SUICIDE SQUAD

 

Directed by: – David Ayer

Produced by: – Charles Roven , Richard Suckle

Starring: – Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara
Delevingne, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller
Running time:-  123 minutes (2hrs 3 minutes)
 
 
Worst. Heroes. Ever. 
 
Let us be honest with ourselves the DC expanded universe of movies hasn’t taken off as well as DC itself, fans and the general audience has expected it to.   Man of Steel had people divided as people appreciated its darker take on Super Man, others thought that it wasn’t fun at all and it didn’t come close to the Christopher Reeves movies. The colossal disappointment  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hasn’t helped matters at all, as a movie that many of us had dream of seeing became an 8 minute fight wrapped around an almost three-hour knee jerk reaction to Marvel’s dominance in the form of teasers for their upcoming movies.


 
Justice has a bad side.

Justice has a bad side.

DC now ironically turn to a gang of super-villains to flip their critical woes into great fortunes.  This time round it looks like DC are doing they darned best to make sure that this movie succeeds both critically and financially.  The executives have observed with the success of   The Guardians of the Galaxy and have  come to the conclusion  that you can  make a super-hero epic around a gang of misfits.  Written and directed by David Ayer who is well known for writing Training Day and writing and directing other films like Street kings and End of Watch, it should be no surprise that there are high expectations for this flick.  The expectations reach the stratosphere when you have an all-star cast featuring the likes of Viola Davis, Will Smith, Jared Leto & Margot Robbie.

 
Margot Robbie kills it as Harley Quinn.

Margot Robbie kills it as Harley Quinn.

To those who are unfamiliar with the Suicide Squad the premise of the team is simple. The titular team consists of an ensemble of lethal criminals and super-villains that have been convicted. They normally get assigned to perform dangerous and life-threatening black ops missions for the government in exchange for less time in the slammer.  Its simple and effective premise creates opportunities for readers or watchers to see the DC world from the villain’s perspective.
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.

In this movie, intelligence operative, Amanda Waller  (Viola Davis) of top-secret government agency A.R.G.U.S has now recognised the threat of meta-humans following the past events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of justice and devises a plan to assemble a crack team of dangerous, incarcerated super villains to partake in unsanctioned operations too dangerous for the U.S military. They also go under the name of Task Force X. How can one control a band of deranged killers? Simple, Waller promises them reduced sentences on top of the fact she has injected the members of the squad with remote explosive charges that kills them instantly if they step out of line.
 
Amanda Waller also relies on field commander Rick Flag, who leads the squad. The squad features the deadly accurate Deadshot (Will Smith) who is looking to reconnect with his daughter.  The crazy and sexy partner of the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie); Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) an Australian convict with a penchant for using boomerangs; Killer Croc (Adewole Akinnuoye-Agbaje,) a mutated man that has crocodile like skin and fangs. Diablo (Jay Hernandez) a man who can control the element of fire but wants to repent for his past sins is also drafted. To top the roll call off, a mysterious Ninja named Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot, an assassin expert in tactical grappling and scaling  (Adam Beach) are also enlisted.  The squad go on a  ‘suicide mission’ to investigate and terminate a supernatural entity causing a commotion.  However the mission runs into numerous problems as members of the suicide squad have secret agendas and now face the dilemma of whether to follow their orders or risk their lives by pursuing their self-interest. With that in mind , lets take a look at what makes or breaks this  summer block-buster.
Jared Leto doesn't get enough time to sell his Joker.

Jared Leto doesn’t get enough time to sell his Joker.

