On August 5th, 2016 the highly anticipated film of the summer Suicide Squad was released in theaters amidst harsh reviews and criticisms. The film takes place shortly after the events of Batman v. Superman where society is now living with the realization that the next Superman that comes along might not be so friendly.
But, not to worry, Viola Davis‘ character Amanda Waller has the solution: to gather the worst of the worst and give them a chance to get time off of their stay in prison by fighting these super powered individuals should the need arise. For the Squad’s first challenge, they face off against Enchantress, played by Cara Delevingne, who is an ancient being with vast power. Enchantress is possessing the body of archaeologist Dr. June Moone who just so happens to be the love interest of Amanda Waller’s right hand man (and the soldier in charge of keeping the Squad in line) Rick Flag.
Despite the poor reviews, I had high hopes for the film largely due to the excellent line up. Viola Davis, Jared Leto and Will Smith were definitely the biggest names in the film though other cast members including Jai Courtney and Margot Robbie have a few successful titles under their belts as well. Though the casting was great, the script didn’t seem to allow these talents to fully flourish, or the actors to fully connect with their characters. The lines being delivered felt half hearted at times.
Will Smith’s Deadshot was a standout character among the squad, but the real performance in my opinion was delivered by Margot Robbie. Her portrayal of Harley Quinn was spot on to the endearingly crazy character that we’ve come to know. Another standout to me was v who portrayed Chato Santana / El Diablo. His character is a meta-human gang member with the power of fire conjuring, and he is arguably the most powerful member of the squad. While several of the other main character’s backstories were reduced to minor cut scenes, viewers were given a bit more of this character’s history.
Another disappointment was with some of the special effects of the film. My first issue was with Delevingne’s Enchantress. Cara did a great job with her scenes as Dr. Moone, and when she made the transition into the first form that we see Enchantress, the visual effects are amazing. But, in the final form of Enchantress, Cara’s youthfulness is a bit too much to really give off the feel of an ancient and all powerful being. The special effects only seemed to overwhelm her. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje‘s Killer Croc is another shortcoming of the film. Croc had some catchy lines that were delivered but due to timing or poor audio, the phrases were almost unintelligible.
And finally the biggest let down of the film was the Joker. Or rather, the lack there of. Though the Joker was not officially a member of the Suicide Squad in the comics, for months audiences had been shown trailer after trailer featuring the Joker. I personally believed that he would have much more screen time than he did. In total, the Joker’s scenes probably accounted for less than fifteen minutes of total screen time, which is a shame because the scenes that he was in were great. The secenes were visually stunning and either filled with action or the trademark anarchy of the Joker that audiences have come to love.
This movie had in my opinion, a lot of potential, but overall in the end it felt rushed.
Character development was skipped over in favor of completing a story line within a two hour time frame. It wasn’t all bad, there were some great action sequences, witty lines, and even a cameo by Batman and the Flash. Overall the ratings aren’t great. IMDb gave it 6.9/10 average rating, and Rotten Tomatoes sits at 4.7/10. But, despite the critics to date the film has grossed around $471 million at the box office.
7/10 is about right for this movie.
I don’t think it was rushed or anything similar. Enchantress was a bad choice for a villain, because fighting seemingly omnipotent gods always descends into CGI-induced trash. And there was no time in the movie to develop the characters in more detail – just the fact that they managed to build somewhat of an interaction between Harley/Deadshot/Boomerang/Flag, a somewhat coherent El Diablo and a functional Joker/Harley line is a miracle.
The movie flew about as high as it could, held down by questionable Nolan’s aesthetics where even the lush jungle looks like a green shadow of gray, overly ambitious plot and an outright unworkable antagonists. It’s quite watchable, it could have been better, but this “could have been” requires a big reworking of the movie, and it is actually remarkably solid without any obvious plot holes.
More importantly, Joker/Quinn are now actually workable, and the sequel will be logical.