Review of 'Suicide Squad'

suicide_squad.jpeg Superman is dead and the government is looking for ways to protect the country from any metahuman attack. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is convinced that she can use a group of misfit metahumans can be used to protect the country.

  • “Deadshot” (Will Smith) is a super assassin for hire who never misses who is ultimately captured by Batman (Ben Affleck).
  • “Harley Quinn” (Margot Robbie) was formerly a Arkam psychologist assigned to work with the Joker (Jared Leto). After falling in love with The Joker, Quinn helps him escape from Arkam but the Joker then repays her with electoshock therapy and a dive into the toxic pool (the same that created the Joker himself) to turn her into a twisted psychopath. Quinn is rescued/captured by Batman after crashing into the river in a car driven by the Joker.
  • Australian “Captain Boomerang” (Jai Courtney) is a talented bank thief has a boomerang he uses with devastating effect. “Diablo” (Jay Hernandez) is a metahuman who can control fire.
  • “Killer Croc” (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) was tragically born looking like a monster and after being treated like one all his life he has now become one with incredible strength and anger.
  • “Katana” (Karen Fukuhara) is a Japanese martial arts expert whose sword is infused with the spirit of her lover.

Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is a special operations expert and West Point graduate who has been tasked with controlling the group as part of the Argus programme “Taskforce X” with the help of explosive chips that have been implanted in their necks. This control is demonstrated rather viscerally when the head of metahuman “Slipknot” (Adam Beach) is blown off while attempting to escape. For their assistance the team are offered a reduction in their prison time but, of course, they have other plans…

When archaeologist Dr June Moone (Cara Delevingne) discovers a mysterious artefact that she opens which releases the “Enchantress”, a powerful sorceress, who takes over Moone's body. Waller leads up a government team that find the Enchantress's heart that use to control her. Despite this, the Enchantress manages to escape then goes on to free her deranged brother. They then work to build a machine to destroy the humans that have betrayed them. Taskforce X are called in to stop the Enchantress but will this band of thieves and criminals be able to work together as a team to save the planet?

In this film it is the Quinn character that dominates every scene she is in. Where the others in the squad have some amount of constraint, Quinn has no such hang-ups, joyfully intent on murder and mayhem. Margot Robbie puts on a tremendous performance here, one that is in many ways more horrific than the baddies or even the Joker. Indeed, Jared Leto as the Joker is a fairly one-dimensional character with none of the horrifying glee we have seen previously with the character when played by Health Ledger, here the emphasis is only on the horrific with none of the sick humour that more fully rounds out the character.

As you might expect, being the first film for this group, much of the screen time is spent on introducing us to the characters and the situation leaving little time for the battle at the end. Here the ending comes much too quickly despite the two hour running time. However, with the reasonable success of this movie at the box office I suspect we will be seeing them again in future. It is an intriguing idea - Taking a group of super-villains to work as a force for good - which largely works here with believable reasons for each of the characters to cooperate.

The fast-paced action and characters are matched by an equally high-energy rock and punk soundtrack. For all of the activity it is surprisingly easy to keep track of what is going on in what is actually a fairly simple origin story. The interesting thing here is that the characters in the squad are believable despite their horrific personalities - We sympathise with them and how they are being twisted to the government's will.

Yes, this is a story that has a huge cult following before making it to the big screen but it is still a fun, though hyperviolent, “superhero” story…sit back and enjoy the ride. However, do expect a fair amount of exposition in this origin story.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2017-03-25

Directed by: David Ayer

Studio: Atlas Entertainment

Year: 2016

Length: 123 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by David Ayer: