ISSUE 11: SPOILER FREE SUICIDE SQUAD REVIEW
Written By: Anthony Reimer – Twitter – @reimeras
Earlier this year, DC and Warner Brothers gave us the second entry and true launching point of their cinematic universe, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. While I didn’t hate that film as much as some of my fellow nerds, there is no doubt that most people left the cinema disappointed with that effort. With that in mind there was a lot of undue pressure riding on Suicide Squad. Warner Brothers needed this film to help them regain some credibility amongst the nerd community, needed it to show us that they are capable of creating a good comic book movie that isn’t directed by Christopher Nolan, and that this universe is more than Zack Snyder ruining our favorite characters. Warner Brothers made an obvious attempt with Suicide Squad to create their own version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. A wacky team of unlikely allies joined together by circumstance beyond their control.
Suicide Squad, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the comic book iteration, is a group of meta-human criminals brought together to handle any situation deemed too dangerous for normal military intervention. Amanda Waller, played by the outstanding Viola Davis, forms this team and keeps them compliant by inserting a micro bomb in their neck that will explode at the touch of a button, and a vague promise of freedom or time taken off of their prison sentence. The characters that form this team and their interactions with each other are the main positive about this movie, in particular, Harley Quinn, Dead Shot, El Diablo and surprisingly Jared Leto’s version of the Joker. Harley Quinn’s cinematic debut was the main selling point for me as she has always been one of my favorite animated and comic book characters and Margot Robbie truly brings her to life. Harley is both sexy and seductive and psychopathic and dangerous in every way I hoped the character would be. Will Smith’s Dead Shot, while not exactly accurate to the comic book, is a lot of fun as well. This is the most fun will Smith has been in about fifteen years, and having him back in a big summer blockbuster feels right. El Diablo was fantastic as well. I found his motivations to be interesting and believable, and he has a moment in the third act where he truly shines. Of all the characters, I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Joker. While he plays a much smaller role in the film than I initially hoped, Jared Leto plays the Joker in a way that I have never seen or read before. That may piss some comic book fans off, but I found it refreshing. Captain Boomerang and Kitana, even though they don’t play a huge role, are fun and pretty accurate with Boomerang in particular having a few nice comedic moments. The only characterization I had issue with was Killer Croc. I found him to be unnecessary, and I wish they had gone the route of a large CGI Killer Croc or even King Shark, as was originally intended.
With all that being said, this movie has some structural and thematic flaws that were hard to ignore. The movie stumbles into the third act and I found some of the characters sudden conscience to be improbable, only happening to help further the story along. The tone of this film is odd, which points to a larger problem with the DCCU as a whole and what Warner Brothers wants from these films. The movie tries to be wacky and fun, yet gritty and real in a way that contradicts itself. I think some of that may have come from the editing. Suicide Squad feels like two very different movies pushed into each other. I think David Ayers had a different vision in mind, but after seeing the positive response the more “fun” trailer brought decided to reshoot some of it to fit that aesthetic. The villain was a problem for me as well. Without divulging who it is, the character has a very obvious weakness that is never exploited. Its plot holes and lack of self awareness like this that keep the DCCU very much behind Marvel in terms of quality and critical praise and might ultimately lead to its downfall.
So as stated before, there was a lot riding on this film. Did it succeed? Yes and no. Is it the best entry into the DCCU? I believe so. While not without flaws, Suicide Squad was a fun movie and feels the most comic booky of any of the Warner Brothers films. The characters and actors really saved this movie for me, although we’ll have to wait another year for DC to hit a home run the way that Marvel has done many times over. If you like DC comics or just want to see a fun action movie I definitely recommend this, if not you can skip it and not feel like you’re missing out on a lot.
The Geeky Bugle Rating: Just Another Movie
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