Monday, January 2, 2017

Suicide Squad Movie Review

Suicide Squad (2016)
Rent Suicide Squad on Amazon Video
Written by: David Ayer, DC Comics (based on characters by)
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Common, Jai Courtney, Ezra Miller, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnamon
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

A government agency recruits the most dangerous incarcerated criminals to form a task force dubbed the Suicide Squad.

This a by the number action movie with too many characters that aren't fully developed. These are bad guys uniting as a team first because they are forced, and then because the plot demands it. DC Comics is chasing Marvel, but unwilling to make a movie that doesn't include Batman as fan service. The only envelope this pushed was with the Joker's appearance, and he's just a side character.
The ending is completely forced and lacks a satisfying conclusion.
It depends.

The introduction to this movie is off. We get two scenes with Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) that don't feel like the start of a movie. We then get what is the proper introduction with Viola Davis as a ruthless executive pitching her idea of a special ops team. My guess is the first two scenes were added to make sure the audience new Deadshot and Quinn were the main characters. After Davis's scene we get an introduction to all the of the criminals that makes the first two scenes even more bewildering.
Even the placement of the title card indicates a lack of creativity and artistry. It should have been timed with the scenes of the team. This is a movie comprised of bad guys as the protagonists and the concept is completely mishandled. This should have been a lot more fun and lampshade the fact these guys are bad. The only things colorful are the introduction and title animations. Why couldn't the characters have been more colorful? Instead the movie introduces Rick Flag (Joel Kinnamon) as a pseudo hero while trying to make Deadshot into the world's best dad. Quinn is a better characters just because she actually got screen time. Boomerang had flashes of being interesting, but was mostly used for one liners
They are forced into serving the government with an idea that I've seen before in Escape from New York (1981). If you don't help, you die. It's a movie with a similar motif of a criminal being coerced to help the government. Escape from New York does it much better.

The soundtrack isn't very creative either. We've heard these same songs in similar situation too many times before. I don't think Fortunate Son can be played in a movie anymore. I thought Sucker for Pain played over the credits was the most apt song heard in the movie.

Of course Batman (Ben Afflek) is in this movie, albeit briefly. The Joker (Jared Leto) is scary in that he's so deranged and over the top it's almost laughable. Being relegated to a side character, the Joker seems like he was included as a safeguard, as if the creators thought, "Even if the movie is bad, people will still see this for the Joker."

I've never heard of Superman referred to as a meta-human. I wonder if that's to put this in the realm of The X-Men so this movie can boast a team of mutants.

This movie has too many strong silent type characters, and doesn't try to develop any of them past Deadshot, Flag, and Quinn. Margot Robbie does a great job, but part of that is that she actually had dialog with which to work. She's one of the few characters that provides a good sense of who she is and what she wants. The team is composed of her, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). Most of them were underused and even unnecessary.
This should have been more fun and self-aware of the genre like Deadpool (2016).

We get why this team complies in the beginning. It's that or die, but why do they comply at the end? The movie provides a non-reason. These aren't selfless people, they shouldn't be portrayed as such. The final fight is a flop. It's a quick way to write yourself out of a hole, and the big bad guy is undone by what is basically a look that way ruse. It just seems overly simple, robbing us of a the big fight this movie should have provided.

My guess is the problems with this movie are rooted in copycat syndrome. Marvel is developing a huge fan base with their comics turned movies and DC is trying to do the same. Instead of setting a precedent, DC is resorting to mimicry.

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