Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

by Shekhar Manghnani on August 8th, 2016

​Regardless of your thoughts on Man of Steel or Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it was hard not to have high expectations from Suicide Squad considering its masterfully crafted trailers enhanced with its 70's rock music that seemed to promise an exciting first ever super villain film. Not only that, we were about to get our first look at The Joker helmed by Jared Leto after the iconic portrayal by Heath Ledger in 2008's The Dark Knight. This was also supposed to be the film to redeem the DCEU in the eyes of critics and certain fans alike, and it breaks my heart to say that it fails aplenty. Currently residing at a rotten 26% on Rotten Tomatoes (which is lower than BVS's 27% and expected to fall further), I personally don't see much decisiveness with this this one as I did with BVS.
​Having not seen End of Watch, hating Sabotage with a passion and loving Fury, I honestly didn't know what to expect from director David Ayer and unfortunately its more in line with Sabotage than Fury. The film is dull, action is choppily filmed, not knowing whats happening most of the time and Ayer relies way too much on its soundtrack than his directing skills to develop characters, turning the theatre into a disco.

The screenplay for the film was written in a span of 6 weeks and it sticks out as a sore thumb, going the most tired cliched route it even fails at that. Its as if there is no second act in the film, it just jumps from introducing the squad to throwing them on the streets to defeating whatever nonsense the villain is with random flashbacks thrown in-between. Speaking of villain, it just shows out of nowhere with no clear motivation behind their need to "conquer the world" and one cannot consider them as a serious threat with he/she's mannerisms which is hysterically awful.
​On the positive side, the actors do their best to realise these beloved characters especially Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot and Jared Leto as The Joker who's quite limited in the film, hence not enough of a sample size to compare it to Ledger or Nicholson, but for what it was, he did enough to distinguish himself from the other incarnations. Other standouts include Viola Davis as the menacing Amanda Waller and otherwise bland Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang who surprisingly has comedic chops. Jay Hernandez's El Diablo has a particularly grim flashback making us question if he's probably the worst of the bunch and/if he deserves any kind of redemption for his actions, thus making him one of the better developed characters coming out of the film.
​Margot Robbie was born to play Harley Quinn, I simply cannot picture any one else playing the role. She brings the charisma of the character, nailing her one liners and one fairly decent action scene, making her an unhinged badass. Her flashback sequences with Joker brings out the chemistry of one of the most iconic relationships in comic book history.

Meanwhile, Will Smith's Deadshot gets enough character depth (although flawed) to make an impression as the undefined leader of the Squad and probably the sanest of the bunch.
​Ultimately, Suicide Squad's saving grace is its characters who end up being the highlight of the film. Whenever the squad is together things were interesting, if only I could say the same for their mission. The characters could only take the film so far until they are bogged down by a done to death storyline and uninspired filmmaking. In my books the DCEU is now 2-1, while reserved I still have an optimistic outlook for their future projects.

Posted in Movies    Tagged with suicide squad, joker, DC, supervillain, 2016, film, review


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