Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney
Following the death of Superman, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) puts together a team of dangerous and deranged criminals to work for the military. When an ancient witch known as Enchantress arises to take over the world, the team is assembled to take her down.
Whilst the plot no doubt looked good on paper, Suicide Squad’s story is incredibly slight, centring on a fairly standard super villain threat to destroy the world using magic. After the initial assembling of the team, much of the film just sees them wondering through Midway City, fighting various monsters in uninspired action sequences. Somehow the team bond through this and begin to see each other as a family.
Margot Robbie is the only real standout amongst the film’s cast, perfectly capturing the character of Harley Quinn, being equal parts fun and totally crazy. David Ayer clearly has affection for Quinn and it shows through his decision to place her front and centre throughout the film. Hopefully Robbie returns to the role in future sequels or perhaps the solo Batman film as her energy is something truly missing from the rest of the DC offerings.Harley fairs much better than her beloved puddin’ Joker, who is here reduced to little more than a cameo which gives the character little room to breath. From his brief appearances its hard to figure out if Jared Leto adds anything new to the role, with him coming across as a rather bland portrayal, lacking any of the presence of his predecessors.
Will Smith’s portrayal of Deadshot is uneven, switching between the concerned and moral father and the no-nonsense hitman. The film tries too hard to make his character likeable but fails miserably, leaving very little reason to care about his struggles. His relationship with his daughter feels like something out of a 80s sitcom, which isn’t exactly helped by the fashion choices during the flashback scenes.
The rest of the Suicide Squad are poorly developed, if they’re even developed at all. Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang has little personality beyond being a bit of an arsehole and appears to have no real use to the team, or interesting agenda of his own. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) is given a slightly tragic backstory, but the character isn’t established enough throughout the film to make the audience truly care when it’s revealed. Karen Fukuhara’s Katana is introduced too late in the story, essentially out of nowhere, and does little more than look upset and threaten people with her sword.
Meanwhile, the film’s villain, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), struggles to be a convincing threat. Delevingne isn’t menacing and her portrayal doesn’t carry the strength such a character should. She ends up feeling like a generic super villain and doesn’t even appear to be much of a struggle for the team.For a superhero film, Suicide Squad’s fight scenes aren’t dynamic enough and at times they feel rushed. The only real standout is a fight between Harley and a group of monsters in a lift. The final fight scene in particular is bland and uninteresting, relying far too much on slow motion.
Music is used oddly throughout the film, with almost every scene being highlighted by a pop culture song. It gives Suicide Squad an almost music video-like vibe, bringing back memories of the truly bizarre Sucker Punch. Very few scenes are traditionally scored but when they are, the music is generic and almost unnoticeable.
As a whole, Suicide Squad is a mess, lacking a cohesive story, gripping villain and (with the exception of Harley Quinn) compelling characters. However, it succeeds in being more fun than Man of Steel and Batman v Superman combined, with at least double the artistic style. The DC film universe is shaping up to be a rather odd franchise, one that is becoming harder and harder to return to.