Suicide Squad (2016)

4:01 PM

Worst. Heroes. Ever.
This review contains Spoilers
Suicide Squad is one of the most anticipated films of the year and is directed and written by David Ayer (Fury, End of Watch) - No Pressure! The cast includes Will Smith (Independence Day, I Am Legend), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Mr. Nobody), Margot Robbie (The Legend of Tarzan, Focus), Viola Davis (The Help, Prisoners), Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns, The Face of an Angel) and many others. "A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency". Not only is Suicide Squad the most anticipated film of 2016, it has had an exceptional marketing campaign - this film has set expectations high...can it meet them?

Unfortunately, Suicide Squad really is a mixed bag - there are moments throughout the film that are amazing and 5 star worthy but there are also moments that are pretty dreadful. Suicide Squad is a film I have been excited for since it has been announced - it has had a year long marketing campaign (the first trailer being released at last years Comic Con) - the whole world is excited! I have spent too much money on merchandise for this film (T-shirts, Funkos, Posters, Figurines etc etc) so I really needed it to be amazing to justify the amount of money I have spent. However, even though Suicide Squad isn't one of my favourite films (I was hoping it to be), it is still good enough to keep all of the merchandise I have bought which is a relief. The film has major flaws but also some big saving graces - Ultimately, go see Suicide Squad as I think this is a film everyone will be talking about. 

I'm going to start with the films biggest flaw which is the editing - all of the trailers that have been released have been so well edited, it makes you wonder why they didn't just get the team who edited the trailers to edit the actual film. Admittedly, there are some cool editing techniques used and scenes were edited well to the soundtrack but unfortunately, the editing is a little too sloppy and choppy for my liking. At times, it felt like characters were responding to different lines - the editing was a little too obvious. Even though I appreciate that the film was fast paced, the editing didn't help as it made the film feel incredibly messy as nothing really flowed together. Suicide Squad just needs some glue to make the whole film flow much more smoothly. What the editing team did do well was capture the vibes that were presented in the marketing campaign - the colours, music and imagery all matched well to what the marketing showed. 

The second flaw is that even though Suicide Squad has a pretty different and unique premise, the actual plot and the way everything falls out is pretty generic. This sadly is just another typical superhero plot. What I did like though was that the whole film took place in one evening - I thought Suicide Squad felt quite big even though it took place in quite a confined space. I would have liked to have seen more of scared civilians to show that what was happening was actually threatening and it seemed like everywhere was just deserted (which was probably due to evacuation but it still felt like the villain wasn't very threatening). A generic plot isn't a huge problem - it is rare to get an original plot so it can be forgiven. The only problem is, Suicide Squad looked so different and so unique from the trailers that you can't help but get a lacklustre feeling when the plot is probably the least original one going. 

Suicide Squad is successfully lighter in tone than any other DC film so far and I would go as far as saying, it is my favourite DC film so far (there isn't much competition though). 

The biggest saving grace for this film definitely is the character of Harley Quinn - Margot Robbie steals the show. Robbie is perfectly cast an Quinn and does a fantastic job - the character is everything that I wanted her to be. Robbie has really good comedic timing and all of her jokes land. I am actually surprised I liked Harley Quinn as a character as she is the type of character I would usually hate - she is sexualised and doesn't come across too empowered and independent. However, I did still feel that Harley Quinn was a strong female character - she was so fun and likeable. Some of my favourite Harley Quinn moments were when she pretended Deadshot shot her, her action scene in the lift and just all of her one-liners - when anything was happening, you just wanted the camera to cut to Harley Quinn as she would always make the situation a little more fun. I also liked how we got some character development - it was mostly through flashbacks but we got to see how Harley Quinn became Harley Quinn and how her relationship with The Joker blossomed. Margot Robbie gets 5 stars for her portrayal of Harley Quinn - if the whole film was as good as her performance and her character, this film would have been near perfect. 

Next up, The Joker. Firstly, I would like to point out that it is an unfair criticism to complain about the lack of this character in the film - you have to judge the film on what you got not what you wanted from the marketing. I thought Jared Leto did a superb job as The Joker - he definitely felt the most evil and scary out of any of the characters. Leto's Joker did feel very threatening - the fact one of his scenes occurs with butchered pigs all around him reminds me of Saw which then reminds me of torture and horrendous suffering - this is the type of Joker I think Leto is portraying. All of the scenes Leto is in, he shines and because we didn't get to see too much of him in this film, I am looking forward to seeing his character explored further in the future. 

Out of all of the cast, the only person that stood out as the weakest link was unfortunately Cara Delevingne who I have liked as an actress until now. I thought she was excellent in Paper Towns but I don't think she is so great at playing Enchantress. I don't actually think Delevingne really had much to do - the film just used her as a shell and it seemed like a completely different person did the voice (unless some severe editing has occurred). I thought Delevingne danced too much in her performance - she was laughable at times. However, I did like her as June Moone and thought her performance was much stronger when she wasn't Enchantress. I did really like the way June Moone transformed into Enchantress - the visuals were very good. However, the Enchantress the marketing has sold us on isn't the Enchantress who is in most of the film - Delevingne as a God type figure is the Enchantress who gets the most screen time and I'm not the biggest fan of that. I can't say Delevingne's performance was terrible in this film as I'm pretty sure it wasn't her who was doing the actual dialogue but I wasn't sold on her character at all. I also wasn't a fan of the visual effects in the final sequence - I thought Enchantress' brother looked too cartoony -  I can see why any visuals of the villain weren't included in the marketing. 

