At the time of this review social media has gone into meltdown. DC fans are outraged with the flood of negative reviews coming in for the next instalment of the DCU, but I refuse to stroll into this screening with the predisposition that Suicide Squad is going to be a bad film. So I stayed away. And guys – Suicide Squad didn’t need to be a masterpiece in order for it to be a shit-load of fun.
Right off the bat I’d like to applaud the marketing for the film. The first trailer we were presented with was fantastic to say the least. Hell, what more do you need than a bunch of criminals kicking ass to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? Fans were intrigued. Fans were excited. However, could you say Suicide Squad lived up to its hype? Yeah.
What I really enjoyed about this movie was that it set its tone right from the outset. The colourful introduction accompanied by an insane soundtrack reassured fans that they were going to be in for a hell of a ride, and it didn’t disappoint. In contrast to Batman v Superman, Ayer chose to add a hint of lightness to the DCU. There was certainly much more humour and light-hearted fun throughout the movie than BvS, but what was most encouraging was that it was used relevantly – it wasn’t just shoe-horned in to get a few cheap giggles. Robbie’s Quinn, Courtney’s Boomerang and Smith’s Deadshot provided the most laughs, and there were numerous occasions during my experience that I found myself out-right laughing, at Captain Boomerang in particular. The guy was hilarious.
The impossible task of filling Heath Ledger’s incredible rendition of the Joker fell into the lap of Jared Leto. If truth be told, I was skeptical at first. When Ayer decided to present the very first look at Leto’s look some fans weren’t shy to voice their opinion. The countless tattoos and metal grills was something we have never seen before, so we knew that Ayer and Co. were looking to head down a totally different path than what we have become familiar with. Thankfully, though, Leto nailed it. His performance was nothing short of psychotic and boisterous, the very traits that make the Joker one of the most iconic villains in modern pop-culture. The only bugbear fans could have had with him was that we didn’t get to see enough of his crazy ass. Despite his overwhelming commitment to the role, from sending bizarre gifts to fellow cast members to never breaking character on set, our favourite villain is hardly in the movie, and when he is – his relationship with Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the main priority. If I had to be entirely honest, I would have preferred for him to have a more central role in the movie, but hopefully Suicide Squad won’t be the last time we get to see Leto back as the Joker.
With all the craziness and humour aside, Suicide Squad also brought forth some emotion in its narrative, too. Surprisingly enough, Hernandez’ El Diablo was the main character to thank for this. His unwillingness to showcase his immense capabilities due to his rather amaroidal backstory spun a whole different outlook on the seemingly-simplistic criminal mentality by, actually, encouraging viewers to sympathise with the guy. And for a movie with a focus on highlighting bad guys doing bad things, this is an achievement in itself.
Yet another surprising package was the introduction of Amanda Waller, portrayed by Viola Davis. Initially, the trailers we were presented with did do a good job in presenting Waller as the mastermind behind the whole operation, but I was certainly not expecting her character to be a complete badass. Bravo, ma’am.
I was, however, wholly disappointed in the choice of villain that Ayer had decided to go for. To put it lightly, Delevingne’s Enchantress remained to be totally unappealing throughout the course of the movie, which led to the final act failing to capture the intensity that Ayer might have been trying to achieve. As for the final confrontation, it just didn’t do a good job in making the stakes feel higher than they actually were. The sad truth is, is that we just knew the group of misfit-supervillains were going to come out triumphant as it was exactly the type of final-boss sequence that we have seen over and over again in countless other narratives. And the visual effects at most parts during this confrontation looked cheap and extremely tacky, disabling viewers to feel any hint of realism of the situation.
As for the narrative itself, it was a bit messy. The continuous need to conveniently use flashbacks to fill in backstories for characters that we have never been introduced with before, became convoluted with the many useless scenes in the movie. There were certain instances in the film that, if were removed, would have made entirely no difference to the plot whatsoever, which just felt as filler instead of holding any significance. That being said, however, the many other awesome scenes and character interactions in the movie made up for this, and allowed a very entertaining experience.
A Lot of Fun!
As a whole, Suicide Squad did exactly what it aimed to do. Director and writer David Ayer was very vocal from the start that he wanted to create a superhero movie that authentically felt like it was taken straight from a comic-book, and guys, he did exactly that. The truth is, if you’re going to go into this movie expecting a flawless masterpiece you are going to be disappointed. If, however, you want to have a great time watching some bohemian criminals stretching the law to its limits to get a job done – you are going to thoroughly enjoy this movie. In fact, I openly encourage you to go and watch it for yourselves.