Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), director of ARGUS, creates a team of super villains, designated Task Force X and led by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), to complete covert missions. When an otherworldly entity attacks Midway City, Waller sends the team of criminals in to retrieve an important asset.
It’s no secret that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), DC’s response to Marvel’s cinematic universe, has been off to a rough start. Man of Steel has polarized fans of the character and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a convoluted mess to say the least. DC turned to David Ayer to try and turn their ship around and begin heading in the right direction to win back the fans. The end result is only somewhat successful.
I have to start out by addressing the two best things about this film: Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Deadshot is front and center of the entire film, receiving both the most development and screen time of the villains. Smith himself is such a personality that his characters seem to embody him instead of the other way around. That’s not a bad thing because he is such a great actor, it’s just that his Deadshot ends up being very similar to many of his other film characters.
However, Margot Robbie completely transformed into Harley Quinn. Yes, her outfit was nowhere close to her iconic jester outfit (which does make an appearance, by the way) but let’s face it, that’s not the best outfit for this film. Besides, it does resemble her current costumes, which are more normal outfits anyway, so it works. Moving past her outfit, Robbie nails her character, being completely psychotic and mentally unhinged without a problem. It’s amazing how well she molded into the character.
Another character that many people had their eyes on was Jared Leto’s incarnation of the Joker. Now, I’m not going to compare Leto’s Joker to Heath Ledger’s or Jack Nickolson’s because, quite frankly, they are all different characters. Each actor who has taken up the mantle has focused on a different part of the Joker. Nickolson’s Joker was a gangster, Ledger’s was an anarchist, and Leto’s is a psychopath. I don’t think I can quite say how I feel about this version yet until I get to see him in another film.
And maybe that is an issue. The Joker’s role in Suicide Squad is not as large as the promotional material might have you think. He is a antagonist but not the antagonist. He has a lot of time in Harley Quinn’s flashbacks but only pops up every so often in current day to cause problems for the team, outside of the main baddie. As much as I like the Joker, having two disconnected antagonists in the film didn’t help the story too much.
It seems Ayer tried to learn a thing or two from MoS and BvS and tried to make this movie a more lighthearted affair. The character introductions alone have more color and pop than the two previous DCEU movies combined. I enjoyed this sequence because it gave fun, quick introductions to the main players. Each character also got their own unique song to go with their scene, in a very similar sounding soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy, that was just a blast to listen to.
Also throughout the film, it tries to lighten the mood and actually crack a joke or two. Much of the comedy comes from Smith, because why not, but it works for the most part. Other characters get their moments, like Boomerang (Jai Courtney) or Harley Quinn. Not every joke or obviously-meant-to-be-humorous moment hits their mark but it is good to see DC make a movie that is not super dark.
In ensemble films, it is inevitable that some characters will get more or less screen time than others. As I said in the beginning, a lot of the focus is on Deadshot and Harley, and to a lesser extent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and the Joker. This left most of the cast poorly developed. Even the main villain was affected by this. They don’t have much motivation other than “I’m a bad guy.”
I thought Suicide Squad was GOOD :-). Much more of the titular team needed more development besides Deadshot and Harley Quinn, who ended up being the two best things about the movie. I’m interested to see Jared Leto’s Joker again because I really want to get a better feel for his version of the iconic character. Suicide Squad may not be perfect but damn it if I didn’t have fun.
Cast & Crew
David Ayer – Director / Writer
Steven Price – Composer
Will Smith – Deadshot
Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn
Joel Kinnaman – Rick Flag
Cara Delevigne – June Moon / Enchantress
Jai Courtney – Boomerang
Jay Hernandez – Diablo
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Killer Croc
Karen Fukuhara – Katana
Adam Beach – Slipknot
Jared Leto – The Joker
Viola Davis – Amanda Waller
David Harbour – Dexter Tolliver
Ike Barinholtz – Griggs
Ted Whittall – Admiral Olsen
Shailyn Pierre-Dixon – Zoe
Our reviews are quite similar. I thought Margot Robbie was the best part of the movie with Viola Davis and Will Smith a distant 2nd. Jury is still out for me on Leto’s Joker. I assume he will become more involved in future film(s). Good review !
Did you like this movie or Batman vs. Superman better?
Oh, definitely this. BvS was just a mess that tried to accomplish way too much. They both have some of the same weaknesses but Suicide Squad has more redeeming qualities.
Nice to hear a positive review of the film!
I think Suicide Squad is getting way more flack than it deserves. There are problems in the film but there is fun to be had as well.
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Great review! The highlight for me was actually Diablo; I didn’t know anything about his character beforehand, but I really liked the character and the portrayal. I did feel a bit disappointed with the movie overall, because I felt like it could have been stronger. The cast was fantastic; it just felt like the script and editing were a little rough. I’m looking forward to their next outing, though!
Thanks! Diablo was another of my favorites, too. Jay Hernandez did a great job as well. I agree that the cast was there but the script wasn’t. It didn’t let the bad guys be bad guys which is the whole point of the suicide squad. Hopefully if there is a follow up it will improve. I did hear that Harley Quinn is going to get a movie. Although I’m not sure how accurate that information is…
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I like reading when someone has a completely different outlook on a film than I did as you do here. I go back and try to visualize how different scenes/characters could be viewed differently.. it doesn’t change how I saw it..but hey..at least I tried. 😀
Haha Well at least you gave it an effort. 😛 I think part of my enjoyment stemmed from my enjoyment of explosions and classic rock music. I don’t think it deserves all the flack it has been getting but I don’t think there is enough there to try and defend it, either.
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I loved loved loved the soundtrack..as I noted..it all started off great – especially the music.. it just kinda failed me once they started to tell the ‘story’ ha! 😀
It’s probably hard to say how you feel abut the Joker because he’s barely in the film. After months of hype his appearance is nothing more than a glorified cameo. A year ago, this was marketed as if it was a movie about the Joker. Nope. He’s just Harley Quinn’s boyfriend. What a letdown.
That’s exactly right, Mark. I was under the impression he would be the main villain but he barely showed up. Like you said, a glorified cameo. I know it’s up in the air if Leto will return as Joker but I hope he does because he had potential.