I was most pleasantly surprised with Will Smith as Deadshot who I thought did a really good job. We get some development to his character as well which is good. I thought Deadshot was also very funny and Smith had good comedic timing. His best moment was when he was asked to showcased to Waller his skills - Deadshot had good wit but also showed how skilled he was. From the film, Deadshot definitely is the most valuable member of the Suicide Squad and I really liked Smith's portrayal - something I didn't think I would say as I usually find Smith very cheesy and cringe-worthy. One of my favourite moments in the film involved Deadshot - when he first gets to show off his skills - the music is perfect and I think Smith does a good job selling that scene. 

Amanda Waller is another standout character - I liked her a lot. I thought Viola Davis' performance was fantastic - Waller was definitely the biggest bad ass of the crew. Waller was ruthless and Davis executed the character fantastically. One of my favourite moments in the film was when the Squad are told God is on the phone and Waller appears with a resting bitch face - this was hilarious! 

The rest of the squad are slightly less developed but I suppose you're going to get that with a film that is so crowded with characters - however, Suicide Squad doesn't feel overcrowded - it feels like an ensemble film which is what it is. I have mixed feelings towards El Diablo - I liked Jay Herandez's performance but what I really didn't like was when Diablo became a God like figure in the final action sequence - I thought the visuals were too cartoon-like (a lot like Enchantress' brother) and I just thought it was all a little stupid. I did like the character of Katana - Harley Quinn's reaction when she joined the team was hilarious! Killer Kroc also had some very funny moments and the visuals to do with the character were good. Jai Courtney was also very good - I liked Captain Boomerang a lot in this film. Even though it was obvious, Slipknot is the only Squad member to be killed off in the film - I didn't mind at all because the character was the least developed and Adam Beach really had nothing to do with the performance. Before seeing the film, I heard Joel Kinnaman was one of the weakest links - however, I thought he did a solid job as Rick Flag - his performance definitely didn't stand out as weak. The casting is the main thing that Suicide Squad gets right - all of the actors bring great things to their characters, except from Delevingne and Beach. Most characters also have great comedic moments which is nice to see as DC films have been criticised for being too dark. 

The cameos in the film were pretty cool. I thought the ones to do with Batman were done well - even though they were extremely short, they were short but sweet. I liked how Batman was the one who captured the squad members for Waller. I would have liked to have seen more of Batman - especially that car chase scene which seems to have sadly been cut down a lot. The Flash also makes a cameo - this is our second glimpse of the character after Batman v Superman - his appearance is brief but it is once again an exciting moment. 

Like the film itself, the visual effects are a mixed bag - all of the visuals except for Enchantress' brother and Diablo's inner god are fantastic - the other two are a little too cartoony and cheap for my liking. I thought all of the action was strong - they were the best parts of the film by far. Suicide Squad is definitely a bad ass film as isn't afraid to blow characters heads off. The soundtrack is also a nice touch - even though at times, it is a little too obvious, Suicide Squad manages to do what the Fast and Furious films do so well with their soundtracks - the editing is done well to the music and the songs suit what is occurring on screen. The visuals are generally strong, the soundtrack adds a lot of energy and the action is fantastic. 

I must admit, my feelings towards Suicide Squad are inconclusive and I will not be giving this film a rating or grade just yet - I have multiple viewings planned so I will add to this review as my feelings develop. Suicide Squad really does have some amazing characters - Harley Quinn is one of my favourite characters in film history but the whole film just feels like a big mess. Suicide Squad is definitely a tolerable and fun film - I have a feeling it will be a crowd pleaser but it certainly is flawed. Yes, Suicide Squad is a disappointment but it isn't abysmal. 

Oh and ignore the reviews that are slating this film as it is no where near as bad as Fantastic Four - I can't even believe critics are trying to compare it to that! After a second viewing - I believe Suicide Squad truly does have some fantastic moments but it also has a few horrible moments too - I can't help but feel disappointed as there are glimpses of an amazing film. Hopefully we get a different cut for the Blu-Ray release which is the film we all wanted - there is still hope! 

So after 4 viewings (I know its been out 24 hours but yes, 4) - I have come to terms that Suicide Squad isn't the film I hoped for but what we got is still an enjoyable and solid film. It definitely has some incredibly weak moments which could have been easily fixed with a different choice of villain. However, Robbie, Smith, Davis and Courtney are all fantastic and do help to save the film. It does have a rewatchability factor - I have found, the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it. I have also appreciated the soundtrack even more after multiple viewings. Suicide Squad may not be a well made film but it definitely is a good time. 


What did you think of SUICIDE SQUAD? Who's performance was your favourite? Has it put the DCEU back on track? - COMMENT BELOW

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