Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney,
Director David Ayer is known for his hard hitting R rated films. Whether capturing authentic LAPD portrayals with Jake Gyllenhaal in “End of Watch” or trekking through muddy WWII with Brad Pitt in Fury. Ayer enters an unfamiliar territory of mainstream cinema, PG-13 territory. “Suicide Squad” is an organized chaotic mess of superheroes, meta humans, corrupt government and even a killer croc; all managing to align after the “Batman v Superman” plot line. Ayer’s script streamlines this large group of characters better than fellow DC Comics director Zack Snyder did back in March. What works with “Suicide Squad” is the colorful characters as well as the cast bringing them to life. What works against this film is the usual, over saturated field of comic book adaptations plaguing this year’s box office and the predictable plot lines.
“We got lucky that Superman shared our values,” Amanda Waller (Davis) explains to a Pentagon war preparation panel. With Superman dead, Waller presents a scenario that the next super man might not be so friendly. Her answer is Task Force X, in which she will force some of the most dangerous criminals into a squad that she will control. If they refuse, misbehave, or break protocol, she’ll kill them, with a touch of a button. Sniper for hire Deadshot (Smith) and psychopath Harley Quinn (Robbie), both captured by Batman (Ben Affleck), lead an unpredictable group of felons with varying powers. However, when the ragtag team meet the ruthless Waller and her military team led by Rick Flag (Kinnaman), they are unprepared for the deadly scenario she is sending them into.
Davis is the projects most genius casting choice as the Oscar nominated actress makes her human role just as interesting/deadly as those with superpowers.
“Suicide Squad” is DC’s answer to Marvel’s “Deadpool”. Ayer has already stated he wants to explore an R rated sequel, which shouldn’t be hard to pull off considering the success of Marvels R rated success combined with the interest in releasing an R rated version of “BvS”. “Suicide Squad” has stronger female characters than any other superhero film this year. With Robbie stealing the show as the Joker’s girlfriend, it’s the first time that popular comic book/animated character has made it to the big screen (even a nod to her original jester outfit). It’s is Robbie’s second time co-starring with Smith (“Focus”), but this role is not only Robbie’s best performance, but it’s really display’s her range as an actress coming off The Legend of Tarzan, Z For Zachariah, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Jared Leto’s reinvention of The Joker is flashy and fun, but he isn’t on screen enough to really make an impact or deliver a full performance arc. It’s a glorified cameo.
The current age of comic book adaptations constantly stuff as many characters into one story as possible (i.e. “X-Men Apocalypse”, “BvS”, “Avengers”, etc). They are catering to fans who all want to see their favorite character realized, but yet again DC fails to realize less is more. Characters like Boomerang (Courtney), Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and multiple villains make this superhero buffet a bit unnecessarily full. Smith who at first appears like an equal member of the squad, eventually emerges as a leader of sorts. Smith, coming off quite a few film flops doesn’t offer anything outside his standard action performance protocol. Davis is the projects most genius casting choice as the Oscar nominated actress makes her human role just as interesting/deadly as those with superpowers. “Suicide Squad” will pleasure the comic book devotees while offering something slightly unusual to those who feel they are in the theatrical Bermuda triangle of franchise fodder. Although comparatively, there are far more original and rewarding films worth your money.
Director Ayer and cast elevate this twisted comic book adaption higher than most superhero flicks despite its run-of-the-mill plot.