Suicide Squad is officially out and it’s breaking box office records with its tickets sale — evidently one of the most anticipated movies of 2016.
Having teased us since Comic-Con in July last year, DC Comics has had its audience on a leash… until now. Based on the antihero team, Suicide Squad of DC Comics, this film is its third instalment in the DC Extended Universe after Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (critically speaking, both flops in the eyes of comic fanatics).
In the wake of the previous DC films, fans had high hopes for this odd bunch of criminals who’d change the course of history for the film franchise of DC Comics. The team features the assassin-for-hire Deadshot (Will Smith), the psychiatrist turned psychopath Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the human flamethrower El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), the boomerang-wielding thief Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), the reptile-man Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the archaeologist possessed by the evil witch Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), the commander of the squad Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and his bodyguard Katana (Karen Fukuhara).
Intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the government official, assembles a team of “the worst of the worst” held in a super-secure and super-secret facility to form the team who’d do the government’s dirty work, or… die. She happens to have also masterminded the love affair between Rick Flag and June Moone/Enchantress – borderline devilish, and it plays right into my bones (cheers to you Viola Davis)!
Introduction of the characters, check. Despite its questionable lacklustre outcome, we’re thrown straight into the main plot — Enchantress has gone rogue from Amanda Waller’s orders to resurrect her evil brother as they combine forces to attempt to conquer humanity. Extremely evil super-villains, check.
With Enchantress’ countless minions wrecking havoc within the city, the Suicide Squad’s first mission consisted of merely extraction. Succeeding first mission, check. The Joker (Jared Leto) makes his move, attempting to rescue his girlfriend, Harley Quinn, from the evil clutches of the jail cells. Joker’s (extended cameo) appearance, check.
Finding out the real truth behind the chaos that’s taking over the city, the Squad was relieved of their mission, but chose to continue. Motivated squad once again, check. Defeating the super-villains, check. Emotional death of a “superhero”, check. Surprise appearance by Batman, check.
With all these standardised requirements for a good superhero movie, Suicide Squad was bogged down by its weak plot and even weaker storytelling — mostly disappointing aftermath of its build-ups to its climax. Director David Ayer had a safe slew of solid work in the past, which includes Fury and End of Watch, so it’s tough to determine exactly what went so horribly wrong.
Cara Delevingne was undeniably weak in her performance. It was as though her character has no real depth or emotions entirely. Jared Leto’s Joker was eerie, but the film did not do the character enough justice for the actor’s supreme acting chops to truly shine. Further undermined by the fact that the movie passed on introducing the baddies including the faceless minions and its true motivations for domineering the world, we’re left confused as to the extent of how evil Enchantress and her brother truly are.
The accompanying soundtrack of the film attempts at creating a “best of” mixtape, except there’s nothing “best”-like, but rather, a handful of rap, R&B and re-worked classic rock anthems that happen to find their way creeping into the film.
Alas, although the film has its highlights, the moments were so numbered that they could effortlessly be summarised in a 20-second video (which may or may not be found on YouTube, once Suicide Squad is out on Blu-Ray). Margot Robbie is genuinely terrific as Harley Quinn, of where the best lines and best scenes are found. Will Smith breathed life into his character, finding a perfect balance between a loving father and deadly assassin-for-hire amongst his hilarious dialogue with other characters.
In a nutshell, DC could have easily given real ground to introducing these promising characters of the Squad. Marvel’s early box offices successes are clear testaments that extended back-story introductions are what the audience wants. Paired with a storyline that plays well on the eyes, we wouldn’t be left playing an unimaginative guessing game.
Suicide Squad is now showing in theatres.
This film was reviewed in REAL D 3D, courtesy of Warner Brothers.
Directed by: David Ayer
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Running time: 123 minutes