RELEASED: August 5th 2016
DIRECTED BY: David Ayer
WRITTEN BY: David Ayer
PRODUCED BY: Charles Roven & Richard Suckle
MUSIC BY: Steven Price
STARRING: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto
‘Where do we even go with this movie?’ is a question asked both right here in this review and also, most probably, some years ago by the people who made the film.
Because watching it, it’s pretty clear that there’s been a lot of disagreements over what Suicide Squad should be, and as a result, a lot of differing opinions over what Suicide Squad is.
Suicide Squad follows the exploits of Task Force X; a unit of super-villains created by government agent Amanda Waller to protect the world in light of Superman’s passing at the end of Batman v Superman. However, before Waller’s pet-project can kick off, one of its members, the Enchantress, turns out to be too much to handle, and with the help of her demonic brother, begins wreaking havoc in Midway City. Now it’s up to the ‘Suicide Squad’ to bring down the rogue gone rogue.
The tendency to embrace the weirdness is something that plays in Suicide Squad‘s favour. Although the majority of the cast like Deadshot and Harley Quinn are pretty grounded in realism, other characters like the monstrous Killer Croc, the soul-taking Katana and the pyrokinetic El Diablo are introduced as if their zany gifts aren’t that far-fetched in the DC Universe; and while some viewers may argue that these things seem like they’ve been simply ignored, it is in fact quite important to embrace some of the stranger things and act as if they’re the norm if you’re building a franchise wherein the prominent characters are superheroes.
Unfortunately, the joy of that factors wears off as the movie continues, and the poor editing and craziness begin to become overwhelming, as both the characters and the audience are bombarded with intense amounts of computer-generated imagery that looks very out of place compared to the rest of the film.
This is never more obvious than in the scenes where the real villains of the story are present. The Enchantress and her brother, Incubus, once they go full-villain, are horrific eyesores; blots on what could have been a decent movie. It’s as if the more powerful they become, the worse the film actually gets. The over-the-top special effects become unpleasant to watch, and the story begins to drag into obscurity.
The end result is a film from a ‘creator driven’ studio that feels like it has too much studio interference. It seems rushed at times, with poor editing; the same problems that befell its predecessor, Batman v Superman.
Things happen that have no bearing on the film; such as a scene where Captain Boomerang abandons the squad, but reappears a few seconds later among them as if he never left, explanations be damned. Likewise, the films begins to switch from the cinema adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ to ‘just tell, because who needs to be shown anything?’
By the halfway point, one of the few things going for this film is a few members of it’s cast. Although the likes of Katana, Killer Croc and El Diablo mostly just play out tired stereotypes, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis, as expected, bring their A-Game, but are surprisingly outdone by Jai Courtney, who seems to have finally found a role that works for him. He easily steals the show, bringing some of the films most amusing moments – something that almost distracts you from the fact that his character, ‘Captain Boomerang’, only throws three or four boomerangs throughout the movie. I’ll be honest, every film I’ve seen Jai Courtney in thus far has been garbage. But here, something just clicks. Boomerang is a shitbag, there’s no doubt about it; but he’s a beautiful shitbag; he’s funny, crass and all around entertaining. Like many of the cast here, you can see Jai Courtney is having fun with the role, and although it fails in nearly every others way, that’s Suicide Squad‘s real victory.