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.


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5 comments

  1. I am so interested about this because I literally felt the opposite! I liked Man of Steel, but felt B v S fell so flat. I felt it was boring and made no sense whatsoever. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was a huge fan of Suicide Squad (I felt it was a bit disappointing) but I so agree about Cara whatever her name is. I thought she was terrible. Absolutely terrible. I don’t know if I’ve seen her in other things, so I’m not sure if she’s a bad actress, or her parts were written poorly, but I think you summed up her performance perfectly! I also didn’t like Jared Leto’s performance. I can’t tell if I felt he wasn’t great as the Joker, or if I was unconsciously comparing him to Heath Ledger’s performance. (I tried not to … but let’s face it, that was a great performance! I’m not sure if I did, but I just didn’t like him.) I thought Margot Robbie was really good as Harley Quinn, though!!

    1. Topping Heath Ledger as the Joker will be a hard act to manage! His take on the character was amazing. I think Leto’s take was meant to carry more menace but apparently a lot of his scenes were cut, so who knows what might have happened?

      1. I heard that, too! And I heard something about him being disappointed, but who knows?? It really will. But I think DC’s biggest problem (and please, if you have a different view, step right on in) is that they’re confused. They see Marvel’s success, and are trying to copy it. What they should be doing is following in Nolan’s footsteps – they should be creating that dark, gritty type of movie. The Dark Knight Trilogy was exceptional because of that fact; and so was Watchmen (at least, in my opinion). I think if they followed that theme they’d have a better effect – instead, like you said, a lot of their movies are disjointed as a result. Plus, they’re also too long (which I think is a flaw in any movie, but because they’re retelling information we already have, I think it makes it worse).

        1. I get the impression DC are rushing things. The MCU took time to give a lot of the characters individual movies, and other key characters appeared in those movies, prior to The Avengers. The build up was measured and controlled, and the result has been a hugely successful endeavour. DC gave Superman one film, before chucking Batman into the mix, and then they threw in Wonder Woman into BvS as well, and now they’ve thrown together a big ensemble with Suicide Squad. The end result is that it’s too much, too quickly. Bit like when I eat cake.

          1. That is a really, really good point. Like, we saw Thor. Saw his story, his background, who he was. And the Hulk (twice). And obviously Iron Man … and even Hawkeye made a brief appearance. We had Black Widow in the second Iron Man, as well … so you’re really right. Part of it is failing to set it up, and launching everything at everyone expecting the same that Marvel has.
            And cake is delicious!

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