Saturday, August 6, 2016

Suicide Squad - Movie Review: Flashbacks Anyone??

Leaving the theater I couldn’t help but wonder. Why didn’t we just get a Harley and Joker Movie?
Suicide Squad starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, a host of other people and directed by David Ayer. The movie is about Amanda Waller, played by Davis, putting together a team of villains with super abilities to handle situations involving other super villains. She finds a way to get leverage over each team member, namely injecting them with bombs, so they do the job. Suicide Squad takes an interesting approach to the comic book movie, but sadly doesn’t deliver a complete film. I didn’t hate it, but I can’t say I thought it was a great movie either. I wanted to walk out of the theater loving this movie, but too many things are missing from the film overall.

Let’s start with what I don’t like. The biggest issue I had was with the villain and the complete lack of motivation. Nothing is explained as to why the villain of the movie does what they do, other than they want to destroy humanity, because we now worship machines. I have a feeling a big chunk of the film is missing from the main villain’s story and the scenes were cut either for time or because Warner Brothers felt the content was too dark. As the audience you don’t understand why any action is taken by the villain, other than she hates humans. We never actually even completely understand what the villain is. I don’t think it is human.

The pacing of the film is also off. There are a bunch of flashbacks explaining the backstory of each team member, and while I liked all of them they go on for too long. It takes forever for the movie to get into its story, then drags in the middle, and rushes to an overblown and overstuffed finale that doesn’t feel earned. The dialogue in the film is poorly written. Everything but the main villain is explained and spelled out. I didn’t believe many of the side characters when they delivered their lines. I didn’t buy any of the solders being solders, the most egregious being Joel Kinnaman who played Rick Flagg. There wasn’t one point during the film that I believed he was a Special Forces Commando. I also didn’t believe the love story he had with Enchantress. Maybe some of this story got cut out too.

There are good things in Suicide Squad to enjoy though. Margot Robbie is fantastic as Harley Quinn and captures everything great about the character introduced in Batman the Animated Series. She is perfect in the role, and I can’t wait to see more of her playing the character. I also like Leto’s Joker, but I can see some not liking his portrayal. I don’t think there was enough of him in the movie. I wanted more of him and his relationship with Harley. For me these were some of the best scenes in the film, and I do really want a Harley and Joker mayhem movie. Viola Davis is fantastic as Amanda Waller and plays the ruthless government agent extremely well. She has some great scenes. The other standout is Will Smith as Deadshot. He adds his charm to the movie and role, and you buy into his portrayal of the character.  The only issue I had was not really buying into him being villainous. He kills for hire, but you can always see he has a heart. I wanted just a little more edge to him.
This was another small issue I had with the final act of the film. The Squad’s motivations in the final fight were off. I bought into Deadshot wanting to help, along with Diablo, and Harley sticking around because she is just crazy, but everyone else should have cut and run. I didn’t buy them staying around to help out. I liked everyone else’s portrayals in the movie, but the ending just didn’t mesh well with the characters established.

The action in the film is also a strong point. I liked all of the action scenes, and even though the ending was overblown it was still exciting. Overall the film is well shot and I like Ayer’s style and look of the film. It is just the overall story and structure of the movie which misses the mark. The soundtrack adds to the film and is really good. I think some might say it takes away from the movie, but I enjoyed it. I know it was copying Guardians of the Galaxy a bit, but it still works.
There are good things about Suicide Squad. The characters are entertaining, the action is fun to watch, and I did laugh out loud a few time, but the story is weak and the pacing is off. It doesn’t make for a good movie overall. I can see myself watching the movie again, but only to stop and watch on cable. If we get another director’s cut I would rent to see the difference. If you are a big comic book movie fan you probably have already seen it, but if you haven’t it is Worth Seeing but only if you are a comic book movie fan. If you are tired of super hero films you can skip this one in theaters, and I’m not sure I would even rent it.

Comment and let me know what you thought of Suicide Squad. What was your favorite character and if you like Leto’s Joker. 

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