August 26, 2016
Suicide Squad is the latest offering from the DC Universe and, like any eagerly anticipated block buster, it was always going to have its critics. Not the deepest super hero movie ever released, the film has been slated by Rotten Tomatoes and considered a huge disappointment by many fans. In reality, the movie is a mixed bag and there is as much to like as there is to loathe. Here are just some of the pros and cons of what is a confused and confusing movie that I really wanted to like:
A Mixed Bag for The Cast
Jared Letos’ performance as The Joker is stand out, hilarious, and one of his best, whilst model-turn actress Cara Delavigne delivers her worst performance to date: so bad that you’re left cringing with discomfort whenever she appears on screen. Her character is unbelievable, one dimensional, and simply ill-thought out. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is also worth mentioning, if not for the injection of colour, of energy and of unpredictability that she adds to the role.
Aside from these three stand out performances (for both the right and wrong reasons) the rest of the cast put in good but largely unforgettable turns. The main reason for this is simply because there are so damn many of them! Although this isn’t the fault of the filmmakers (because the numbers were chosen by the original comic books) it feels like there are too many members of the Squad, making it hard to engage with and build any kind of relationship with them all. In fact, even as much as half way through the film without having read the comic books beforehand it was hard to even remember their names. There are simply too many crooks, and that huge amount of evil ironically dilutes the evil, or the power of the evil, in this movie. Perhaps some simplification would have made sense in order to cram what is a complicated aspect of the DC Universe into a relatively short film.
A Brilliant Soundtrack
The Suicide Squad mantra is all about behaving badly: that means plenty of sex, illicit drugs, and rock and roll: and the sound track certainly didn’t let this aspect of the movie down. Atmospheric and appropriate music is an essential ingredient for a future classic sci-fi film: can you imagine Star Wars without the Imperial March, for example? One of the key ingredients for any movie is the songs chosen to accompany it. The soundtrack to the scene in which Deadshot (Will Smith) goes on his rampage is one of the best uses of pop music in conjunction with violence since Reservoir Dogs. Suicide squad has an incredible, modern, catchy soundtrack, capturing the right moments with the right sound bites. It is the one part of the film that the producers got right, and that is considered above reproach.
A Seriously Confusing Plotline
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the movie was its confusing plotline. The motives for true villains plan is baffling, as is the technique they choose for attempting to take over the world. Even in the context of a world where the good guys are as bad as the bad guys, it simply doesn’t make sense! What adds to this confusion is the decision to shoot some of the pivotal battle scenes with the characters silhouetted by thick smoke, making the plot even more difficult to follow and ensuring that an already confusing movie becomes almost incomprehensible. In isolation, for their own sake, some of the battles were fun to watch but they certainly didn’t add anything to the plot. What this film really needed was stripping back and simplifying considerably: remove some of the peripheral characters that added nothing but screen noise and make the story clearer and easier to follow.
The Final Verdict
Despite its obvious flaws, I found myself enjoying this movie. The fact is, the movie isn’t perfect: this movie is far from perfect. But if you enjoy the DC Universe, films from the comic book spectrum, or simply want a good sci-fi romp full of pace but without any real substance, then this one is definitely worth watching.
This is an article by Helen Warner