Grosse Point Geek – Suicide Squad
After the events of Batman V Superman and the rise of the so called ‘Meta Humans”, senior CIA operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davies) puts together a team of highly skilled individuals to be used against any threat that the regular military are unable to combat.
The only fly in the ointment is that said team are made up of the worst criminals on earth – a crackshot assassin (Will Smith) a boomerang throwing bank robber (Jai Courtney) a flesh eating man/crocodile mutant ( Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) a fire throwing gangster (Jay Hernandez) and a completely bonkers, baseball bat wielding ex psychiatrist (Margot Robbie). So when the US city of Midway comes under attack from an ancient and very powerful pair of meta humans, our motley crew (plus Joel Kinnaman’s special forces colonel) are called into action.
Directed by David Ayer (Fury), Suicide Squad is the third in DC’s new cinematic universe, and after the critical mauling and slight box office under-performance of of Batman V Superman, they were naturally desperate for this one to repair some of the damage.
Sadly the critics have again been just as vitriolic and it would appear that its now down to next years Justice League and Wonder Woman movies to salvage what is rapidly becoming a bit of a shaky franchise that time and again is being blown out of the water by the mighty Marvel Studios.
It is my opinion though that the critics have been way too harsh on DC as neither BvS, Man Of Steel or Suicide Squad deserved anywhere near the kicking that has been doled out by them thus far.
Now that’s not to say that Suicide Squad doesn’t have its faults. To begin with the script isn’t nearly as sharp as it should have been and needed to have way more laughs. It also takes place mostly at night which means the whole thing is very dingy and dark, seemingly going for a very Escape From New York type vibe which director Ayer doesn’t really manage to pull off that well. In addition the VFX used to create the two meta human villains look very fake in parts and sadly bring back terrifying flashbacks of the monstrosity that was this years Warcraft: The Beginning. Then there is Jared Leto’s Joker – who, despite not being as good as Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight, gives an interesting take on the character, playing Gotham’s Clown Prince Of Crime as a totally unhinged, tattooed, bling wearing gangster. Much was made about how Leto completely immersed himself in the role and never once broke character through out the entire shoot. So one has to ask why, if so much was made of him,does he bizarrely disappear for entire swathes of the film. One gets the impression that the much rumored studio interference and last minute re-shoots may have had some bearing on this extremely odd decision.
Now despite these faults there is alot on offer to enjoy. The cast are all universally excellent – particularly Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. It was also good to see Jai Courtney given more to do here than the usual one dimensional roles that we have been used to seeing him in. There are some great action sequences too – the standout of which being a cracking fight between the Squad and an entire army of mutants, where we get to see each member show off his/her different set of deadly skills, and Its in this scene that good ol’ Will Smith really comes to the forefront with a dazzling display of gun play that would rival the likes of those seen in the Matrix and most John Woo movies.
Speaking of Smith, he gives his best performance for years and its great to see him back to his badass, wisecracking best – one can only hope that DC give him a Deadshot spin off film or at least include him in their future expanded universe plans.
So overall not a bad film, it had lots to give but also failed on several levels to deliver the kind of batshit crazy caper that we were all expecting when those admittedly brilliant trailers were released earlier this year.
Moving forward my advice to DC would be that the only way they are going to beat Marvel is to be as R rated as possible. There is nothing wrong with making more adult friendly superhero films – (look at how successful Deadpool was) – there is obviously a massive fan base out there craving so much more than just the PG-13 blandness that Marvel serves up with what is now bordering on hideously boring regularity. DC need to exploit this, take a few chances and see what happens.
Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek
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