Movie Review – ‘Suicide Squad’

Will Smith and Margot Robbie are fantastic as assassin Deadshot and the off-kilter Harley Quinn respectively… Viewers are treated to a spectacular opening sequence … “Suicide Squad” is a watchable and “worth the price of admission” film, but it falls short in the middle and final acts.

– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

SuicideSquad

Attempting to bounce back from this spring’s disastrous Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reception from filmgoers, DC Comics has finally taken a step in the right direction after 4 years of bland results. Set in Gotham City, Suicide Squad gathers a mixed bag of bad apples who must answer their government’s call into action in order to stop an enigmatic entity threatening us mere mortals.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie are fantastic as assassin Deadshot and the off-kilter Harley Quinn respectively. Viewers are treated to a spectacular opening sequence (in a post-Superman world), which introduces us to no less than 11 characters–most of them super villains with unique talents and personas. It’s here, during the first forty-five minutes, that Suicide Squad really shines with a steady dose of laughs and interesting traits exhibited by the unique cast.

Easily DC Comics best venture on film since The Dark Knight Rises back in 2012. Several missed opportunities, however, water down this plot and overall movie. Once again, rather than create a simplified enemy that’s easily explainable within minutes, director David Ayer (Fury) expends too much energy and valuable screen time revealing a convoluted plot. This misstep cost us the chance to fully understand each of the main characters and their various backgrounds.

Aside from perhaps introducing too many misfits to properly explain in one movie, Suicide Squad squandered some supporting cast specifics with several unforced errors. For example, Killer Croc’s elaborate costume drowned out a few of his best one-liners…a blunder that should’ve been caught by sound and editing.

Academy Award winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) does an admirable job as The Joker, but the storyline never fully unleashes The Joker into the bigger plot. Missing most of the time and barely seen, Leto’s portrayal of The Joker comes across the screen as an afterthought to the overall narrative–making his scenes appear as almost a movie within a movie.

Although not entirely fair, I still use Marvel’s 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy as my bellwether watermark for judging comic book film greatness. Suicide Squad is a watchable and “worth the price of admission” film, but it falls short in the middle and final acts. But with an August opening weekend record haul of over $135 million, fans of DC Comics know that we’ll probably see a Suicide Squad 2 within a couple of years.

Grade: C+

“Suicide Squad” is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.  Its running time is 2 hours and 3 minutes.

 

 

© 2016, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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