DC have not been having a good time this year with their attempt to rival the MCU, but is Suicide Squad as bad as the critics slate it to be ….. join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
Suicide Squad claimed to be the bad boy (watcha gonna do) of superhero movies, a film that has proudly promoted itself to be “unhinged”, “nightmarish” and “insane” in interviews. It’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice nasty, dirty little brother. It’s… not half as badass as you want it to be, but rather a major studio’s idea of being dangerously screwy, with even its soundtrack – ‘House of the Rising Sun’, ‘Spirit in the Sky’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – designed for mainstream airplay
Things start off well, with government hard-ass Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembling Task Force X, a team of misanthropic misfits who can help protect national security now that Superman’s in the ground. “In a world of flying men and monsters,” she barks at her colleagues over dinner, “this is the only way…”
For those not familier with DC’s cult comics and needing to be brought rapidly up to speed with a bunch of characters who have not previously seen live actio, Waller flicks through their files, one by one: Deadshot (Will Smith, reminding us of his star power), the world’s most wanted assassin; Harley Quinn (Robbie), an ex-psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who first fell for patient the Joker (Jared Leto) and then into a vat of toxic liquid; Cap. Boomerang, whose drone devices return to him; fire-spraying meta-human Diablo (Jay Hernandez); Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a man-beast being contained in a sewer-cell and who wants to be this movie’s Thing or Rocket Raccoon but is not as memorable; and aforementioned witch Enchantress (Delevingne), an ancient force who takes over Dr. June Moone (Delevingne again) when called upon, and whose physical-ethereal form, all billowing smoke and oozing embers.
Led by ace military man (and Dr. Moone’s boyfriend) Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), they’re choppered into a burning Midway City to fight an unspecified, non-human, world-threatening evil, and to retrieve the equally mysterious HVT1. Suffice to say they must first battle their way past an army of frog-spawn-suited minions that came to Ayer in a dream.
Early scenes are shot in tattoo-ink purples, gangrenous greens and electric blues, a stark contrast as much of the action takes place in a world leeched of colour and forever soaked in rain. Frames shudder, edits jolt, and several images scorch the backs of eyeballs, not least Harley Quinn’s introduction – hanging upside down in a cage in the middle of a vast empty room.
Once busted out, she goes on to be Suicide Squad’s best and brightest, Robbie playing it coy and male-fantasy sexy, cute and crazy. Sure, it can be argued that Suicide Squad puts gender issues back by 30 years – its guys are covered, its ladies all but unclad, with Harley squeezed into itsy-bitsy shorts and a tight T emblazoned with ‘Daddy’s lil monster’ – but Robbie at least owns her sexuality enough to make fools out of the gawping guys. Hell, she and her offensive costume are the only real anarchy on display
This is very much the Harley Quinn show, she demands attention when on screen, out shining co-stars at every turn, putting the Joker (Or lack of him) to shame. Will Smith is Decent as Deadshot but he suffers from that curse of all established actors where he doesn’t feel like a character anymore, but instead just feels like Will Smith in a cool suit. Although he does get to coin the name “Suicide Squad” within the film.
But serious credit should be given for introducing new characters to the screen in a summer of sequels and reboots. But consider this exchange: “Outside, you’re amazing. Inside, you’re ugly,” says Boomerang to Harley, to which she replies, “We all are. Except him [points to Killer Croc]. He’s ugly on the outside too.” Now that’s the film we want to see. The film we were promised.
So out of a possible five stars, Suicide Squad earns:
Somewhere hidden in all those deleted scenes is the dark, twisted movie we all hoped for, until then, this surpassed Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice but lets face it, that was never going to be a hard thing to do
What did you think about this film?
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