Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Suicide Squad

This review will contain some SPOILERS so keep that in mind as you read.

I was worried about all the negative press Suicide Squad has been getting but honestly, I like the film. It is by no means perfect. You don't have to be a film expert to notice how edited this movie is. But as choppy as it is I liked it more then Batman V Superman. Not to say that I didn't like Batman V Superman, but that film suffered from maybe getting overly complex with the story. Suicide Squad is a pretty straight forward villain is making something to destroy the world kind of thing. Not really all that original, but you come to this film for the cast performances. And the cast brings it.

Suicide Squad is based on the DC comic series of the same name. In the comics, a rotating roster of villains is forced together to go on covert suicide missions for the government. If they fail then they are left with the blame. Or they die. It's also refuse to follow orders and they die, as seen in the trailer. So lets get to the squad.

Deadshot (Will Smith)
Deadshot is a master assassin who is an unnaturally talented sniper and skilled with guns in general. It still looks like Will Smith playing Deadshot, but he was still pretty good.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
Harleen Quinzell was a psychiatrist who became obsessed with and fell in love with the Joker.

Other than having some for of "condition" nothing is stated how Waylon Jones had crocodile features. But people treated him like a monster so he decided to become one.

Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
An Australian thief and killer who is good with boomerangs, Digger Harkness is also a bit crazy and unpredictable.

El Diablo (Jay Hernandez)
One of the most powerful members of the squad, Chato Santana was born with the power to make fire. And when he gets mad he can loose control. 

The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne)
Dr. June Moone is an archeologist who had the misfortune to discover an ancient and extremely powerful witch imprisoned in an idol. The Enchantress now possesses Dr. Moone.

Slipknot (Adam Beach)
A specialist with ropes, knots, and climbing, Christopher Weiss unfortunately doesn't last long in the film. I'll get to that later.

Katana (Karen Fukuhara)
Tatsu Yamashiro, a government operative, is an expert swordsman who wields Soultaker, a blade that traps the souls of its victims. She is not

Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman)
One of the best Special Operations officers in the U.S. military, Flagg is tasked as the squad's handler and commander.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis)
Waller may as well be a villain because she is scary and borderline evil. She is a government agent will do almost literally anything to protect the United States such as gather a group a villains and use them to covertly fight evil under the threat of death.

The Joker (Jared Leto)
The Joker is the Joker. Though we don't get a whole lot of time with this incarnation. And not a member of the squad. The Joker fill more of a subplot in the film. You get some Joker to fill in Harley Quinn's backstory.

So as choppy as the movie is, I thought it was great. It is a lot of fun in spite of the editing. You can feel how much they tried to get the film to match the first two trailers. But by far what makes the film suffer most is the Enchantress/Flagg romantic subplot. Waller, being the evil manipulator that she is, arranged to have Flagg and Dr. Moone/Enchantress work together, setting up a romance to develop and it works. This gives Waller leverage on Flagg, essentially forcing him to stay under her command and to be the handler/leader of the team. I really don't think this subplot was necessary. It could have been just as easy to keep the Enchantress as the big bad and give Flagg some emotional layers in other ways. Ditching the romance would have also given more time to develop the characters of the other squad members. Granted, each of the Suicide Squad members have very unique personalities and traits that shine. They didn't need much development for you to know what they are about. But a little more screen time would have been nice. Especially for Slipknot who ended up being a throwaway character used to help the story along. It's a shame because like the others, he has a unique look. You just don't really get a chance to get to know much about him before he gets killed off. Oh, The Enchantress ended up being the big villain of the film. You might have gotten that from the trailers.

Which kind of brings me to my other minor beef with Suicide Squad. Why did all the brown guys have to die? We don't get much in Slipknot's heritage, or background but the actor who played him is Native American. Then El Diablo... Talk about layered. He is a former LA gang banger whose fiery powers come, as he describes it, from the devil. He tells the team that he always had the powers and became stronger every time he used them. Then after a accidentally wiping out his family, he resigns himself to being locked up and never using his power again. We also get to see El Diablo at full power later, turning into an Aztec or Mayan fire demon. Then he dies. He would have been one hell of an interesting character to keep around and build up.

And it's not beef or a problem, more like a minor disappointment. Jared Leto doesn't get much time to shine as the Joker. You get how this Joker is crazy and he is creepier then previous incarnations, to me anyway. But we didn't get any funny out of him.

Anyway, some good things. I appreciated the references to Harley Quinn's origin in the animated series such as the brief appearance of the original costume and the Mr. J and Puddin references. The future Justice League member cameos were pretty good to. Stay for a mid credits scene in case you have yet to see the film. Also, Amanda Waller. This is a film loaded with evil and villains, but Waller is the scariest person on screen. Viola Davis sells the dangerous. There are moments that want to make you say "DUDE." Which brings me back to the main reason to see this film, the characters. Hopefully the next film will be a little more even, but I can't stress how much I liked this movie even with all it's flaws.

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