Reel Geek’s Review-Suicide Squad

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We first got a glimpse of DC and Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad a year ago at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, in a bootleg form that was soon given an official release which I believe kick started how WB and DC handled their Comic Con footage this year, (it’s going to get leaked anyway, might as well put it on the internet officially so people can get hyped for these movies already, as we saw with this year’s Justice League trailer drop) but that could backfire on them in the long-run, as it did in pockets here, with the hype that people have given for this movie, eagerly anticipating this movie for over a year, (just like Batman V Superman started getting us excited like two years prior to seeing anything, and with that kind of hype/time there’s no way anything can live up to those kind of expectations.   After that long, there will be a group of the audience that will walk out underwhelmed, feeling, meh, it was okay, or worse.

I mean there’s no way anything after waiting that long anything could live up to expectations people built up in their heads.  Just look at the Star Wars prequels, The Force Awakens, or the recent WWE Draft for examples.  No matter how cool a thing is, after hyping it up for a while, people will build things up in their heads and nothing, nothing will be as good as the story they concocted in their heads that they were going to see.

 

I don’t let the hype overwhelm or raise up my expectations to unreasonable levels, and in this case I really, really had a good time with this movie.   Quick plot recap, for those living under a rock the past year who may actually enjoy this movie like I have unspoiled by a year’s worth of hype and Jared Leto Joker teases.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis-How To Get Away With Murder) is a high level government official, who is putting together a team of supervillains and criminals to do what the real good guys can’t do.  Black Ops type operations and the like.    And the crew is comprised of Deadshot-(Will Smith), the world’s deadliest sharpshooter/assassin, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie- The Legend of Tarzan, Wolf of Wall Street)  the Joker’s girlfriend, and veritable badass in her own right,  Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney-Terminator Genisys) bank robber, has bladed boomerangs. Killer Croc-(Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje-Lost) a man with the appearance and feral strength of his animal namesake.  El Diablo (Jay Hernandez-Grindhouse) former gangbanger, pyromancer (controls/creates fire) and Slipknot (Adam Beach-Flags of our Fathers) who can climb anything.      They’re joined by Col. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman-Robocop remake) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) samurai who has the spirit of her dead husband in her sword, to keep an eye on the motley crew.

I really had a lot of fun with this movie, which means a lot to me, as that’s primarily what we go to the movies for, is entertainment value, cause the world outside is a dark and gritty place, it’s really depressing out there a lot lately, so we go to the movies for a 2 hour escape.     I loved the style of the movie, it’s the most unabashedly comic book comic book movie I’ve ever seen.  From the style of the movie, to the fact that they actually use the character names in film, and not just in marketing (I’m looking at you Marvel, who uses the first names of the characters so much in the films there’s a whole fandom out there that calls the characters Steve, Tony, and Bruce rather than Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk) like in the context of the film we hear Deadshot, Croc, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, etc.  and I love that.

The cast all does a bang up job in acting, Will Smith is at the most Will Smithiest he’s been in years, and Margot Robbie captures the essence of Harley Quinn, and the underlying tragedy of her character as well and her relationship with The Joker (Jared Leto) .  And speaking of Mr. J, Leto shines in his role, I just wish we got to see more of him (he’s not nearly in the movie as much as one would expect from the marketing/merchandise)  I did love that we get to see a different side of the character this time out.  Usually we just see him and Batman and their endless cycle, but here we get to see his relationship with Harley develop in a series of flashbacks and a bit during the movie itself, which isn’t showing the darker, abusive side of it, but more the romanticized version, which, as we’re seeing it a lot from Harley’s perspective here, it makes sense, I hope that we get this side further developed in her own spinoff movie, but we do see that she’s a strong character in her own right in this film, which I loved.

I even liked Jai Courtney in this movie, which is a nice change of pace, would have liked to see more Captain Boomerang though in the movie, he doesn’t really do much in the movie, same with Croc.  I guess there was a lot on the cutting room floor, they probably didn’t want another BvS 3 hour debacle on their hands, just an audience friendly 2 hours, but I’d have gladly sat through an 8 hour Suicide Squad movie myself, if we got more time with the characters, as there’s not a lot of character development going on for the most part here, and some characters are just kind of there just to be there, without really contributing anything to the team or plot.

 

It’s a flawed film, the villain in the movie is kind of weak, Enchantress (Cara Delavine Paper Towns) and her brother Incubus, the cgi heavy magical villains of the movie, don’t really do anything, but turn Midway City into an army of cgi monsters that the Squad can shoot, stab, slice, and blow up in full PG-13 fashion, and have a vague plan involving a circle of light like a billion and a half other summer action comic movies) so with that the movie falls apart midway through, as it builds to the climax of the movie,  as there’s not a lot of real stakes here, as we have no idea what the villain’s goal is, other than destruction of some sort, in a vague sense.

Even still  though, the style, the soundtrack of the movie, (including the stuff not on the soundtrack album, though the album does kick ass though) and the chemistry of the characters and the overall comic book-y fun of this movie kept me entertained from the WB logo to the mid-credits scene.   All in all I’ll give it a solid  4 out of 5 stars, just go in and have fun with it, it’s not going to win awards, but it’s a fun movie and I hope to see another round with the Suicide Squad as soon as possible.  Til next time, be sure to keep it Reel.p11319046_p_v8_af

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