‘Suicide Squad’ Review

Directed by David Ayer

Written by David Ayer

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne

★☆☆

“Suicide Squad” the third installment in the DC Cinematic Universe contains more levity than the previous installments, “Man of Steel” and “Dawn of Justice,” but it is no closer to being the quality of movies coming for the rival cinematic universe of Marvel. Although “Suicide Squad” is a step up from “Dawn of Justice,” a step up from the theatrical cut at least. I wonder if we will get the director’s cut version of “Suicide Squad” on DVD?

While “Suicide Squad” was not a great movie it was still a good movie. A good movie for several reasons, the first of which is the casting. Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie were all excellent as Deadshot, The Joker and Harley Quinn respectively. Smith brings his movie star charisma to Deadshot, the kind of charisma that he has been missing in a lot of his more recent projects. Leto’s Joker is a fantastic follow up to Heath Ledger’s now iconic turn in “The Dark Knight” and is a great combination of both Ledger’s and Jack Nicholson’s portrayals. Robbie is clearly having a blast portraying Harley Quinn; she is bad ass and funny in the role putting a nice layer of icing on the cake of “Suicide Squad.” The ensemble is well balanced, though the rest of the characters are maybe just a little underused, considering the star power of Smith and Robbie that is no surprise.

The next thing that “Suicide Squad” does well – surprisingly well – is character development. Deadshot and Harley Quinn are well developed, and there are backstory and weight given to their characters. Even one of the secondary characters, Diablo, is well developed, although I still do not know what that had to do with the overall narrative of the movie. You get all the information you need to know about the other characters, except Enchantress. Which is odd because her character is essential to the plot and you would figure that they would develop a character that is essential to the film’s narrative. Instead, they develop the secondary character.

In the back nine of “Suicide Squad” just falls apart. The movie devolves into a series of non-stop action sequences, sequences that are only adequate action set pieces at that.  Scenes with too much slow motion, the one scene that needed the slow motion only needed about half of the slow motion used in the sequence.

The soundtrack to “Suicide Squad” contains a good selection of songs including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Paranoid,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “House of the Rising Son” and “Fortunate Son.” The problem is unlike films like “Deadpool,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “American Hustle,” the “Freebird” scene from “Kingsman” or the “Layla” scene from “Goodfellas” and the list goes on and on and on and on.  What happened in “Suicide Squad” was that the music and the visuals do not work well together at all. The trailer, especially the third trailer that contained Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” understood how this concept is to suppose to work. The film itself looks like a bad music video.

The biggest failing of “Suicide Squad” is the villain. The antagonist of the film should have been The Joker; he is a well-known character, people are looking forward to seeing how Leto follows up Ledger, and it would have been the perfect way to bring him into the DCCU as an antagonist. Is that the antagonist you get? No, it is not. Instead, the villain is someone else, and their motivation for being the bad guy is never made clear. They are the villain because the movie needs an antagonist.

Is “Suicide Squad” a bad movie? No, but it does have certain failings that keep it from being the great movie it could have been. Overall, “Suicide Squad” is an enjoyable watch and a fun movie, the kind of fun people wanted with “Dawn of Justice” and “Man of Steel.” The good news for the DCCU is that the tone of this movie does not clash too much with the previous installments.

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One thought on “‘Suicide Squad’ Review

  1. As much as I hate to say it, it made Batman v Superman look like a masterpiece. What upsets me is that it has so much potential, such a great characters, fantastic actors. I totally agree with you on the sequences part. At some point it stops being a movie and is just a series of clips. I think the Joker/Harley storyline they desperately tried to squeeze in there is partially to blame for that. Those two should just get their own film. Great review btw.

    How’d you feel about sharing your work with a bigger audience? Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’d like me to expand on that. You can find my contact details on my blog. I’d love to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

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