It was DC’s third swing at bat (so to speak) and it took two viewings to work out just how they scored.
The opening of the film had me hooked. Finally seeing Belle Reve Penitentiary on the big screen was awesome, although most people outside the comic world had no clue what they were seeing. Viola Davis’ interpretation of Amanda Waller was spot on – the most accurate character in the film in my opinion. She emphasised that despite having no powers she is truly the boss and no messing would suffice!
The introduction of each character also made it clear to the audience just who would make up Task Force X. The revelation that Harley Quinn killed Robin was also a nice touch and helped the audience get their teeth into something early. Just how that plays out and if she really did it will be seen in a future movie I’m guessing?
Then we slowly drift into set piece city with barely a link between them. Now DC have been criticised by me before for their awful editing. It seems they have kept the same people in charge though who have butchered exchanges here. It took the Ultimate Directors Cut of Batman Vs Superman to ease the pain of that movie; in Suicide Squad it is even worse. Nothing happens, nobody speaks to anyone, no extra moves in the back ground, unless it serves the story pace.
Suicide Squad mainstay Deadshot (Will Smith) is bullied by a guard, he threatens him as Floyd Lawton would do. Yet as soon as he got uncuffed and a gun in his hand he did not pull the trigger. The man is a cold blooded killer who doesn’t care about his own life. He killed his own Mum! He would have killed him in a second – instead we get Will Smith vamping it up but not too much in case people don’t like him. I’m not sure if it was the script or Smith but Deadshot was a non-entity from this point forwards for me. The bit later when he informed the audience that he “don’t kill women or children” was a spit in the face to all who followed the character through the years.
Task Force X are villains, bad guys, evil! Yet it would seem the film makers were scared to go full villain on any of them! Harley Quinn’s (Margot Robbie) psychological and mentally abusive relationship with The Joker (Jared Leto) was down played (although both nailed their parts) with Joker seeming to care too much for her. The tragedy of her character: a victim of abuse who continues to embrace that abuse and continues to go back to that abusive perpetrator seemed glossed over for one liners and ass shots.
Also if you have Killer Croc played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje; that is automatic bad ass points. Yet the man who brought Simon Adebisi (Oz) and Mr. Eko (Lost) to life is left with only a few lines throughout the entire movie.
Now I know juggling a large team is hard but what kills it is that nobody in this film has any relevance or speaks unless it is their time to take centre stage. Giving the team some moments (like they did in the bar scene) would have brought them together more and make it more convincing where after an hour together they are a “family” and ready to die for each other.
That being said though the action is good, and I really like the comic style captions. I love the way they have expanded the DC Cinematic universe and there are a ton of eater eggs and links that go off in all sorts of directions if you wish to follow them.
As a movie though, I feel it will draw in an audience and dazzle them but like a fizzy sweet, it is awesome and exciting when you put it in your mouth but later your mouth just tastes bad and your teeth hurt and you can’t remember why.
Suicide Squad is the best DC has to offer at this time, it is just a shame they bottled it with the villains. What could have been a dark exploratory piece instead turns into a series of vignettes begging us to like these characters.
Verdict: 7/10. This should have been like Sons of Anarchy or The Sopranos – shows full of cool characters we get to like only to be suddenly reminded by their actions that they actually horrible people. Instead we get a script as thin as a Power Rangers episode – complete with Rita Repulsa at the end.