Comic books every once in a while, come up with deluxe sized editions called Annuals, which are usually stand-alone, self contained stories. Suicide Squad is the cinematic equivalent to an Annual Issue and proof that if you have interesting characters you can sail over rough waters of weak plot and a mediocre third act. Writer/Director David Ayer has been known to write broken, complex characters very well with Training Day and End of Watch, hence a perfect choice to write a movie about super villains forced to act, serve and to achieve a mission that they wouldn’t have otherwise banded together for.
Since this movie just works because of the characters, I’ll be reviewing them individually.
Deadshot – Let’s face it, on his best day Will Smith is Mr. Hollywood, (Fresh) Prince Charming (of Belle Reve) and Mr. Charisma all wrapped in one. This is his return to form in a big budget feature after a string of failures. He plays Floyd Lawton, an assassin who never misses and one of the few characters who is given an intricate background story. He’s effortlessly cool as Deadshot.
Harley Quinn – She embodied the spirit of Harley from the legendary Animated series. The origin was handled quite well. I see these articles on how she’s objectified and not feminist enough. She wasn’t a feminist icon in the first place. She was manipulated into loving the Joker and eventually suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, in a way, which led her transition from Dr Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn. I loved Margot Robbie’s portrayal and though it doesn’t warrant one, am certain we’ll be getting her solo movie soon.
Amanda Waller – Viola Davis nails Amanda Waller. One of the most ruthless characters in the DCU. She takes no prisoners and commands her scenes with absolute authority. I hope she comes back for future movies.
Rick Flag – This role was originally meant for Tom Hardy who dropped out of the project and it was given to Joel Kinnaman, whom you might recognize from the Robocop remake or the latest season of House of Cards. I didn’t feel his character was the best written amongst the lot, with more effort put towards Harley and Deadshot. Doesn’t help much where he’s just overpowered by the likes of Will Smith and Viola Davis in his scenes. He’s a cardboard cut out of a military figure and just passable.
Captain Boomerang – Jai Courtney is not terrible in this movie, something I never thought I’d be writing. One of the worst actors in Hollywood whose sole purpose is to be a charisma vacuum, is actually a ton of fun here.
El Diablo – Actor Jay Hernandez is a surprise package in this movie, with very little to do, he makes the most of it and contributes a lot of the emotional weight to the film.
Slipknot – HAHAHAHAHA
Katana – I liked how they went, ‘fuck it we have magic in the DCEU‘ and straight up went with her origin from the comics with her sword, Soultaker, which traps the souls of the people she kills them with.
Enchantress – I liked her origin story, again with DC going straight up magic without much explanation. I wasn’t a fan of what goes down in the third half with her but I loved the fact DC could keep the whole thing under wraps for the entirety of the marketing process. Lessons were learnt from BVS.
Killer Croc – Was super excited to see one of my favorite actors from HBO’s Oz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje get the role. He was great as Waylon Jones though his use kept to a bare minimum as he was the muscle of the team.
The Joker – I get what they’re trying to do here. We couldn’t have another sociopath, nihilist. That boat sailed with Ledger, you had to go a totally different route and gangsta’ Joker in this universe works well. However this will be the first Joker that isn’t iconic. Not to take away anything from Leto, he was amazing but he just wasn’t given enough material to work with. His relationship with Harley surprised me, usually a physical abuser and one who barely acknowledges Harley, this Joker was in love with her.
The Batman – Affleck looks perfect as the goddamn, Batman, he’s there for just the right amount of time, exactly like the books. Also Batman doesn’t kill anyone here, that’s always a plus.
The OST is one of the best out there with a mixture of all genres. Some function perfectly in the context(You don’t own me, Heathens) others not (Bohemian Rhapsody, Paranoid). In a perfect world, we would’ve gotten an adaptation of Assault on Arkham. If you want to see how a perfect Suicide Squad movie would be, look no further than the 2014 animated masterpiece. The third act is a mess that brings down the movie. The obsession with a beam in the sky in blockbusters needs to spot. Every second movie has it. Didn’t help with the over done slow mo ala Guardians of The Galaxy and extremely lazy and shoddy editing that totally threw me off the movie. If you hate it, I totally understand the reasons and complaints you will have with the movie and that’s totally fair. However this movie is a LOT of fun. I had a really fun time and just went with it. With Geoff Johns at the helm from Wonder Woman onward, it’s a new era and hopefully, like DC Rebirth he’ll course correct DCEU and bring the critical laurel that DC rightly deserves.