To date David Ayer has made some brilliant films; his crime drama ‘End of Watch’ is very good and ‘Fury’ is a massive contender for being my all time favourite war movie. So when it was announced that Ayer would be steeping into the DC arena to direct ‘Suicide Squad’ I was well pleased. Now three films into the DC Extended Universe and I’ve already been a fan of the first two, unlike many. So for me ‘Suicide Squad’ wasn’t making up for poor past efforts but just hopefully continuing the run of entertaining comic book movies that DC have been producing, In Zack Snyder we trust!
As has been clear from the marketing campaign ‘Suicide Squad’ features a whole array of characters, most of which are new to the DCEU. What I wasn’t expecting was for Will Smith’s Deadshot to take centre stage, if pushed to ask for a lead performer here I’d have to say it was Smith. Although I don’t have much knowledge of the character I thought Smith did really well here, bar ