Friday, August 5, 2016

Suicide Squad Almost Commits Itself

DC Comics and Warner Bros. Studios haven’t had a good run critically with films since the Dark Knight Trilogy. While Man of Steel was a financial success, critics everywhere have bashed and clobbered Zack Snyder’s new approach for the DC Cinematic Universe. The reasons vary from the films being “too dark” when compared to Marvel’s direction, to complaints that the films don’t reflect the correct attitudes or ideals of the characters. This year was no different with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which succeeded financially but bombed critically. Now comes Suicide Squad, while I have to admit that it was fun to watch, it had a lot of problems that have caused the film to receive negative attention.

Suicide Squad is significant for many reasons and it was important that DC Comics had to do this right.  First it was going to be the re-introduction of arguably DC’s famous villains, The Joker who is played by Jaret Leto (Lord of War, Dallas Buyers Club), the role was previously held by Heath Ledger who unfortunately passed away after The Dark Knight. The second reason is it would finally be the introduction of the Joker’s famous assistant, Harley Quinn who is played by Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street).  The film would also introduce other famous villains from DC like the assassin, Deadshot played by Will Smith (Ali, Concussion) as well as Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang. The chemistry was present in this cast but it was the story itself that carries the biggest flaws.

DC’s Suicide Squad is a famous story about a secret agency that decides to put some of the most dangerous villains to use by force in order to fight the battles normal people can’t. Created by the dangerous Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), she sends them off as a team of expendables in the name of national security. The film stays true to this aspect and Viola Davis’s performance was on point as the dark boss of the worst heroes ever. So what was the mission that called for the activation of Task Force X?

The film takes place some time now after the death of Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the world is still in mourning. Now people are scared because the world has been attacked by forces beyond their comprehension and there’s no Superman to defend them. Things get worse unfortunately when a new threat arises and Amanda Waller is authorized to use Task Force X to neutralize the threat and retrieve a valuable asset. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, the Joker arrives to throw more gasoline on the fire which only creates more chaos. It’s a non-stop action ride that keeps your attention but asks more questions than answers for people who don’t follow the comics. That’s been the biggest weight on the shoulders of the DC Cinematic Universe.

This film is a lot like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel because it really appeals to people who know a lot about the DC Universe. If you no nothing then you’re going to be left out in the dark because there’s very little character development and not much backstory to fill in the people who are oblivious. The universal problems with this film are the main villain was weak and Jaret Leto’s performance as the Joker doesn’t hold a candle compared to Heath Ledger. The main villain felt like the antagonist in Ghostbusters, just someone that had to be there to start trouble and not much thought was put into it. For people who are seeing the film for the Joker; you’re going to be extremely disappointed more than anyone in the film.  

Jaret Leto as the Joker was an even bigger disaster than Jessie Eisenberg who was cast as Lex Luthor but I mostly blame the direction and creation of this character more than the actor. When the first images of his appearance came to light, it wasn’t a welcomed sight at first. Dressed like a gangster and covered in tattoos which is something nobody has seen before from the famous clown prince of crime. If this was an attempt to re-image the famous villain, then I’m sorry to say that this one shouldn’t been crumpled up with the rest of the bad ideas. As far as the usual charismatic and spontaneous character we’re all accustomed to, we see an approach that’s more brutal with bullets instead of cunning and creative. The only thing I can say that was a good thing was the fact that he had the least amount of film time; it makes sense because it’s mostly about Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn who was fantastic playing the psychotic and sexy femme fatale.

Will Smith as Deadshot was a great move considering he took a more demanding lead that supplied the most comic relief as well as being the bad ass of the group. I personally like to give this film a 7 but it gets 6 out of 10 because it’s a great film for DC fans who know a lot about the characters and they’re story but not for people who only know a little. I can see this movie having a great first weekend but it will drop and drop fast with the release of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon and several other films coming out soon. There’s good surprises during the film and after the credits so make sure you stay a few minutes after the film. I sincerely hope DC and Warner Bros. takes everything they hear seriously because the success of the cinematic universe now falls on the shoulders of Wonder Woman and Justice League due next year, good luck.

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