Martens' Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews from an avid movie-goer

Suicide Squad Review

Release Date: August 1, 2016
Running Time: 2 hours 17 minutes

Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker launches an evil agenda of his own.”

Because of the anticipated release of Justice League on Friday November 17, I’ve decided to write reviews of all of the movies that make up the DC Extended Universe so far. There have been a lot of talks about how long this franchise will last, but as a comic book fan, and huge lover of movies, I never want movies to be bad. I’m hoping that it’ll be amazing. You can find the dates for when the reviews for the other DCEU movie will be released at the link here. I wrote the review for Wonder Woman around the time it came out, and it can be found here.

DCEU

DC Extended Universe – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Suicide Squad Trailer – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment


Cast and Crew

The third movie in the DC Extended Universe – Suicide Squad was written and directed by David Ayer. Ayer’s previous work as a director includes 2012’s ‘End of Watch’ and 2014’s ‘Fury’. He’s since been attached to direct ‘Gotham City Sirens’ as well as directing the Netflix movie ‘Bright’ that will be coming out later this year. His work as a writer includes ‘The Fast and the Furious’ in 2001, 2003’s ‘S.W.A.T.’, as well as the two films he directed mentioned above – Fury and End of Watch.

Suicide Squad

From Left to Right: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Will Smith as Deadshot and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

The cast for Suicide Squad includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, David HarbourJared LetoCommonJai CourtneyEzra MillerJay HernandezAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeCara DelevingneJoel Kinnaman, Adam Beach, Karen FukuharaBen AffleckAlain Chanoine and Ike Barinholtz.


Review

Releasing Suicide Squad as the next DC movie after Batman v Superman was DC’s answer to Marvel’s surprise hit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. It tried to put together a team of ragtag villains and make them save the world, and that’s where it failed to comprehend the magic that Guardians had managed to create. They didn’t focus on the characters enough, or the team as a whole, rather making the movie the Deadshot and Harley Quinn show.

To me, the first 45 minutes of the movie is really good, I thought they were doing a good job in setting up the ‘why’ they were put together, and gave brief glimpses to the characters themselves. I felt like this movie was going to be fun and a step in the right direction with the story, however the next 90 minutes destroyed that feeling, and in my opinion shat the bed hard. The quality of the movie went from a good 7/10 in the first 45 minutes to the next 90 minutes being a 3 or 4 out of 10.

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The casting of Will Smith as Deadshot was something that I both enjoyed a lot, while also wishing that he was never cast in the role. I love Will Smith as an actor ever since his Fresh Prince days, and I’ve never not enjoyed his performances. I’ve disliked a few of his movies, but it was never his fault as an actor. This movie is supposed to be an ensemble movie, like I mention above, and with the casting of an ‘A – List’ star, it shifts the focus away from the others, and that character becomes more demanding of attention, and that’s exactly what happened in this movie. I feel like they didn’t need a superstar in the role, but someone who would have the talent to play the character. I feel like the movie would have been better if there was no superstar in the role, or if he would have kept the mask on for the entire film, and show his face a couple of times, but because of the known star in the film, you have to show his face to appeal to general audiences, and Deadshot became Will Smith.

Casting Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was an amazing decision because she played the character so well, but the problem was with how they used Harley Quinn, rather than the actress taking away from the character. The usage of Harley Quinn when she was insane and fun was part of what made the first part of the movie so entertaining, but then they got the Joker storyline involved, and had her fighting monsters, which is not somewhere that she belongs, but I understand why they chose to do that, I don’t agree with it however.

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Jai Courtney was cast as George Harkness / Captain Boomerang, and it turns out that not putting him in a starring role was genius, as he was likeable and fun in small doses. being able to throw boomerangs around and hitting people with them as if they were clubs was fun, but once again, that character didn’t belong in that type of situation, fighting monsters’.

They cast Jay Hernandez as Diablo in this movie, and he was a pacifist for most of the film, and turned into a cool fire monster, that is most likely not dead at the end of the film, and I have to point out that he’s one of the only villains in this movie that is equipped to fight the endless waves of villains in an end of the world type situation.

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje played Killer Croc in this movie was mostly a joke and I didn’t find his characteristics interesting other than the self acceptance when he calls himself beautiful.

Joel Kinnaman was Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad and his role was to be the babysitter of the group and to be the one who was Amanda Waller’s puppet. His love interest in Dr. June Moone was something that made him fall under Waller’s spell, and I guess it worked in the movie, but I just didn’t enjoy the character.

