Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad is the movie everyone has been waiting for and what has been on the minds of comic book fans for years. It features some of the most notable and iconic characters of the DC Comics universe and for those who are not big comic book readers, it introduces to the world a new set of anti-heroes. Ones that inspire both fear and a sense of lovableness, a rare combination of expression to feel for a group of villains and sociopaths.

Directed by David Ayer, who is most notably known for writing hard hitting cop and detective dramas like Training Day and End of Watch, he brings his sensibility of understanding the dynamic between “good guy” and “bad guy” to a film that is a literal depiction of that genre and turns it upside its’ head. Suicide Squad was a thrill ride of a movie to watch and a great movie-going experience in it of itself, but the story was somewhat wobbly and lacked a consistent narrative. Some of the characters were interesting and some just lacked depth.

The film centers around Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a tough hard-nosed woman who leads a secret government agency, and has the idea to ban together a group of the most horrible and despicable villains the world has ever seen to fight an enemy that is not part of this earthly realm. The Enchantress (Cara Delavigne), a magical sorceress that has possessed the body of Dr. June Moon, has been unleashed and wants to ruin mankind, she believes the only people who can stop her are these super villains.

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We get a glimpse of each villain and their life of imprisonment and how they ended up there. Literally it’s a glimpse, I couldn’t tell you much about the characters because many of them were not properly explained. There is Deadshot (Will Smith), who is the best assassin that has ever lived and has a soft spot for his young daughter. Caught years ago by the mighty Batman, he harbors an intense hate for him and longs to bring him down. Then there is everyone’s favorite lunatic Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), she was once an esteemed psychiatrist, and then reverted to a life of crime when she fell in love with the craziest of her patients, the Joker (Jared Leto). Quinn loves to hang from her cell like a trapeze artist and relishes the chance to get out and kill again.

The rest of the ensemble is composed of Digger (Jai Courtney), the Aussie who can destroy anything and anyone with his boomerang. Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) a man whose skin resembles a crocodile and rages at anything in front of him. Chato Santana (Jay Hernandez) the ex-gang banger who can retract fire from his fingertips and cause mass destruction. He makes it a point to try to hold back his rage, because the angrier he gets, the more powerful and deadly the fire can escape his body. Then there is Katana (Karen Fukuhara), a Japanese woman who can mutilate a man and take his soul with her powerful sword.

The person in charge of this mission is Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), an experienced soldier and Waller’s right hand man. Just like everyone else, he despises these villains and holds it over their heads that Waller can kill them anytime she pleases. She fitted each super villain with a chip that she can detonate from her phone anytime someone gets out of line. The villains have nothing to lose and only their freedom to gain if they successfully complete the mission. I really like Kinnaman as an actor, he is literally awesome in The Killing, but I felt for this role, he just didn’t pop out of the screen. I wanted more from his character who in the end turned out to be a leading actor in the film, from the trailers you would have never guessed that fact.

What really made this movie fun to watch were the characters of Deadshot and Quinn. Their banter and lines were probably the funniest, but everyone else sort of fell flat. I hate to say that because I really like a lot of the actors in the movie. Where Guardians of the Galaxy was able to have a solid storyline with likeable characters that you could grab a hold of, that is where Suicide Squad flubbed up. I mean Groot, had one line and he was the most likeable character of them all.

Smith and Robbie literally saved this movie. They were tremendous and I found myself really engaging with their characters. Smith reminded me of how cool of an actor he used to be, something I feel like he has lost throughout the years. He stole so many scenes and could have his own spinoff movie. Robbie was also great, she delivered the zaniest of lines with spunk and sass and you could not help, but root for her. I wanted more of her storyline though, her relationship with the Joker and her past, but all I was given was snippets in flashbacks. Another standout was Davis; she was probably the most bad-ass of all the characters and as an actress she carried much of the film.

The storyline was a bit confusing and felt rushed. The effects and the visuals were great, but they seemed a bit much at times. The blob people that they fight were weird and it just didn’t always make sense. I envisioned them fighting something more interesting than those blob creatures. The songs in the film were fun to hear, but it was again too much, a “cool” song was interspersed with every interesting moment in the film.

My biggest gripe was that Leto was completely underused. Leto is one of my favorite actors and his performance as the Joker, was thrilling and scary. The lunacy of the Joker could be felt, as he oozed craziness from every pore of his body, yet he was only in the movie for maybe 20 minutes, each shown in small increments. I was truly disappointed to see one of the biggest hyped up roles to be just a mere speck in the whole movie.

Regardless of the mishaps, I would still suggest anyone who is a fan of movie-going to see it. The film was definitely fun to watch and provided some mindless entertainment. If anything, see it for Smith and Robbie, they do not disappoint. 

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