This month saw the much anticipated release of the DC Universe’s latest creation: Suicide Squad. And while the hype train has slowed down because of the misfire that was Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad has, on some level, bought Warner Bros and DC some credibility in the ongoing battle with Marvel over cinema bragging rights.
The context of Suicide Squad
Leading on from the Dawn of Justice, the story begins with Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis. Waller is a government operative charged with assembling a contingency plan following the death of Superman. Fears have grown that the next Superman might not be so friendly. The plan? Assemble a team of criminal misfits, rebels and psychos, or meta-humans as Waller calls them, and give them an ultimatum. They either work as a team under her command, or suffer death by head explosion. Well, at least you can’t say DC aren’t dramatic.
The Suicide Squad characters
Mild spoiler alert
We then get a quick and dirty insight into each character, complete with their own on screen bio (Colonel Flag has a -3 golf handicap – vital information don’t you know!). Deadshot and Harley Quinn quickly establish themselves as the main characters from here on. Both get more attention than the other members, namely El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, Slipknot and Katana.
Will Smith plays Deadshot, a casting announcement that concerned most DC Comic fans. However, Smith manages to carry off the role quite well, striking the balance of comic book assassin with a good guy undertone with relative ease. Deadshot enjoys a back story similar to that of Ant Man, with less of a comedic approach that Smith carries through quite well.
But it’s Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn who steals the show. Robbie makes the film as much about Quinn as it is about the rest of the cast combined. Quinn’s back story is told in greater detail than the rest of the Suicide Squad. Harley’s scenes with Jared Leto as Joker are as good as you’ll see in any comic book movie. Leto as the Joker, or Mr J as he’s more affectionately known in the movie, is a completely different take to what anyone will be used to from Ledger’s or Nicholson’s previous incantations. Leto’s method acting style still won’t win any awards, but still he deserves kudos for what is one of his most sinister roles to date.
The cracks begin to show
However, once you get past the notable performances from Smith, Leto and Robbie, and the impressive soundtrack, the film feels like it’s a gap filler for DC’s Justice League movie. And a rushed one at that. There aren’t too many moments of note for the rest of the Squad. The ridiculously named Captain Boomerang is more concerned with his social life than anything else. El Diablo mopes around like a child and Slipknot is barely in the film for five minutes before he… well, you’ll see for yourself.
Suicide Squad: The verdict
Throughout the film, you’ll feel DC are trying too hard to catch up with Marvel. This is to level the playing field between the Justice League and the Avengers. The chemistry between Harley Quinn and Joker is strong enough to warrant its own standalone movie. Ideally this would have preceded Suicide Squad in order to develop the plot. And that’s where this falls down against the other films in the genre. The plot feels crammed, rushed and not fully thought through. Suicide Squad is an enjoyable two hours in the cinema. Just expect to leave the cinema feeling Suicide Squad is an opportunity missed by DC and Warner Bros.
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