Suicide Squad – dark, crazy and fun

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Suicide Squad is just starting to come out in cinemas worldwide and it is already rekindling the fires of war between critics and fans. Just like with Batman v Superman, almost all critics are giving it negative reviews, aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes are threatened with furious attacks by the DC fans, while the general public has yet to give its opinion. So, is Suicide Squad as bad as RT makes it look? Well, NO! But, it is also not as good as we had hoped. It is more different than any DC movie we’ve ever seen, including the non-DCEU ones. It uses the grittier DC formula, adding dark humor (the fun that people complained the other DC movies lacked), with a sprinkle of Marvel dust (like Guardians of the Galaxy) and gives us a crazy, dark and fun ride, while also leaving us confused and a bit disappointed. I wouldn’t call it a failure though. It’s better made than BvS, it’s a very different take on the comicbook genre and it mixes things a bit, but DC needs up the game even more, now that critics have crapped on another one of their movies.

What is that, Stench of Death?

So, the story goes like this. In the wake of Superman’s death, the world is in chaos, governments are afraid of metahumans and are trying to either recruit them or eliminate them. Here comes Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). She wants to assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous villains, provide them with resources and Suicide Squadsend them off on secret missions. Just as she manages to create Task force X and gather all the members, an enigmatic, powerful entity attacks. So, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), led by US colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) are sent to stop this menace and the Suicide Squad is born. Storywise, the movie is pretty clicheic. It starts fresh, with lots of craziness, then it goes slower and then grows again in the finale. The middle part is the weakest part of the movie though. David Ayer manages to direct and write a darker version of his previous movie, a Fury on crack as I like to say.

The problems is, Suicide Squad isn’t solid all-around. It’s not easy to make a movie about a big team and flesh out all the characters equally, but Ayer did his best. So, let’s check the formula I mentioned. Is it crazy? Yes, both visually and through the story and the characters. This also leads into the fun part. It’s not light humor, but dark. You’re not gonna hear “Smack that ass”, “Whoreson” or pther sexual innuendos in your usual comicbook movie. I also mentioned the Marvel dust, because the villain’s plan is exactly like in Marvel movie. He wants to conquer the world. Why? You don’t need to know. That’s not to say that Marvel villains are all bad, but it’s generally accepted that Marvel villains lack depth and backstory. The biggest problem of the script and the story is that Suicide Squad is like a special ops movie, only with DC characters. It’s awesome to see Harley making jokes and Deadshot speaking of Batman and all the other DC universe stuff fans know, but when you think about it, you realize this movie could have worked without the comicbook stuff.

We’re the patsies. We’re some kind of suicide squad. Let’s go save the world!

suicide-squad-cast

Suicide-squad-poster-amanda-wallerMoving on to the biggest part of this movie, the characters. First of all, I have to say all the actors are very good in their roles, some of them are really good. Let’s discuss them one by one, starting with the boss of all of them, Amanda Waller. Viola Davis does a terrific job of portraying the stone cold ARGUS leader. She looks badass, she acts badass, she is “The Wall”. Continuing on the line of “good people”, we have Rick Flag, the soldier, the US colonel that leads the Suicide Squad in its mission. I have to say, I did not care for the character before seeing the movie, but now, I totally root for the guy. Suicide-squad-poster-rick-flagJoel Kinnaman is amazing, especially when he talks, because he sounds really cool. With a deep, hoarse and serious voice and a nice accent he makes for a believable US officer having to work with all the crazy people around him. He also has a romantic interest, which makes sense in the beginning, but becomes cliche towards the end, but it helps keep him more human/normal in our eyes, compared to the villains/anti-heroes. He’s also the link between us, the normal people, and the team, we basically see them as he does. The last of the “good guys” is Katana, played by Karen Fukuhara. She’s ok, underdeveloped, but it doesn’t hurt, considering we’ve seen more of her in Arrow. She yells a lot of things in Japanese and slashes bad guys with her magic sword and that’s enough for me.

You know what they say about the crazy ones…

Suicide-squad-poster-harley-quinnLet’s get crazy. Harley Quinn is one of the highlights of Suicide Squad. She is exactly what fans wanted: crazy, hot, adorable and a killing maniac, also in love with the craziest DC villain, The Joker. Margot Robbie is awesometastic in her role and it’s no wonder DC wants to do more movies with her. She connects really good with Will Smith and Jared Leto (in the few scenes they have) and did I mention she is hot and crazy? Next, we have a big surprise: Jay Courtney as Captain Boomerang. He’s also crazy and funny. He and Harley are the comic relief of the movie, they make the most jokes and the best one at that. His Australian accent is terrific here. The next big loony in the movie is Joker, played by Jared Leto. This is were things get weird. Joker-2Leto does a very good job at playing the character, but the character itself is poorly written and used. Yep, he gets lots of attention in the marketing campaign, but does little in the movie. His biggest impact in the script is adding to the backstory of Harley and putting a face on her obsession. What he does is insignificant and his part could have been scrapped almost completely. Also, it’s hard to accept this gangsta persona he has. It is a very weird version of the character and I’m more curious how he plays against Affleck‘s Batman. Do we have more crazies? Well… Killer Croc could be. He’s more of a silent guy. He makes some jokes here and there, mostly regarding his looks and that’s all. He serves as the Hulk of the team and that’s about it, no real backstory.

Here’s to honor among thieves.

Deadshot-2Three more guys to discuss. So, Will Smith, the infamous Smith, who lately starred in weak roles and weaker movies. How does he fare? Well, alongside Harley, Diablo and Rick, his Deadshot one of the best parts of the movie. He’s the one you could call a main character, though Harley gets almost the same amount of screen time. Will is badass and funny. He gets the job done and does it good. His best role in a long time. Deadshot is sort of the leader of the squad, when Flag isn’t giving orders under the threat of head explosions. And they really made his shooting scenes awesome. Diablo is one of the big surprises of the movie. He didn’t look like he was gonna be such a big part of the movie, but he is and he also has the most dramatic backstory of all the squad members. Suicide-squad-poster-diabloJay Hernandez really has talent and I hope he goes on to play bigger roles. And last, we have Enchantress, played by Cara Delevingne. She’s both dr. June Moon and the super-powered 6000 years old demon from another dimension. In her human form she’s the love interest of Rick Flag and as Enchantress, well, she does stuff. She’s a very on and off character, but does bring a darker, horror-like feeling to the movie. This moment she’s creeping you out like the ghost from The Grudge, the next one she’s belly dancing and muttering magic words.  The villain of the movie is no big surprise actually, but I’ll let you see for yourself. The “conquering the world” plan is old and weak and the lack of motivation really doesn’t help, at all. And that’s a big problem for the movie.

Special effects are top notch here so nothing to discuss. Make-up and costumes are amazing. Should get an Oscar nomination for this, cause those guys did an amazing job, with little CGI and lots of real stuff. The music is another great part of the movie. Steven Price did an amazing job with the soundtrack; it reminded me of Fury too and I like that he made a fun, action-packed OST with a twisted hero theme in it. Along with Price‘s music, Ayer also included songs from various artists, both older songs and new ones, from Queen to Eminem. They fit perfectly in the movie and I think it is one the aspects borrowed from Guardians, along with the team dynamic.

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So, overall, Suicide Squad is a fun and crazy movie. It has awesome characters and actors, funny and dark jokes, it expands  the DCEU and it is visually cool. It does have flaws: a weak villain, a slow-paced story, in some parts and the fact that is such a different DC movie it can hurt itself sometimes, but it’s worth watching. It also has some awesome cameos and a mid credits scene, so don’t leave the cinema!

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