Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Late Review: Suicide Squad


Title: Suicide Squad

Distributor: Atlas Entertainment, DC Comics (Warner Bros.)
Director:  David Ayer
Writer(s): David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, and Joel Kinnaman
MPAA Rating: Rated PG - 13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content, and language.
Running Time: 123 min
Synopsis: A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 26% "Fresh", Top Critics: 19% "Fresh", Audience: 72% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 40 out of 100, Users: 6.8
MRQE: 45 out 100

My Review

Preface: I know this review is super late, but I still wanted to let you all know my thoughts and feeling on this film. Just in case SPOILER WARNING!!!

Source Material: The Suicide Squad is "team" of villains from the DC Comics universe. Robert Kangigher and Ross Andru are the creators of the original Suicide Squad comic.

Entertaining Value: 7

  • Action Elements: There are two or three big action sequences that are really good. John Campea and Collider Movie Talk crew compared the "minions" of the main villain to the putties from the Power Rangers, which I believe is a fair assessment. With that being said, the fight sequences with those "minions" were the best of the movie.
  • Comedy Elements: I was a little disappointed. I know DC typically is darker with their films, I thought this one would have been a bit lighter in tone.
  • Dramatic Elements: They tried really hard to make Deadshot's backstory the "tug at your heartstring" moment.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: With all the talk of "Metahumans" you would think there would be more "Metahumans" in the film. There were only three of them, four if you count the cameo from The Flash.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: One of my fears of this films was that Will Smith would hog the limelight, he doesn't surprisingly. He might not have stolen the limelight but he brought a lot of himself to the character of Deadshot. There were a good amount of Will Smith-ism that made Deadshot feel less like Deadshot. I thought Will Smith had some of the best lines. He brought most of the humor to the film. Margot Robbie nailed the essence of Harley Quinn. The perfect mixture of sexy and insanity wrap up in a package of fun and excitement. I enjoyed Jared Leto's Joker, even though he wasn't a major presence in the film. Jai Courtney was a pleasant surprise as Boomerang.
  • Cinematography: 7: There were some really cool shots. Overall, there really wasn't anything that stood out or amazed me.
  • Direction: 6: David Ayer a filmmaker known for showcasing the courageous life of the military / police force (LAPD) is going to tackle a "team" made up of villains. I think he did a decent job at capturing the Suicide Squad as a unit, led by a military man. He got good performances out of his actors, and I can see his vision for the film, but I was unsatisfied as an audience member by the end of the film, due primarily to the writing which Mr. Ayer is responsible for, as well.
  • Editing: 4: One of the major problems I had with BvS was the flashbacks / flashforwards which had little to no explanation. I think Suicide Squad suffers slightly from this same problem. At least the flashbacks in this film served as makeshift origin stories, giving them some substance. It felt to me like the filmmakers had awesome written scenes, for each individual character, but didn't know how to piece them together into a cohesive story. The flashbacks that DID work were the ones during the "starting line-up" portion of the film, which happens within the first half hour of the film.
  • Screenplay: 3.5: I enjoyed the first third of this film from a story standpoint, granted it was basically a starting line-up. Using this format worked though because the average movie going audience only knows, The Joker, and maybe Harley Quinn. From watching Arrow and The Flash on the CW, I know a little about Deadshot and Boomerang. Besides that, I know basically nothing about the characters on screen. By the time the film ends, I really didn't care for anybody except for Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and The Joker. There was no emotional attachment to any of the ancillary characters. The "I will die for you because we are a family" bit at the films climax was unbelievable because there was no character development throughout the film. The whole team was assembled in less than 24 hours. The only common thread between each character is that they are "villains" or at the very least heinous criminals. They weren't even cellmates in the secret "metahuman" prison. I don't understand how any of them have a meaningful relationship with one another, without interaction. You know who did the "Rag-tag team of criminals / anti-heroes turned heroes" better, Marvel, with Guardians of the Galaxy. It possible to have a fun adventurous movies focusing on a team of miscreants heroes with fleshed out backstories.
  • Sound and Music: 5: I was having fun with the soundtrack near the beginning of the film because it was very much like a starting line-up of a sporting event. As the film progressed it became more annoying. The pop music transitioned to a score near the third act of the film, which was nice.
  • VFX: 7: The film was dark, not from a tone standpoint. It was night time, meaning covering up details. Overall the character design of the "metahuman" was good, except for the "minions." They were black and gray humanoid blob-ish figures, like I mention before "putties from the Power Rangers." El Diablo's shining moments were some of better visual aspects of this film.
Overall: 6: I had a decent time at the theater. I think it was at par with BvS, if not slightly better. I don't think I can recommend this film for the general audience.

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