The reviews are in, and with 27% at Rotten Tomatoes, some movie-goers may be avoiding Suicide Squad like the plague.
However, I will urge you to give this movie a chance, but only if you’re a superhero movie fan, and especially if you thought Batman v Superman was serviceable. Suicide Squad’s plot is nonsensical, and many elements of the film felt arbitrary and silly (in a bad way), but there were also many moments where the film was awesome and silly (in a good way). Some movies are meant to simply be distraction where you shut your brain off and enjoy yourself for a couple of hours. This is one of those movies.
This movie review will look at the good and the bad of the film, and will conclude with a brief discussion on where DC trumps Marvel in terms of making entertaining movies. There will be some spoilers.
The thing that stood out the most was the acting. Margot Robbie played an excellent Harley Quinn, combining the right amount of humour and crazy to stay true to the character as portrayed in the comics. The plot and editing supplements this performance by effectively giving us a snippet of the more sympathetic side to Harley’s story, resulting in an interesting character that’s fun to watch on screen.
Will Smith also does a fantastic job portraying Deadshot, and the presentation of his backstory was also excellent. Given that this is a movie about bad guys, it was inevitable that they had to make some of them easy to relate to, and while Deadshot’s story is that of a stereotypical deadbeat dad, Smith’s acting is convincing and the inclusion of Batfleck made it even better. It was great seeing Will Smith on point; brought back memories of Men In Black and The Pursuit of Happiness.
This might sound strange, but the CG department deserves to be commended as well. Too often have movies skimped out and settled for crappy and obviously fake CG effects. Whether it’s the willful negligence of the producers/director, or the ever-frustrating budget constraints, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Suicide Squad had no such qualms, and both the action and the baddies had great special effects. It’s no Mad Max, but it was most definitely good enough look natural and clean. The best example of this is the depiction of Enchantress, both with how she transforms and her shadowy presence on screen. It’s the perfect blend of costume and special effects, and adequately brings the film to life.
Alright, here’s the nitty-gritty: there are many plotholes and there are many times when things happened when they didn’t need to.
First of all, the primary antagonists are a pair of demon-gods threatening to destroy the entire world, and the best we can come up with is a gang of criminals? Yeah, it’s interesting that they’re being forced to work together and to do something “good”, but what if that plan had failed? They get their heads blown off if they disobey, but then what next? It was a very silly premise. Of course, this is somewhat forgivable since this is the suspension of disbelief (it’s also the same reason why we don’t ask “Where’s Batman/Wonder Woman?”), but there are many other questions (skip this part to avoid some spoilers).
Why does Harley Quinn rejoin the team?
Who’s Katana and why does she matter?
Why does the brother one-hit kill everyone except the Suicide Squad?
The worst part of the film was the ending. Why does the antagonist feel the need to engage in hand-to-hand combat when she is basically Nightcrawler crossed with Scarlet Witch? It was just plain silly, and immersion breaking.
The second half of this movie feels like a mindless, never-ending sequences of things happening, with neither rhyme nor reason, like a half-hearted b-movie on an a-list Hollywood budget. It’s a strange combination, and it worked, but only if you’re willing to shut your brain off.
What DC does better than Marvel.
Despite the complaints, and the fact that DC will never make as much money as Disney/Marvel, I am being completely genuine when I say DC films are more respectable than Marvel films.
Check out this trailer, and these posters. It’s clear that this film is taking on a certain persona, and whether or not you like it, this film unabashedly sticks to it for the entire film. It’s a scruffy and silly adventure, a little ragged around the edges and doesn’t give an ef what you think, and that’s why I can respect it. Unlike the majority of Marvel struggling between wanting to be a child’s movie and a badass superhero movie at the same time, Suicide Squad knows what it wants to be and is proud of its identity, down to the tiniest moulding crumb and every last greasy corner.
Yes, the plot has more holes than all of Deadshot’s victims combined, but there are some poignant scenes sprinkled throughout, and the film never sacrifices a moment in order to insert lame jokes. DC is willing to show the bad guy’s perspective, the uglier side of life (even the heroes), and isn’t afraid to show realistically what would happen when you piss off super-powered humans. Suicide Squad is as down-to-earth as a superhero movie can get without being grim and brooding and emo. It’s a genuinely funny film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and succeeds in being entertaining, which ought to be the primary purpose of any film.
This movie is fun. You’ll likely enjoy it if you’re a fan of superhero films, because it delivers on its promises of antiheroes, big time explosions, and general badassery. Just don’t look too closely behind the curtain, and try not to think too hard. This film is an over-the-top slugfest, and things can get confusing/bewildering at times, but in the end it’s a good bang for your buck (discount Tuesdays, anyone?).
I recommend it to all DC fans, and any fans of action movies who don’t take their movies too seriously. I’m not a serious DC fan myself, and it was pretty cool learning about new characters and finally seeing Harley Quinn done right in live-action. Deadpool, El Diablo, and Enchantress were icing on the cake. If you didn’t like Batman V Superman, then avoid this one, because the same plot problems have made it through here. At this point, I like to think of DC movies in the same way as the Arkham Asylum series: I play those games not to learn or be inspired, but to have fun for an hour or so seeing things explode and people getting beat up. Go in with that mindset, and hopefully you’ll realize Suicide Squad ain’t that bad at all; at the very least, it’s definitely not a 3/10 movie.
This has been a gamobo review. Thanks for reading.