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Karen Fukuhara played Katana in the movie, and the character is a very fascinating and detailed character with a cursed sword that traps the souls of the people that she kills with it, that was extremely underutilised and no more information given in the movie. I was really upset with how they treated the character, and I don’t even know why they would include her only to barely explain who she is and what she does, and to give her a reason for being in the movie.

The character of Slipknot was played by Adam Beach. The whole point of this character was to die. There’s no other defining trait, other than he being a Native American who could climb anything,  and hit a female office because ‘she had a mouth’. Sadly, there is really no other thing to say about how they used the character.

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The Enchantress / Dr. June Moone was played by Cara Delevingne and there’s not much to say about the character other than the first half made her interesting, and had a possible great backstory, but they did a horrible job at making her the villain. When Delevingne was playing the Dr., she did a good job, and showed potential to the character, however when she was playing Enchantress past the 45 minute mark, it was just a weird character that could dance and look at things weird. There was no enchanting quality about her, and she decides to enslave the humans and make them an endless stream of minions that didn’t add anything to the story other than fodder for the other villains to destroy.

The Enchantress’ brother Incubus, was played by Alain Chanoine and I felt like it was just another boss before the main boss for the characters to defeat, and even the villain looked more like a villain out of an anime rather than a blockbuster movie. I feel like the movie overall was just a mess, and the main antagonists didn’t help in elevating the movie’s quality.

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Casting Jared Leto as the Joker was something that a lot of people were skeptical about, especially when the first images were released about the character. They tried to do something new with the Joker, and they succeeded in doing that, but they failed at every single thing in regards to the character. The tattoos and the golden teeth is something that can be overlooked, because the character is not about how he looks but how he acts. The way that this Joker acts is wrong on too many levels in regards to who the character is. I don’t understand what Leto and the other filmmakers were thinking in regards to the character, and I can understand why they cut a lot of his scenes, but then you have to ask, why include him to begin with?

There’s already talks to distance themselves from Jared Leto’s Joker, and there’s also discussion about a Joker standalone movie which would be directed by Martin Scorsese.  This version of the Joker is the worst iteration of the character that I’ve ever seen or read.

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Viola Davis played Amanda Waller in a very cruel and manipulative role, who probably did the best job at playing the character straight from the comics. She was ruthless, cold and brutal in how she handled the Squad and her employees. I’m still wondering the same thing that Deadshot asked, ‘how the hell is she still alive?’

As you can tell, I really wanted to love these characters, and other than making them look similar to the comic book counterparts, most of the characters didn’t work out in this movie. I feel like the script was a mess, and the characters suffered for it. If the character was not played by an A – List star, or a rising Star, then there was no development whatsoever.

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The Batman cameos were interesting and just makes the fans want more Batman in this universe by Ben Affleck. He was the one who captured Harley Quinn after she and the Joker crashed into the river. He was also the one who captured Deadshot, and displaying some level of mercy telling him that he didn’t want to take him down in front of his daughter. I found that Batman has relearned some level of compassion after the death of Superman. I still think to this day that they should have not even bothered with this movie, and rather had done a solo Batman film after the events of Batman v Superman, or one that takes place before, like the story of Robin and the Joker.

There was also a fun little Flash cameo for the second straight DCEU movie, when he’s the one that captures Captain Boomerang at the bank vault. I found that Ezra Miller did a fun little cameo that added a bit of levity to his character after the mysterious appearance of his future self as well as Luthor’s clip of him in the corner store from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The soundtrack for this movie was done by Steven Price, and was something that I want to say I enjoyed, however it was more of a mess than anything else. The songs that they chose were great songs, and I enjoyed the scenes that they were in, however the songs kept cutting out, and having 2-3 songs for one scene was a little absurd and disjointed, and it disappointed me at the end.

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Oscar for costume and makeup was something that absolutely surprised me. Even though the costumes were well done, they were nothing compared to almost every other comic book movie. I honestly still think that it was members of the academy all joking around and voting for it as a pity vote, but somehow managed to win.

The end of the world, with the endless minions and the big blue beam in the sky, was something that has been done way too many times before, and even Marvel is guilty of doing that in the first and second Avengers movies, however with this movie it was poorly executed and really felt like a copy of the other movies.

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Overall, I feel like this movie should have been given more time in development to be able to do the characters properly and not come up with a world ending problem that brought the gang together to save the world. This movie was supposed to be an ensemble movie felt more like another Will Smith and Margot Robbie movie, and that is something that while I enjoy their movies, this should have been something more. At the end of the day, the movie was an overall disappointment that had the potential to be something great, because of that, I will end up giving this movie a very generous 6/10.

What did you think of Suicide Squad? Tomorrow I’ll finally review Justice League. Are you excited for Justice League? Let me know in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading,

Alex Martens

 

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