would have been the perfect vehicle to capitalise upon this - to create a far more edgy and unpredictable experience - sadly it fails in this endeavour.
- 3 Out of 5 Stars
First act is sloppy
Joker felt like a caricature
Will Smith & Margot Robbie
Release Date: 5th August
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez & Jai Courtney
- Man of Steel
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
No, multiple scenes of death on a large scale and assassination.
There is a mid-credits scene, so stick around.
The studio ordered re-shoots to and two versions of the film were edited, with the current one winning out.