I recently saw Warner’s Suicide Squad and here’s why you might want to check it out too, despite what you maybe heard. This is a spoiler free review of the movie.
Last week I heard someone describe Suicide Squad as being better than you might have heard but maybe not quite what you were hoping for, and that I believe best describes this flawed yet very entertaining flick. Before diving deeper into Suicide Squad I have to take a little detour, so stay with me. Now there were parts of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that I really enjoyed, many others not so much. As big a Batman fan as I am, that film was hard to watch, even harder for someone not familiar with the DC Comics lore. In that regard Suicide Squad is not perfect either but right off the bat it’s so much accessible, coherent and just plain fun.
That being said I’m seriously at a loss as to why Suicide Squad is being dragged through the mud like BvS was back in March as this is objectively a much better movie and absolutely a step forward for the DC Extended Universe. So with that it’s time to move on to the good, the bad and the great. The good: simple story, some memorable characters and then the interactions between said characters. Even if not everything works 100% of the time, most of these guys grow on you and so you end up wanting to go on more adventure with them (which is what you’d want considering Warner plans to make more Suicide Squad movies). The bad: some other characters are not as fleshed out and the way the movie wraps up could have been a lot better. A bit more polish on the script and a few changes here and there could have done wonders for this movie. As it stands it sadly doesn’t live up to its full potential.
And lastly the great: I instantly fell in love with the way Suicide Squad establishes a tone right off the bat through the use of licensed music and various on-screen graphics. There’s a certain deliberate madness to that first hour of the movie that works on many levels (major props to writer/director David Ayer), but sadly it can’t keep up the pace until the end. That’s probably the film’s greatest sin. Next time maybe balance things out more
I guess we could say the secret to enjoying Suicide Squad is managing expectations, and I hope I can help with that. A few very important things to note, this is absolutely not a Batman movie, the Dark Knight is in Suicide Squad for maybe 2 minutes. Suicide Squad is also not a Joker movie as the iconic villain has maybe 7-8 minutes of screen time and half of that is in flashbacks. Now Jared Leto is good in the film (as expected), but I need to see a lot more of this version of the Joker before I pass judgement on him (hopefully Ben Affleck’s upcoming Batman film will help with that). Basically Suicide Squad is through and through Deadshot and Harley Quinn’s movie, but really the standout is Margot Robbie as Will Smith is pretty much Will Smith (nothing wrong with that, he fits the character). Margot Robbie became Harley and now I don’t think I could see anyone else play that part in another live-action movie.
As far as screen time Rick Flag is also up there with Deadshot and Harley, but as much as I wanted to like him, I felt Joel Kinnaman was miscast here (Tom Hardy was initially supposed to play Flag, probably a better fit). Jai Courtney on the other hand was absolutely perfect as Captain Boomerang and he pretty much steals every scene he’s in (sadly he’s not in the movie as much as you’d want). The same can be said about Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, who you completely buy as someone with no moral quandaries when it comes to justifying the means to her actions. Actually all the squad members were great, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc (very underdeveloped sadly), Jay Hernandez as Diablo (who is actually a more important piece of the movie than you might think going in) and Karen Fukuhara as Katana (she is definitely the least developed character in the squad, there simply to cut people and look cool).
Cara Delevingne as June Moone/Enchantress has her ups and downs, but based on the ups I’m going to assume her downs have more to do with the material than her performance (let’s just say her 3rd form could have used a bit more work). Spliknot (Adam Beach) is in the movie too. Don’t get attached to Spliknot (not sure you could even if you wanted). So overall Suicide Squad has a lot of stuff that works and some that doesn’t, which is good for 3 out of 5 fluffy pink unicorns (you’ll understand once you watch it). Stay for the mid-credits scene that sets up a future DC Extended Universe film.