This is the year that superheroes go against each other and the villains. I am of course talking about Suicide Squad.
This is the film where a secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions because what is better than fighting fire with fire? And if they’re bribed with freedom then they’ll obviously do it. This inevitably leads to chaos because you know it’s a bunch of villains.
Okay first up is the Joker. The trailers for this film were absolutely awesome and abundant with appearances from the crazy hater of Batman himself. Going from the trailers alone you can infer that the film will be about containing the Joker because the Batman can’t and it’ll all be about him and Harley and a few others. But it wasn’t. In fact the Joker is merely a secondary character, he’s there to shape Harley more than he is there to develop his own character. There’s a fan that’s trying to sue the studio for false advertising because the Joker wasn’t in it enough. But was it a good portrayal? That’s what you really want to know. Throughout the Joker’s comic history he’s been downplayed to be simply comedic and then upped to the absolute max of insanity. He is a gangster which is something that hasn’t been previously explored on screen, Leto’s Joker does bring that uniquely to the plate. Part of his success against Batman – who does make a couple of cameos – is tied to this fact as he has a lot of leverage of a lot of people. He also has many minions who adorn nightmarish masks of animals and a poor cosplay of Batman himself. His insane adoration with Harley is plain to see and done to T. He's damn right insane and his laugh echoes throughout the theatre. So his portrayal is fitting. But he wasn’t in it enough. That’s down to the plot itself because it wasn’t about the Joker but instead about a team of villains defeating the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). And because of his little screen time I can’t compare him to other depictions of his character.
Next up is Harley: “We’re the bad guys, that’s what we do!” Margot Robbie plays her brilliantly. You never question her insanity or her love for the Joker and her backstory was extremely well placed throughout the film. I would’ve liked more of her backstory to be shown but this is about everyone’s backstory crammed in together so I understand why they didn’t go further. One thing that irked me was the disappearance of her mallet. The mallet is her key weapon and although it does make one quick show it’s swiftly replaced by a baseball bat (why?!) and a gun (okay that I understand, a bit). She is the favourite part of this film because I loved everything about her that she did. But without her the film wouldn’t be very iconic at all.
The other characters in the squad include the Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnudge-Agbaje), Deadshot (Will Smith), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Diablo (Jay Hernandez). Out of those five Deadshot was the main character and his backstory was explored the most, seconded by Diablo. You get to see what motivates them and family plays a key role for both of them. However, the other characters were just kind of left to simmer? You didn’t really get to know them except for a few things and there were a lot of aspects that I hoped would have been shown about them that weren’t.
I think the main problem with this film is its plot being very alike to a game mission; get to a checkpoint, move to a new map, get to another checkpoint, have the boss battle and then end. With a TV show you can expertly dissect a character or a bunch of them within a twelve hour story arch, but in a film that's only a couple of hours you can’t expect every character and everything to be perfected. Overall, it crammed way too much in so little time. To the point where I was wondering if there was more to it when it finished or if it was just a set up for in the works standalone films.
There’s a simple reason why this film is the way it is: David Ayer, the writer-director. His directing methods of goading the actors and putting them through psych evaluations and bizarre tasks such as running in the woods naked for Cara Delevingne really made their characters. His unconventional and wacky methods brought just the right craziness on screen, showing that villains are exactly what we want and love in our lives. This, I learned after watching the film but it made me happy knowing that such dedication went in to production.
Final verdict: The film is good don’t me wrong but I starved for more. There was action sure. The battles were good. The horrible, black, eye-filled monsters were enough to get me to shiver. The characters were good on the surface. However, the villain was weak because her main motives weren’t probed into beyond just wanting the entire human race to die, therefore becoming another generic villain. It was crowded, so much so that I can wonder that if they had split the film into two parts it would be more worthwhile. The story was sad because the villains didn’t really accomplish anything for themselves but instead did so to unwillingly save the life of their nemesis, Amanda Waller (Viola Days). The plot was a bit generic and/or pointless. It could have been so much better. But it was worth the watch.
UPCOMING SPOILER ALERT!!!!
What was my favourite scene in the film?
I loved the part where Harley and then the Joker jumped into the acid vats. That’s a bit psychotic I know. That is a scene that was written in the comics but wasn’t really shown on screen outside of Suicide Squad. I loved it because it shows Harley’s sheer dedication to the Joker and therefore how much she loves him, but it also shows how much he has corrupted her. Then when the Joker jumps in after her and pulls her out you can tell that he loves her and has the capability to do so. But then the ink coming off and pooling around them… I loved it. I can’t quite explain it.
What was the most disappointing thing about the film?
I didn’t like how instead of going after the Enchantress, their main mission was to save Amanda Waller, then to deal with their enemy. Then when their mission was complete they were chucked straight back in prison but this time they had some privileges, now that’s how you thank people for saving the world! Plus since I have seen the TV show Arrow I know more about Waller and the facility the Suicide Squad is holed up in, but I know that for someone who haven’t seen it they can’t know the significance of it.
What’s up with Enchantress?
Enchantress was being controlled by Walla for some time and then she gets the blowback for wanting to escape that control. That seemed a bit of a misplacement, which is a trend that followed all of our villains. The villains were bad but they had overwhelming loss and mistreatment that made their badness factor kinda plummet. Plus when Enchantress said that humans didn’t worship gods anymore but machines? I wanted that to be expanded upon but it wasn’t. And once again, a lot of details were left out because there wasn’t enough time.
Why didn’t I mention Slipknot or the Batman more?
Slipknot only got a couple of minutes of screen time, less than the Joker or the Batman, therefore it isn’t enough to mention and make judgements upon. I know it was to show the consequences of insolence and to be a bribery tactic of following orders but really? The Batman was actually the cause of most of the villains capture and in the credits you do see him receive a folder of potential targets to use a leverage from Walla, but again his cameos were just that.
And thank you for reading through this beast of a review, god I ranted I know but... eh, the film is a beast too.
HAHAHAHA!... What did you think?