I fully realize that I am quite late to the party when it comes to writing topical reviews on films that have been out for weeks. But I am going to comfort myself with the thought that you have all been waiting with baited breath for my two cents so you haven’t even bothered with anyone else. So here we go.
The reason my review is so late is most likely because I actually didn’t even bother to go see Suicide Squad for a least a couple of weeks after its long awaited arrival. This is a bit weird because I consider myself not only a big movie fan but also a big comic book fan. So it stands to reason that I would make a point to go see it and get a really good article out nice and sharpish. So why the delay?
Two things, I’m lazy and the film suffered from too much hype.
By the time Suicide Squad had come out I was already sick of seeing it. 2016 has been littered with teaser trailers, trailers for a teaser and teaser trailers of trailers that will become the final trailer. By the time September rolled up I had seen about half the film already and to be quite honest with you, I was sick of it. But, nevertheless I went the other day just to see if it was worth all the hype. Was it?
The film could be split into two halves. The first half was the film that everybody expected to see. The premise had been force fed into our minds already so there was no surprise when the first ten minutes was Amanda Waller telling two stock government type characters about her merry gang of “The worst of the worst.” And how she wants to make a team to essentially replace the deceased Superman. I take massive issue with the notion of trying to replace Superman with a group of meta humans the most powerful of which wouldn’t have lasted a second against Doomsday. So the idea of this team being any kind of formidable team is ridiculous to me. The only way I can justify it in my mind is that the people at DC thought the Suicide Squad just seemed to damn marketable to pass up putting into the DCEU. I was comforted by the scene during the credits where Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne get a dossier from Waller o other Meta humans (Who she could have easily contacted instead of these facetious criminals) and he essentially told her to shut the little operation down.
Now I’d like to talk about what I liked about the movie.
I liked how the setting of the film sat very comfortably within its place in the DCEU I find it easy to believe that this event could sit narratively well between BVS: Dawn of Justice and the hopefully mind blowing Justice League movie. We were shown a world where Superman had been taken from the world and we were all looking for our next savior. I can slightly see how that would lead to the formation of a group of meta humans but I will again state that the Suicide Squad was a poor effort on the part of the American Government.
During the second and third act something happened to the characters that caused a bit of a transformation. I will be honest, it was when Amanda Waller’s chopper was shut down and we all thought she had been killed. Suddenly both the Suicide Squad and Rick Flag were free from the rather two dimensional hold of Waller’s character and they had time to develop as characters themselves. I then began to notice that the characters weren’t two dimensional at all. They were all people with both a desire to be a free and most important of all, they all had a motivation in love: Deadshot was merely a man how wanted to take care of his daughter, Harley Quinn wants a life with the love of her life and Rick flag wants to free his true love from the clutches of the Enchantress, who herself simply wanted to free her brother. These people are motivated by love. And when I realized that I began to look past the try hard dialogue and the half- arsed performances.
Would I recommend you go see it? Sure. A lot of the events in the film suggest that we are not seeing an attempt to start off a franchise. Suicide Squad is an irreverent film that has a seemingly shallow tone and hasn’t got much to offer viewers aside from a surprising twist in the emotional subtext of the film. But if emotional subtext isn’t exactly what you keep an eye out for when you go to the flicks, then don’t worry if you miss out on this movie.