Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Karen Fukuhara, Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, David Harbour, Jim Parrack, Common, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Adam Beach
Directed By: David Ayer
Some Spoilers Ahead…
First off, they should take the reigns of the DC movies away fro Zack Snyder and give it to David Ayer. This was infinitely better than both Batman V Superman and Man Of Steel. I don’t know what the critics are smoking, but they are on some heavy crack. The pacing here, while not perfect, is much improved over the last two efforts. Characters here are actually entertaining, and the talented cast is full of standouts.
I think this is a film that plays better with audiences than critics would like. I’ve tried to see the flaws in the film, and I can only find a few. I put the spoiler tag, because this is one of the few films I can’t discuss its faults, without discussing some key plot points. Sorry, sports fans.
First off, they did Adam Beach dirty here. He clearly gets kicked down in the beginning to one of the “lesser important” Suicide Squad members, along with Killer Croc and Katana, but killing him off so quickly did a HUGE disservice to the film. If his loss was to mean anything, we’d have to at least know who he was, and why he was part of the team. He got ZERO backstory, and dies almost instantly. Bare minimum, we had to see his “abilities” or his skills, or what actually got him on the team. Waller briefly mentions that he can “find anything”, I feel like that couldn’t have been that hard of an ability to show on screen before his death. Hell, Batman has more screentime than he does, and he’s supposed to be a secret. Adam Beach was used in promotional advertising for the film, and has maybe 2-3 lines of dialogue before biting it.
I absolutely loved Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Both of them brought a lighter tone to the film that the series so desperately needed.. Even Jai Courtney tried to bring a cheery disposition to the table. It felt more like Deadpool and less like Man Of Steel, which is a good thing. However, I didn’t like the casting of Cara Delevingne as Enchantress. Not because she’s white, but because she’s not a very good actress, and like Denise Richards in The World Is Not Enough, is not believable at all as a “Doctor” of any subject. She also still looks like a teenager, so the idea that she would have gotten her PhD already is silly, and her age gap between her and Kinnaman made it seem like he was trying to protect his daughter through half the film. I don’t mind Delevingne normally, I thought she was fine in Paper Towns, but she was 100% miscast here.
I don’t really know where to begin with Jared Leto as The Joker. I can say that I appreciate his take on the character, even if it isn’t my favorite take. At times, I found his inclusion in the film to be distracting, as he is neither a part of Suicide Squad, nor is he the films core antagonist. He’s a side character, brought in really only to flesh out Harley’s character. I think most people know who Harley Quinn is without needing a strong reminder stealing screentime from other points in the movie. If we’re going to set up The Joker, it better be because he’s coming back for something bigger than this.
I don’t think there’s a tone problem with this film. I think it aims at being a quasi-Deadpool the entire time. Virtually everything done by Smith and Robbie during the film is tongue-in-cheek, and the film never really takes itself too seriously. If anything, I would say I’m more surprised they didn’t push harder for an R rating, but it works fairly well as a PG-13 film. They get around the ratings board by being super violent, but not toward humans, but these hybrid-zombie things the whole film. So when people are killed and decapitated, it’s OK, because they turn to dust. Had these been human, blood would have been flying, and an R rating would have been handed down.
Suicide Squad might not be the perfect superhero film, but it makes me have hope for the future of the DC films. If we can embrace that this is the right direction, we might get even better films moving forward. This is the direction that the series needs to move in, and we need to embrace Suicide Squad in hopes that the rest of the films will build on this momentum, and not go backward into long, dark, dreary Zack Snyder territory.
Suicide Squad is a lot better than you’ve heard, and is a fun diversion for the summer.
FINAL GRADE: B+