Thank you Harley Quinn for that spoiler warning!
Now, for the record, I never really read much of the Suicide Squad comics, so I don’t really know much about these characters – with the exceptions of Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Killer Croc and a LITTLE bit about Amanda Waller. Oh and of course The Joker! Who DOESN’T know about The Joker?
So anyway, this movie kinda follows on from Dawn of Justice, whereby people are still reeling from the effects of Superman’s arrival on Earth and the subsequent battles. Amanda Waller of ARGUS, puts together a super team of super criminals, with the intention of sending them on dangerous missions that are too much for others to handle. This may sound like a dangerous idea – but thinking about it, it kinda makes sense. After all, if the mission is high risk, why not send in expendable criminals that no one will weep for if they go? Plus they also have chips in their necks that will explode if they ever get out of line.
The squad consists of the following, which I will look at and try to find their role in the film. I’m assuming you guys know who these characters are, so I won’t spend too much time explaining their powers or what have you, if you aren’t sure, look them up on Wikipedia.
Deadshot – One of my favourite characters in the movie. Will Smith plays him with a lot of bravado and wit, but he also has some humanity in him. The scenes with him and his daughter were actually really well done. And the fight with Batman (yes, Batman is in this one) was awesome! So no problems here.
Harley Quinn – I may get some emails about this, but I have NEVER been a fan of Harley Quinn. I know she’s a fan favourite and I’ll admit she has a tragic backstory – but honestly I always found her more annoying than psychotic. That being said I did enjoy Margot Robbie’s portrayal of her. She was pretty funny and I did enjoy the flashbacks between her and The Joker (I’ll get to that later).
El Diablo – Now this was one of the more interesting characters. He was potentially the most powerful, but often held back a lot of the movie. He was one of the few that was scared of his powers, not without good reason, but in the end he turns out to be the most heroic of them all.
Killer Croc – I like this character in the comics, but aside from a few fights, he doesn’t really have much to do. Though he gets a few funny lines.
Captain Boomerang – Meh. He was ok I guess. Wasn’t really too bothered about this one.
Katana – Honestly, she didn’t have much to do in here – save from a few fight scenes. They could have probably cut (if you pardon the pun) her out and the movie would be just as good. But she had more to do than the last one on our list.
Slipknot (no not the band!_– Possibly one of the shortest roles ever in film. He’s brought in… then he’s pretty much killed off. And he was in this movie… why? Oh right, to show the SS that they can’t escape! In fairness though, sometime similar happened to his comic counterpart so this wasn’t entirely done for no reason.
And now to the other roles.
Amanda Waller – now she I enjoyed! I liked her moral ambiguity and the fact that, despite her cruel methods, you did kinda get the feeling that she was thinking about the greater good. Personally I think SHE should have been the villain in this film. What we got instead was…
Enchantress – And they choose this to be the main villain… why? I felt her appearance in this film was somewhat out of place. As a character, she was pretty bland and uninteresting and honestly, her being it made this film more like Ghostbusters than Suicide Squad. If it was Wonder Woman or Green Lantern I could kinda understand that, but having a magical enemy in this type of film just didn’t work for me and just seemed like an excuse to shoehorn in a “romantic” subplot between her and Rick Flag.
Rick Flag – The guardian of the squad that’s supposed to be this tough military guy. Honestly I forgot who he was most of the time and didn’t really care much for him. He had a romantic subplot with Enchantress as she was involved with the woman she possessed by… eh. You get the idea.
The Joker – Now this was the part of the film I was MOST disappointed by. Now I like Jared Leto, but his Joker did nothing for me. Maybe it’s just that he wasn’t used in this film as well as he should have been, but I never got any feeling or threat from him that I did from say, Heath Ledger or Mark Hamil. Honestly, there were times when he felt more like Caesar Romero’s Joker than anything. I’m not saying he was bad – but he wasn’t good either.
Whilst we are on that subject, there is a subplot whereby the Joker and Harley Quinn’s story is shown through flashbacks and Joker tries to get her back. This was actually one of the more interesting stories as it was interesting to see how Harley became so deranged. But it feels more like an afterthought than a plot threat. To be honest, I kinda wish that this was the main story of the film rather than the one we got. It could have made for a good story of how the Suicide Squad are sent in to stop The Joker, but Harley has to choose whose side she is on. What we ACTUALLY got was a bit of a jumbled mess, with things just happening on the fly and suddenly becoming important. Also, considering that Batman and The Flash have cameo appearances, one has to wonder where THEY are whilst all this is going down.
On the plus side, the fight scenes are awesome! When Incubus (Enchantress’s brother) starts taking souls and smashing things up, that was pretty cool. And the scenes where the Suicide Squad were fighting the demonic legions were fun. Especially the bit where Deadshot unloads his guns at a whole army of them. And the final fight scene between Incubus and El Diablo was exciting to a point. Plus we even have some scenes with Batman in them. Enough said!
After the release of Deadpool, apparently the filmmakers went back to shoot some comedic scenes to try and make the film a bit more light hearted. This could have potentially hurt the film, given that the Suicide Squad are one of DC’s more darker groups. But I think for the most part it worked and there were only a couple of forced laughs.
On the whole, this was an enjoyable film with some good characters and a good amount of laughs. But the plot doesn’t entirely work and in some cases it’s hard to follow. Had they kept it to a straight forward kinda story (maybe that the squad has to take out The Joker, but eventually take on Amanda Waller) it could have worked. But the whole magical enemy didn’t really work for me (and yes I am aware that El Diablo’s powers are magical) and the villain was just too bland for me to really care. The best scenes I found were the ones with Deadshot and his daughter and the flashbacks between Harley and The Joker were interesting – and could have been a film all in themselves.
On a side note, I also spotted what I THINK was a Watchmen reference. Apparently there are other easter eggs in there as well, but many would probably go over my head.
Whilst I enjoyed this film more than Dawn of Justice – it’s not without its problems. The first being a somewhat incoherent story, the other being the writers not knowing what to do with some of the characters. Half of the Suicide Squad are just there to fill up the numbers and the other half just seem to compete for story time. This makes the film disjointed and potentially will make anyone that doesn’t know the characters too well switch off. But as long as you don’t over analyse it too much, you might find something in here to enjoy. And whilst I think DC is still a long way from catching up with MCU, Suicide Squad COULD be a step in the right direction for DC. If they can just tighten up the story and make sure their characters have equal story time, their cinematic universe could stand up alongside (if not overtake) Marvel. We’ll just have to see.
For now, I give Suicide Squad 3 out of 5.
For me, if you want a REALLY good superhero team-up movie, then I strongly suggest either The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy. The former is a rollercoaster of a ride with a strong story and fantastic characters (not to mention a great villain in the form of Loki) and the latter has an equally strong story with genuinely funny dialogue. They’re both a little more lighter in tone than Suicide Squad, but both epic in scale.