PROS
  • Will Smith has gone through a bit of a rough patch with his recent outings (After Earth) but he kills it at as Deadshot in this movie.  Will Smith showers Deadshot with his trademark humour, charisma and physicality. Thanks to some flash backs Dead shot also becomes the sympathetic entry point to this movie.  
  •  If anyone knows me, then they would know that I extremely admire the Australian bombshell Margot Robbie, so when I heard that she was cast as fan favourite Harley Quinn, I was ecstatic. Unsurprisingly she doesn’t disappoint in this film.  Margot Robbie gives the crowd a dynamic performance as she provides the right mix of sexy and crazy with physical comedy and gifts the audience with the film’s best lines.  She really breathes life into joker’s love interest and partner in crime and manages to inject some humanity to the character.
  • Viola Davis of How to Get Away with Murder fame is fantastic in this film. It’s ironic that one of the most intimidating characters in the film didn’t even throw a punch or have any powers. She’s ballsy, doesn’t take nonsense from anyone, even those that could kill her and will terrify you with her authority and deviousness. I really hope to see more of Amanda Waller in future DC films.
  •  I was surprised by Jay Hernandez portrayal of Diablo.  He was one of the more interesting characters in the film thanks to the fact he no longer desires to use his powers due to the fact he wants to receive penance for the horrors he inflicted on his family. Hernandez best described the character as the team mate who wants to stay out of the fight whilst the others get a kick out of it.  He follows that description to a tee and the characters is the most human as a result.
  •  Let it be put on record that I’m not a fan of Jai Courtney thanks to his ability to almost ruin popular franchises like the Terminator (Terminator Genisys) & Die Hard (Live Free or Die Hard). When I got the news that he had been cast as Captain Boomerang in this picture I was a bit worried. Well I can officially put this worry to rest because for once, Jai Courtney actually put in a good performance. He was funny, self-centred and had a bit of charm for a boomerang throwing baddie. I guess a reason he was quite good was because of his status as a supporting character and not a main one so he didn’t have to talk as much.
  • The rapport between our villains was great.  Some the best parts of the movie in my opinion are when the characters are simply just interacting with each other. For example I really liked the chemistry between Deadshot and Harley or the parts when Rick Flagg and Deadshot butt heads over their motivations for shooting people. 
  • Tonally speaking this movie has hit the middle ground as it was dark and gritty but it was also doused with a fair amount of humour. This is the most ‘comic-booky’ movie DC has put out to date.  I honestly think the movie was a lot better for it.  I don’t think I could take another tonally depressing movie like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • The film action sequences are extremely fun and does a good job in highlighting our characters abilities. From Deadshot’s pin point shooting to Katana’s precision with a blade to Diablo’s ability to scorch a room with his bare hands you will enjoy the action set pieces as each villain feels unique. 
  • People who are hardcore DC fans or appreciate the world will love the Easter eggs and cameos the film comes packed with. I am not going to spoil any of it but I challenge people who are familiar with the world of DC to spot as many of them as they can.
 

 

Will Smith brings his charm and charisma as Deadshot.

Will Smith brings his charm and charisma as Deadshot.

CONS
 
  • Lets talk about a particular elephant in the room. Jared Leto as the Joker was underwhelming in this movie. Don’t get me wrong I still feel that Jared Leto did enough to pique my interest on his take of the character thanks to the fact he has was having fun portraying the clown prince of crime. He combined elements of the late and great Heath Ledger and managed to bring his own twist to the role. I’m genuinely intrigued to see where he can take this character next in an upcoming feature. What disappointed me is what little screen time he got considering how much promotion he got in the build up of the release. Prior to the release we had heard crazy stories of things he would send to cast mates (dead rats and used condoms) and heard murmurs that most of the cast was completely uncomfortable around him thanks to his method acting.  Stories like theses had me licking my lips in anticipation unfortunately; he is only really present in Harley Quinn’s flashbacks and only interrupts actual proceedings in one or two sequences. Whether Jared Leto interpretation of the Joker is better than the likes of Caesar Romero,  Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger is still yet to be seen.
  • There is a bit of imbalance in the character development. Some characters back-stories are fleshed out more than others so that we can sort of root for them key examples being Harley Quinn, Dead Shot & Diablo.  We don’t really get to know the motivation of characters like Killer Croc or Slipknot. Some other characters back stories like Katana and captain Boomerang are quickly glossed over. I guess this issue was always going to be prevalent due to the fact that DC didn’t take a route similar to Marvel where they could establish their characters in solo movies before putting them as an ensemble in a single film. I’ll give credit where its due David Ayer did the best he could with this limitation.
  • One of the on-set stories we heard was the film had re-shoots to add more action scenes and make the film more fun.  If you are eagled-eyed you will notice these edits to the film and honestly I don’t really think they added much to the film and at times it felt a little awkward and I would even argue they opened some plot holes as a result.
  • The biggest issue with the movie in my opinion is the villain of the piece.  Not knocking her performance but it was a bit clichéd especially near the ending and I feel that this character was only brought in as a McGuffin to unite the Suicide Squad.
Squad Goals.

Squad Goals.

Suicide Squad is ultimately an extremely enjoyable action-romp with character and heart that takes the DC expanded universe in the right direction.  The movie has issues but a lot great individual performances and good chemistry keeps this movie afloat. 

 
 
RATING: – WORTH A WATCH 

Olisa Nwokedi
About The Author
- Olisa is an Aberystwyth University law graduate and Fordham University School of Law Masters graduate who was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 2016. He enjoys playing and watching rugby, writing, watching movies, playing video-games and Shark wrestling.......... that last part was fiction.