Suicide Squad (2016)

Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie

The world changed when Superman flew across the sky; It changed again when he didn’t. After Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman, David Ayer brings us Suicide Squad, a film about the super-villains of the DC universe who are brought together and tasked with doing jobs no one else can (or wants to). With little to lose and a lot to gain, they band together despite knowing they are ultimately the fall guys should things wrong (of which inevitably they will).

We start out by being introduced to each character one by one and what consists of their daily lives while incarcerated. We also see some slight back story to the main characters. Unfortunately all this goes on for far too long. Are we meant to feel sorry for these people? Are they really bad after all? Who knows but I’m not sure Ayer knew exactly how to tell us. Maybe this was lost in the numerous re-shoots. We then meet Amanda Waller (Davis) who is organising a task force of the baddest of the bad. You can guess who it will include.

Naturally when things go south with one of Waller’s subjects, this elite villainous task force is called into action. Unfortunately again, the action takes far too long to actually arrive, and when it does, while looking nice, is a CGI fest of epic proportions. The general plot though is rather weak and Ayer’s script is not the tightest. I think he gave himself far too much to do here, and with Warner’s continued annoyances, maybe it would have been better without them interfering. The films PG rating is another sticking point. These are not nice people and one is left to wonder what might have been.

The score is reasonable but the actual soundtrack gets annoying quickly depending on your tastes, though some of it fits the scenes perfectly. Acting is mostly excellent all round as one would expect. Will Smith is rather subdued here, and I didn’t think it was the Will Smith show when I first watched this. Upon reflection, it really was, as Smith (Deadshot) and Harley (Robbie) are the only ones with any real thought gone into them. Interesting also that Harley joined the Suicide Squad late in the comic’s story-lines, but I guess she draws the money in, especially in that tight outfit of hers (of which numerous jokes about are made within the film).

Having said this though, character development is very limited, even for those who are obviously the main stars here. Jared Leto as the Joker may as well have not even been in the film for his short screen-time. Perhaps more tellingly regarding the re-shoots, if he was cut out completely, the film would not really be that different. Leto is at least suitably manic and crazy in his portrayal though (and I’m not going to get into who my personal favourite Joker is). Boomerang and Slipknot are fodder and very wasted and are obviously just making up the numbers (film wise at least). Croc is quiet but full of presence, but again is very wasted. It really is the Deadshot and Harley show.

Special effects in general along with set designs are fantastic, but then for the budget they should be. Despite all its gloss and visual excitement, the film does miss the mark somewhat and fall short with a weak and slightly drawn out story, and it seems almost that Warner and DC are playing catch up to Marvel. Looking at up DC’s upcoming films in their new extended universe it is difficult to see where DC might go from here as while the superhero genre is still strong and healthy, fans will be put off by laziness eventually. In an already saturated superhero market, they really need to polish up what they are releasing, even more so if they continue with this ridiculous theatrical and then extended releases.

Monetary success a good film does not make, they need to pick up the pace.


The Sage’s Rating:

(Review was based on the extended Blu-ray)

Posted in Action, Adventure, Fantasy and tagged , , , , .

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