Film Reviews: Suicide Squad

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The third instalment in the DCCU marks the biggest step so far in created an expanded universe – but is it any good?

I didn’t mind Man of Steel or Batman vs Superman, but the latter film in particular felt a little flat. It was too long and felt a little directionless. Suicide Squad doesn’t feel too long, but it did at times feel a little aimless, and it’s not what I expected from the trailer. That being said, it’s the strongest entry in the DCCU so far.

What leads me to say that? Well, it has a little more fun than the films that preceded it, despite being visually very dark (as with BvS). Some of the characters are more interesting with varied backstories that make them more than simply villains. In particular, Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn steal the show in presenting supposedly ‘bad’ characters as more three-dimensional than first thought.

Harley Quinn’s character and her relationship with Jared Leto’s Joker is a glimpse into an abusive relationship. It’s subtle manipulation that turns Quinn from a respected doctor to the right-hand of a psychotic killer, and yet we see at times that beneath the façade Quinn has constructed for herself, she is not as self-assured as she appears to be. The character is trapped by the Joker’s exercises in control, and by the need to not let anyone see what’s truly going on inside.

We don’t see enough of the Joker, a point Leto himself made recently. The actor is said to be angry at how he was ‘misled’ into taking the part and disappointed with the direction the film took. What might be in store for the future of the Joker in the franchise? DC surely don’t want to lose an actor of Leto’s reputation.

Will Smith gives a solid account of himself throughout the film. His character is a hitman and unashamedly so. He is good at what he does, knows he’s good and doesn’t sugar-coat anything for the benefit of anyone else. He is also quietly loyal to the Squad.

Some of the performances seemed forced. Whether or not Cara Delevingne was told to play the Enchantress as a stiff robotic witch I don’t know, but the acting at the film’s conclusion was painful to watch. Jai Courtney was just boring as Boomerang, but then, he never had much of a chance to shine, and the same can be said of Jay Hernandez (Diablo) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc).

I wasn’t too sure of the plot either. The sudden appearance of magical entities seemed a little out of left-field, and disjointed in its execution.

All in all, 7/10.