August 9, 2016
Review #828: Suicide Squad.
Will Smith (Floyd Lawton / Deadshot), Jared Leto (Joker), Margot Robbie (Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jai Courtney (Digger Harkness / Captain Boomerang), Jay Hernandez (Chato Santana / El Diablo), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Waylon Jones / Killer Croc), Cara Delevingne (Dr. June Moone / Enchantress), Karen Fukuhara (Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana), Adam Beach (Christopher Weiss / Slipknot), Ike Barinholtz (Griggs), and Scott Eastwood (GQ Edwards) Directed by David Ayer (#694 - Fury)
Earlier in the year (April Fool's Day to be exact), I saw DC's attempts at setting up the Justice League with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (#788), which was...divisive to say. For me, it was a bad muddled mess. Four months later, Suicide Squad attempts to try and bring some sort of humor. It's strange that this review comes nearly two years to the day of when I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (#626), which was also a movie about lesser known heroes as a group, though this one is with villains. So how does this movie hold up? It's as about as muddled as the movie itself. In a way, it's as if someone read the Wikipedia page on Guardians of the Galaxy being successful with a bunch of characters not well known to everyone while skimming through exactly why it was so successful.
Yes, there are parts where the film has humor and some semblance of fun. But by the end of it, one will wonder exactly was edited in and out of the movie, though unlike Dawn of Justice, this movie is marginally better at that department, as well as being a decent, if not flawed movie. Smith does a fantastic job, with a good edge of charisma inside a character devoted to shooting people. Robbie certainly has a good deal of energy to her and the character, which either can come off as right for the film or just a tiny bit grating. For me it was a bit of both, sometimes helping the movie out but also sometimes making the movie a bit annoying, with a costume that veers on being entirely ridiculous (Hot pants? Must hurt after a while). Kinnaman is the straight man in all this lunacy, and he does a fine job in a role that could have been just played with blandness, having some fine moments with Smith while also having some sort of personality. Davis plays her role with no semblance of fakery, completely making for a compelling character trying to wring all these powerful people to do something for her, which works. Courtney is fine, but his character doesn't really get much to do in terms of character development, which could also be said for Fukuhara as Katana, though the latter is slightly more interesting to watch, what with the sword and all. Hernandez is pretty decent, having a surprising turn of characterization near the end that makes the character more than just a fire breathing dude. Akinnuoye-Agbaje, for all the brief times he speaks, is okay. Delevinge does okay, but she isn't given much time until the climax to try and shine, though the main cast overshadows her for the most part. Lastly, there's Jared Leto as the Joker, resembling Macaulay Culkin mixed with Hot Topic...who is the weakest part of the film, for the brief amount of time he was in (probably less than 10 minutes), mainly because his scenes derail the momentum along with having no real sort of charisma, coming off as a wannabe Joker. The scenes with Joker and Harley Quinn sometimes work, but honestly they're less compelling than the scenes with the actual squad. I understand the dynamic between the two, but I also understand that I could just watch Batman: The Animated Series if I wanted to see that dynamic not distract from the actual film. It's strange that the Joker kinda just disappears right before the climax, though if you don't like the Joker, it probably helps.
The action scenes are sometimes fun, but other times it feels muddled in grey/blue, with about as much shooting as one would expect. The effects are also fine, if not sometimes a bit distracting (especially with Killer Croc). Honestly, the movie is muddled between action and quipping lines, seeming like it's trying to emulate Deadpool (#779) at points, but it's also accompanied by a plot that's kind of muddled between recruiting the group (taking around 20-30 minutes) and a climax that plods at times. The music cues that accompany the film in the beginning somewhat work but also seem to be shoehorned in. The group does have at least some chemistry together, in a strange sort of way, considering the nature of their mission. Near the end, it even flashbacks to an earlier scene in a weird way to explain something that probably could've just been explained in dialogue only. Honestly, it either should've gone entirely gritty or go for something a bit more organic, but for me it's an average movie, being the ultimate take it or leave it kind of film that will work for some, but exhaust others. There is a mid-credits scene, which is fairly decent (look, not all movies need a credits scene, but it's a nice little bonus). Experiencing it in a movie theater with a bunch of friends is probably the best way to take the movie in the long run. That, or not paying more than five/six bucks to see it.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.