After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the thought of many DC fans was, ‘God, I hope Suicide Squad won’t suck!’ Well, Young Post is here to say that Batman v Superman just got owned.
Departing from the grim and gritty tone expected from previous DC Comics movies, Suicide Squad kicks off strong and maintains the sense of fun promised in its trailers. Well, for the first half anyway, it delivered on a great introduction of the characters, development of the plot, and incredible music. Unfortunately, it then trails off into irrelevance.
Not unlike reality, what starts the series of events in the film is fear. The government is fearful of powerful beings like Superman, and is desperate for measures against people like him, who can destroy cities on a whim if they wish. Hence, the Suicide Squad is formed to combat such potentially dangerous persons. Choosing some of the most colourful villains in the comic rogues gallery, the squad of bad guys are put together to fight off the worse guys. Which, in theory, works great ... until one of the baddies escapes.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is a government official who attempts to control the Enchantress, an ancient being with magical powers who possesses the body of June Moone (Cara Delevingne) in order to control her and use her powers. Waller manipulates a soldier, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), who is also leader of the Suicide Squad, into falling in love with Moone in hopes that their bond will contain the Enchantress in her mortal vessel until her powers are needed by Waller. Meanwhile, Waller herself holds on to the heart of the Enchantress (literally) to use as leverage. Of course, the Enchantress breaks loose of Waller and tries to take over the world; and, of course, the Suicide Squad is sent in to fix everything.
The strongest part of the movie is the first act where the team is introduced and assembled. The actual mission part of the story falls back on the bland template of all superhero films.
The supposed "good guys" of the movie - Waller and the government - do morally ambiguous things, which is in itself perhaps one of the more relatable aspects of Suicide Squad for our society today, in which the political climate the world over makes it hard to distinguish who is "good" and who is "bad".
For example, Deadshot (Will Smith), one of the villains and member of the Suicide Squad, fighting as part of the Squad so he can see his daughter again is one of the many hooks presented to inspire viewers' sympathy for the protagonists. And it works, but just barely.
Much like many superhero movies, just don’t look too closely at the plot.
The fights are superb, but they're a much more low-key version of superhero fights in this genre of film. Non-superpowerful people go in guns blazing serve as the main workhorse of the fight scenes, while superpowers - in all their great and terrible glory - when used help to truly highlight the difference between those with powers and those without.
In terms of performance, the dance between Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and The Joker (Jared Leto), during their subplot of the Joker trying to rescue Quinn from prison, is top notch. Both deliver on portraying the craziest and most unstable of the cast of anti-heroes perfectly. Unnerving audiences with their blend of insanity, and intriguing them with their twisted personalities and relationship. Having said that, Leto is no Heath Ledger. Though more screen time in sequels may change that.
Overall, Suicide Squad is good, but not perfect, and suffers a definite dip after the grand opening act. But it has style, character, quirk, and doesn't fall victim to the bad editing and mistake of trying to tell too much in not enough time that Batman v Superman did. So, yeah, DC isn’t out of the fight yet. Marvel had better watch out.