Title: Suicide Squad (2016)
Director: David Ayer (Sabotage)
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnamon, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevinge, Jared Leto, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara
Plot: As the rise of the meta-human threat increases, US intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Davis) assembles some of the worlds most dangerously talented criminals to join a “Suicide Squad” and fight evil with evil whether they like it or not.
“What if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House, and grab the president right out of the Oval Office. Who would’a stopped him?”
Review by Eddie on 3/08/2016
Disclaimer – this is a spoiler free review
After a solid 12 months of some fairly loud hype, the “worst heroes ever” have finally been unleashed on the anticipating world in a film that in many ways will make or break DC comics plans for blockbuster domination and while David Ayer’s much talked about film is not able to live up to all the expectations it has been fairly or unfairly burdened with, it’s unquestionable that Suicide Squad is a silly and often deliriously fun thrill ride that will likely have popcorn munching audiences clambering for more.
Filled with an array of colourful characters (debatably to many so) and tasked with combining them all together to make a cohesive and structured whole, End of Watch and Fury helmer Ayer struggles with the balancing act in the films opening stand and there’s undoubtable teething issues for the film as it try’s to introduce us to each member of this new fan-dangled squad of evil doers.
The film bares scars of the reshoots and likely studio led editing suite meddling that went on behind the scenes and a raft of the squad’s players get short shift and the films plot line barely has time to breathe before we are all of a sudden thrust into yet another big bad trying to destroy the world as we know it, which isn’t fantastic as the films central threat and narrative drive isn’t all that much chop and feels as though it may’ve suffered from the creative teams soundtrack shortlisting work rather than story polishing.
These shortcomings however are quickly mostly forgotten about as the rag tag group of antiheroes begin to get their individual moments to shine as their mission takes hold and while as expected the film is mostly the Margot Robbie and Will Smith show there’s ample joys to be found outside of Harley Quinn (and her uncomfortable looking hot pants) and Deadshot (laboured with one atrociously cheesy flashback sequence) with supports like Jai Courtney’s Aussie larrikin Boomerang, Jay Hernandez’s fiery Diablo and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s grizzled Killer Croc. The film could’ve almost doubled these side players on screen time without question, although with Smith and Robbie on such winning form it’s easy to see why the film always reverts back to these key players.
Suicide Squad’s other participants all have varying degrees of success and shortcomings and in one case an hilariously short screen time.
Viola Davis’s cold and calculated government agent Amanda Waller is someone not to be messed with, while Cara Delevingne proves once more she’s a model with great acting potential. It’s perhaps surprising then that personally I found Jared Leto’s Joker the most curiously hard turn to judge and taking the Heath Ledger factor entirely out of the equation, Leto’s 10 to 15 minutes worth of screen time (those expecting the Joker show may be disappointed) as the crazed clown is a performance that will be interesting to see judged once the movie going public has had time to contemplate it, but overall it does feel like the films largest disappointment when it comes to hype verse delivery.
It’s not that Leto is bad perse, but there’s something just not quite right about his grilled up incarnation of the beloved comic book figure although it could be argued that his vision of the killer clown is being harnessed and moulded for more of what’s sure to come.
Not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination and sometimes a frustratingly inert experience that was in need of a much better plot, big bad and perhaps even more memorable action ticks and pure spectacle, Suicide Squad will be lapped up by audiences around the world and should keep a large portion of its established fan base happy, as there’s little denying the films fun factor when our crazy group of antiheroes take centre stage with the cast playing them is clearly having the time of their lives.
The worst heroes ever therefore make for some far from boring guilty pleasure good times.
3 1/2 downed chopper’s out of 5