Suicide Squad Review: Just How Good Are These Bad Guys?
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis
Running Time: 2 hours 10 mins
Release Date: 5th August 2016
Superheroes are so 2015. Superman who? This year it’s all about the super villains, who doesn’t like a bad guy, right? Lucky for us this weekend sees a whole squad of bad guys grace cinema screens around the world as David Ayer‘s highly anticipated Suicide Squad finally drops!
With Superman six feet under and the world feeling pretty shaky, U.S intelligence officer Amanda Waller decides to assemble a team of meta humans that had turned to the dark side but have found themselves rotting in jail cells. Thinking they’re all expendable, Waller teams up the likes of a psychotic former psychiatrist, a blood thirsty hit man, a monster and a pyromaniac together to face an otherworldly threat.
With a killer cast including the likes of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Cara Delevingne, Ayer has bravely taken on DC’s finest super villains despite the rocky reaction to the recent BATMAN V SUPERMAN movie. With its insane trailers and hyped up promotion, just how well does Suicide Squad live up to its mad reputation?
Will Smith absolutely kills it as the insanely cool Dead Shot. It’s pretty refreshing to see Hollywood’s Good Guy play this calculatingly cold super hit man. His costume is great and he takes on leadership of The Squad with real ease. Smith feels like the perfect choice for this character and the emotional connection Dead Shot has with his young daughter feels authentic enough to aid the narrative along, making it more than just a story of chaos.
One of the film’s most anticipated appearances has to be Jared Leto’s Joker and ever since casting was announced fans everywhere have been speculating about his ability to play this iconic villain. It’s safe to say that Leto’s Joker is completely different to Heath Ledger‘s famous performance in Christopher Nolan‘s THE DARK KNIGHT, which has become thought of as one of the very best representations of the Joker.
Leto’s performance is brilliant, he plays a wonderfully twisted Joker and his manic stare gets under your skin from the very beginning. His eccentric costume works well set against this bizarre universe of extremes, the green hair and tattoos manage to look dangerously insane rather than silly. He’s menacing and completely addictive to watch. Having dominated much of the film’s trailers, he feels a little underused and it would be quite easy to watch just him and Harley romancing each other all night long.
Margot Robbie is as funny and badass as we’ve all imagined she’d be from the very first images of her donning pig-tails and swinging her bat. She skirts the lines of being too Barbie-bimbo by being exceptionally cool and physically able. She throws some serious punches in there and some of the very best action shots are of Harley taking names and kicking ass!
There are obviously issues with the constant bum shots and the glitter shorts that are more lingerie than clothing. It’s clear that Harley’s sexuality plays a big part in her strength as a villain and that’s her right as a character. She’s incredibly attractive, there’s no denying that and she wears the hell out of that outfit, but watching her saunter off while The Squad boys gawk at her swaying buttocks gets a little old; even eye roll inducing at times.
On the side of the Government we have Viola Davis who plays Amanda Waller like a stone cold b*tch. She’s more cut throat than anyone and this helps to make our psychopaths and murderers just that little bit more lovable. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag had a lot of potential to be a great leader within the narrative but is let down by the ridiculous relationship between Flag and June Moone. The relationship between Flag and Moone feels completely forced and awkward and this is purely down to a rushed script, which is a great shame because Kinnaman is an incredible acting talent.
Enchantress herself is a hit and miss affair. The moments when Enchantress takes over June’s body in a blur of misty black smog are brilliant. It feels ancient and dark, mysterious yet beautiful, and it perfectly matches Delevingne’s wonderful costume of dripping black jewels and streaked charcoal face. As Enchantress’ power grows, her impact as a villain falls a little flat. She begins to feel like a cartoon character of her own self and begins to feel a little ridiculous.
Because of the unfair and blatant favoritism of certain characters, The Squad doesn’t entirely feel like the squad we’re all pining for. There are a few moments when you feel like emotional connection between all of them, bad guys coming together to show the world what good they can do, but it’s over shadowed by the lesser fleshed out members such as Killer Croc, Boomerang, Diablo and Katana.
The film in its entirety has the tendency to feel like a two hour trailer. It is as if David Ayer has almost gotten too preoccupied with making the film look as cool as it possibly can that he forgets about the importance of narrative strength and this is definitely down to a script with major issues. Plot points are missed and ideas aren’t properly explored, some characters are needlessly introduced while others are forgotten and there were plenty of moments when the film was starting to look like a hot mess.
Luckily for Ayer the film does look pretty damn cool and therefore its aesthetic delights pick up some of the slack of the dodgy script. With its bright fluorescent lighting, chaotic explosions and impressive visuals, there is a lot of fun to be had in watching SUICIDE SQUAD. It’s a car crash of colours that you just can’t take your eyes off. Its hypnotic in its own way, luring you in to this foggy nightmare of bad guys that begins to burn the retinas in a bizarrely pleasant way.
You can absolutely see how the bad press behind BATMAN V SUPERMAN has influenced Ayer’s writing and direction. The film is lighter and fluffier while still being that little bit dark and visually, it works. However, Ayer has also chucked a lot of jokes in there and some of them land completely flat.
It’s easy to understand why hardcore fans are angry about some of the initial reviews coming out this last week. The film has a lot of issues and film critics will of course critique the film as they see fit. However, there is great fun to be had in this film and dreamers of a fantastic SUICIDE SQUAD might still find themselves having an absolute blast. There’s great action, a fantastic soundtrack, wonderful performances and deliriously hypnotic visuals.
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