First of all, going into this movie with an open mind was the essential thing for me. I deliberately tried to avoid other people’s opinions and went into this as a person who was NOT a fan of the comic. Don’t get me wrong, I like many of the characters in the Suicide Squad comic and I like some of the implementations that have surfaced over the years. However, in general I am not a fan of the comic. So I was not expecting much from this movie.
The movie surprised me. First of all, the premise isn’t bad. Get bad people to do good things by blackmailing them with bombs in their heads. That somehow works for me. It’s not perfect though. Spoilers ahead.
First, here are some of the bad points:
The movie does feel a little rushed at times and not all of the effects are up to the usual standard of high budget movies. Also, some parts of the story are not needed. To put it plainly there is a sub plot between the Joker and Harley that need not be there. Apart from the reveal of how he “makes” her who she is, everything else is superfluous. I am also sorry to say that as Jokers go, Jared Leto isn’t a patch on what has come before. Yes, I would have loved to see the Joker as a main protagonist but here he is simply window dressing, albeit comedic window dressing. He acts as the foil to Harley and is less menacing because of it. In the great scheme of things, this Joker should either have had more screen time or a movie of his own. I could have done without Captain Boomerang as well. That could be because I loathe the character entirely and I admit I am biased, but he is at least presented well here and is the least annoying version of the character that I have come across to date.
Now some of the good points:
This movie is carried by four standout performances.
- Will Smith as Deadshot – he humanises the character.
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn – both insane and intelligent, she is more unpredictable than the Joker and arguably more dangerous.
- Jay Hernandez as El Diablo – a man tortured by his past and wanting nothing more than to stay locked up for what he has done. Could a man loathe what he is any more than this one?
- Cara Delevingne as June Moon / Enchantress – a woman who is a scientist that is possessed by an ancient witch and battles to keep her under control.
- There are also honourable mentions for Jared Leto as the Joker and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.
Despite the lack of screen time for some of the characters and the obvious lack of individual origin stories, this movie has both heart and performance. There are some scenes where I found myself having shivers and others where I had uncontrollable smiles. Comedy is balanced by action and there are some genuine character surprises that add to what has been established in the comics. Fans of the comics may not like the way this film is presented at times and people coming into this blind may be confused by everything that is going on. I would have liked to have seen some of these characters appearing in movies before this one, just to have given them some extra depth.
This is not DC’s answer to Guardians of the Galaxy, and I don’t think it could ever be. Some of the villains and anti-heroes we meet in this film are truly irredeemable. In the end though, you find yourself hoping that some of them pull through. To me, that makes this a good movie despite the criticisms. Take my review with a pinch of salt if you will, but give this movie a chance based upon its merits and not based upon what the critics say. It is fun, it is comedic at times, it has you rooting for the villains and it has some great individual performances.
Definitely a 7/10 for me.