SUICIDE SQUAD (2016)

SUICIDE SQUAD REVIEWED

“Suicide Squad” is the first DC cinematic adventure that I utterly enjoyed. While it’s not the Squad that I grew up loving, it’s closer in tone than any previous Batman or Superman outing. Much like in past attempts to bring the Squad together, a terrible tragedy has occurred to warrant its creation. Amanda Waller gets the government to go along with a team of supervillains after the death of Superman. If you haven’t seen “Dawn of Justice” yet, then you have no one else to blame but yourself. Well, Zach Snyder. If you have a broadband connection, you’re almost obligated to blame Snyder for something.

The film opens with oddly placed flashbacks to show the audience how all of the crooks ended up behind bars. Deadshot wouldn’t kill Bats in front of his kid, Harley Quinn can’t swim and other characters did something dumb. From there, Waller and human MacGruber stand-in Rick Flag make their case known to the villains. Participate in a killer mission and you get your sentence commuted. Failure means death or more time behind bars. Everyone gets micro-chipped to ensure their co-operation. If they botch the deal or try to run, they get blown up. Everyone goes along with the effort and takes over for Midway City.

All the while, Harley Quinn’s demented partner The Joker tries to make his way back into her arms. While I appreciate a film where Harley Quinn blows The Joker off the map, I don’t like this kind of Joker. He’s a barely there blip that tries so hard to be something. In an era where we’ve had Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger dominate the role, this doesn’t work. Jared Leto is easily the worst part of the film, as he comes off as Hot Topic Cesar Romero. Some others have made connections to Jimmy Cagney, but that’s stretching appreciation for the role.

The last half of the film plays like a superhero action movie from the early 00s and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not something that DC needs to repeat, but they also not need to be scared to try that for a film. So many people forget that Marvel had a nearly 14 year headstart on DC’s efforts. While “Man of Steel” and “Batman vs. Superman” were hard whiffs, the Distinguished Competition is growing and learning what it takes to translate comics to the screen. You can see some of this when Waller has to accommodate certain demands of a prominent millionaire playboy.

“Suicide Squad” knows what it is and it wears its tacky tattoos on its sleeve. The film scratches off all the needs I have for a Squad movie and I’m left wanting to see more outings with ever newer super convicts. I’ve been talking online about some of the dumber deaths in the comic and I’d like to see that translated onscreen. Given the nature of CG effects, anything is possible now. What a wondrous time to be alive.

FILM STATS

  • PG-13
  • 2hrs and 3 mins
  • Warner Brothers

RELEASE DATE: 8/5/2016

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