Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice definitely left a mixed feeling over the comic book universe. Part of the audience couldn’t get enough of it, while others felt a bit cheated, considering the movie could’ve been so much more. Me? I thought it was okay, but it was clear that DC Comics’ cinematic universe had a long way to go when it came to catching up to Marvel. We’re talking miles, folks.
Suicide Squad was the next logical step in that direction, with the focus being taken off the “A”-list superheroes in favor of a group of villains brought together by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a no-nonsense government agent who huddles them in the hopes of creating her own super team.
And not a moment too soon, as a diabolical evil emerges – under iffy circumstances, of course – and forces the team into action, with Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) heading them up and keeping them in line.
There’s Deadshot (Will Smith), a crack sniper that knows his way around a firearm; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a monstrous beast with not-so-pretty looks; Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), a spirit that rises out of an otherwise stable archaeologist; Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a wise-ass with a killer throwing arm; Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a fiery criminal that wants to find peace; and, of course, my personal favorite, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), a chick with a nuttiness akin to that of the Joker (Jared Leto).
Let’s be honest here – the villains have the most fun. And how. But that doesn’t mean they’re entirely balanced. The stars here are definitely Smith and Robbie, who have a field day with their characters and give them a great deal of depth. And, damn, does Robbie have that sex appeal down. She practically is Harley Quinn.
Everyone else feels kind of secondary, although Hernandez does a great job with Diablo, and Akinnuoye-Agbaje handles pretty well with Croc.
That said, Courtney still feels like an afterthought, as he does in most of his roles; and we didn’t see nearly enough of Karen Fukuhara as Katana, a swordswoman with her own score to settle. She almost feels brushed aside in favor of Flagg’s own drama, and that’s a shame.
Speaking of characters that aren’t around much, some folks might be confused with the trailers pointing out Leto’s Joker as a main character. Eh, not so much. He’s in the film less than you might expect, with that “greater evil” taking center stage instead. It’s a slight disappointment, but at least Leto lights up the screen whenever he’s around – literally. His take on the character is unique, and although not as legendary as, say, Heath Ledger, he provides a good deal of madness that keeps the movie moving along.
Oh, and for the record, Davis is a perfect Waller. She doesn’t nearly get to do as much as she should, but the scenes she’s in are pretty damn cool, especially a great mid-credits scene that you should definitely stick around for – particularly if you’re a fan of Batfleck. Just saying.
Director David Ayer doesn’t always do the greatest job, as some fight scenes jump around a bit too much (particularly near the end), and the storytelling tone can get a little lost sometimes when the movie gets too serious. But he still does a better job than expected, with plenty of humorous moments (particularly with Robbie calmly handling her violence levels) and some fairly good action. Had WB maybe not relied so much on the reshoots, we could’ve seen what his true vision was.
One more thing – the soundtrack is simply awesome. Between the original songs produced for the film and the classic rock tunes selected for character introductions, it had just the right tone. I’ll definitely need to pick this up.
Suicide Squad simply wasn’t bad. In fact, the movie’s a lot more fun than the critics give it credit for, despite its noticeable flaws with leaving some characters out and not telling the greatest of stories all the time. Credit actors like Smith, Robbie and Davis giving their all, and making the movie entertaining where it shouldn’t be. You may not go gaga for Suicide Squad like you would over, say, Captain America: Civil War, but you’ll certainly find it to be a better Saturday night flick than, say, Green Lantern. Or, hey, Fantastic Four. Let’s throw that garbage out there.