Title: Suicide Squad
Director: David Ayer
Story: David Ayer
Release Date: 2016
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Jinnaman, Viola Davis, and many more!
Opening Weekend: $133,700,000
Box Office: $745,600,000
Also in the DC Extended Universe:
Man of Steel (2013)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Nothing like tackling another DC Extended Universe movie that has embraced scrutiny and hate with open arms. Right off the bat (totally a Harley Quinn pun), I can tell you that I had a lot of fun during this movie when I first saw it in theaters. Clearly, Warner Bros went ahead and committed a huge marketing mistake and meddled with the movie’s length without understanding how much damage all that could cause. Some might wonder if it’s also a ploy to get fans to buy the DVD/Blu-Ray in order to get the real product and make more money out of it, but I for one do not care and will always be glad to get more, and that’s exactly what I got with my Blu-Ray copy which contained the Extended Cut of this movie.
What is Suicide Squad about? The movie takes place right after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and focuses on the recruitment of a group of criminals in order to save the world from the apocalypse. Amanda Waller is the boss of a secret government agency and offers to create a Task Force X under the ARGUS program in hopes to be ready to defeat the next Superman. Her plan entails bringing together a bunch of super-villains locked up in Belle Reve penitentiary and putting them under the command of Rick Flag, played by Joel Kinnaman. And who are the unlucky members? Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie), Deadshot (played by Will Smith), Captain Boomerang (played by Jai Courtney), Diablo (played by Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Enchantress (played by Cara Delevingne), Katana (played by Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot (played by Adam Beach).
What they should have never done with this movie is sell it as a Suicide Squad versus the Joker movie. That backfired at the speed of light and greatly hurt a lot of viewers’ trust in the DC live-action movies. If anything, Joker should have been hinted at throughout the marketing or should have been kept hidden (as much as possible). It would have been even better if the movie followed a similar plot to the animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham. That animated movie was the best Suicide Squad story that has ever been made and if it had actually been made into a live-action movie, it would have generated so much love from everyone. Instead, director and writer David Ayer went with a much more linear and simple story with unfortunate plot holes. Essentially, it was one plot that focused on Harley Quinn and Joker’s relationship and crossed paths with the other plot on the formation and heroic mission of the Suicide Squad.
The story also doesn’t play as much with the chemistry of the squad than it did with the relationship between Harley Quinn and Joker or the spotlight put upon Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Personally, I didn’t mind this as much as they are the most iconic characters in the squad. To top it off, they are played by some of the biggest actors in Hollywood. To even think that Will Smith would play a secondary role in a movie is sort of blasphemous. His ego wouldn’t even allow such a thing to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he forced himself on the front lines or even forced the director to put neon signs on him throughout the movie. While the focus of the movie did seem to be attracted to those three characters, there’s no lying that they were all three fascinating portrayals of their respective comic book characters. Margot Robbie easily nailed Harley Quinn both in characterization, looks and accent. Will Smith gave Deadshot a heroic and human side while infusing the character with his typical Fresh Prince of Bel Air humour. And Jared Leto?
Jared Leto’s portrayal of Joker is probably the one thing that the whole world was going to pay the most attention to. Don’t kid yourself. After Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the villain in The Dark Knight (2008), no one would have dared to challenge it or even attempt to repeat it. Fans would have eaten any actor’s head off the moment they got cast (sort of like how Ben Affleck got cooked alive when they announced him for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman; yet I personally think he’s one of the best actor’s to have taken upon the mantle). What we got from the Joker in Suicide Squad was however not enough to judge him for the role, but enough to appreciate the unique vision Jared Leto had for the character. He definitely gave us a new take on Prince Clown of Gotham, both in mannerism and looks. Although the tattooed gangster look came really out of the blue, it was still interesting and original. The purring and growling also gave his actor a very psychopathic persona, especially with how laid-back he was throughout the chaos. His dialogue is also riddled with repetition and you get to see that a lot more in the deleted scenes included in the Extended Cut. And his laugh? Joker isn’t Joker if he doesn’t have a laugh, and Jared Leto gives him a maniacal one that is never stretched long (I don’t think that particular laugh could’ve been stretched long anyways) and always short and powerful.
Was this movie even supposed to be the next Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight? Hell nah. What this turned out to be is an entertaining comic book movie. It’s vibe is purely fun while attempting to touch upon the very core idea of the Suicide Squad. What’s that? To turn villains into heroes. Throughout the movie you learn about most of these character’s background as well as the reasons behind what they do. By the end of the movie you’ll be happy that their criminal intentions are put to good use and that they aren’t purely evil all time. Just most of the time. It could’ve been a fantastic coherent movie, but it turned out to be one of those fun popcorn movies where you can sit down and enjoy the banter and action sequences without flinching too much at the lack of complexity in the story.
It was a bit odd that the movie tried to plug in a second storyline that heavily focused on the toxic relationship between Harley Quinn and Joker. The Extended Cut of the movie offers us even more scenes on that relationship and makes you wonder why it was even necessary. The whole thing could have easily been a stand-alone spin-off movie if you ask me. Then again, I think fans still loved what it all looked like, especially how beautiful (or maybe even sensual/sexual) it would sometimes be. And of course there was some people who had to go there, you know… there… and talk about how it promoted toxic abusive relationships. If you thought this movie was supposed to tell the world how those kinds of relationships are never good in real life, I don’t know what to tell you. Harley Quinn’s and Joker’s relationship has always been the craziest thing in the DC Universe and was never meant to be the example to follow. Just know.
What about the villain of these villains? If you ask me, there were a bunch of them for the Suicide Squad. Amanda Waller was the biggest villain for most of the movie since her control on these guys forced them to do the impossible and only she had the power to change each of their lives. But the most obvious one lied in a magical entity that felt disrespected by humanity and decided that since humans worshiped machines so much nowadays, this villain would create the ultimate machine that will erase them all from existence. Sort of dramatic and extravagant, right? This villain wasn’t particularly special and was really basic in every way possible. The CGI that went with the villain’s performance was sometimes super odd (especially in that before-last form), but I feel like the purpose of that character was just to be a threat that would unite the squad together and nothing more. Hence the reason why I enjoyed this movie as a popcorn flick and not a brain teasing jigsaw puzzle.
In the end, the Extended Cut of the Suicide Squad movie was a blast. It’s not flawless, but its awesome cast, awesome action scenes and simple storyline gives us a nice first look at what these crazy folks are capable of. Oh, and I really think it’s worth mentioning that the score of this movie is awesome! Anything that has Eminem in it is a win for me. And Panic! at the Disco doing their own rendition of the classic Bohemian Rhapsody? Epic! Check out the album for the movie, you won’t be disappointed.
Suicide Squad (2016) isn’t exactly based on a particular comic book story. However, Suicide Squad (Volume 1) The Black Vault by Rob Williams was launched as part of the Rebirth era of DC Comics and features the same members of the squad as the movie. There are definitely other runs with the Suicide Squad in the past, with other members, that have also been released before if you’re craving for more!
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)
Have you read any Suicide Squad comics?
Have you seen the movie?
What do you think about Suicide Squad (2016)?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,