Suicide Squad

suicide-squad-movie posterSuicide Squad (2016), Rated “PG-13”
Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne
Directed by David Ayer
Review by Dave Felts
Rating three and a half stars

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Suicide Squad is one of those movies that makes me wonder what critics are thinking when they go see it. I mean, it’s a comic book movie. It’s not American Beauty, Lost in Translation, or Citizen Kane, and I don’t think it can be judged on the same standards. Suicide Squad can be good in a way that those other types of movies can’t and vice versa. It’s not going to make some great statement about the human condition, or love, or relationships, or any other sort of naval gazing philosophy. It exists for one purpose: to entertain. And for me, Suicide Squad succeeded.

That’s not to say it didn’t have problems. I thought the music was overdone. I though the Joker (after having most of his scenes cut) was superfluous to the film and came across more as a toothless psychotic than one of the greatest villains ever. Batman might as well have not been in there. The secondary characters (Captain Boomerang in particular) were under-developed. The Enchantress? What was that supposed to be? She looked as though she was having a seizure or twerking as she delivered her lines there at the end. Horribly done.

And yet….

I liked it. I’d see it again, which is something I can’t say about X-Men Apocalypse and I enjoyed that too although not as much as Mike evidently did.

So what do we have? Basically a remake of the Dirty Dozen. A handful of ultimate super villains are coerced into saving the world, and maybe themselves in the process.

We’ve got Deadshot, a hit man for hire with a soft spot (Will Smith); Harley Quinn, the hot crazy chick (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney); Croc, the human crocodile (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje); Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a ninja (Karen Fukuhara) with a magic sword, Diablo, who can set things on fire with is mind (Jay Hernandez), the Enchantress, an ancient witch once worshiped as a god (Cara Delevingne), and overseeing them is Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) who is probably the scariest of them all.

Seems Superman has the world on edge with the realization that the next super powered human to come along might not be a boy scout. In order to be prepared for that contingency, Waller decides to put together a team of super baddies, using the threat of death to force work as a team to do her bidding. Thing is, if there was another Superman to come along, he’d blow through this team without breaking a sweat. Never mind that though. We’ve always got Batman, right?

Oh yeah, the Joker. He was in it. I think. He probably had more screen time in the trailers than in the actual movie, and that was a big disappointment. He wasn’t a part of the plot, or any sub-plot, or any sub-sub-plot… actually, I don’t really know why he was there. And scary? Leto’s Joker was boring. He looked and acted like a teenage fan boy on his way to a Comic-Con cosplay party. Someone you’d cross the street to get way from, but one of the most sinister and powerful villains ever? Hardly.

A bright spot was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Fun to watch, I felt she really brought the essence of the character off the pages and out of animation onto the big screen. Kudos. The rest of the villains were adequate to the task, and I liked Deadshot’s sardonic wit, although many I know didn’t.

Should you see it? I dunno. I liked it. Some people I know who are just as geeky as I am liked it too, but others thought it was awful. Critics seem to hate it, but audience reviews seem to be split. Most viewers either liked it, or didn’t, without too many being in the middle.

If you’re a Harley Quinn fan, I think you should go. If you’re DC fan, it’s probably another must-see, although half of you need to be prepared to be disappointed. Just remember–it’s comic book-based entertainment, and not intended to be an Oscar best-picture nominee.

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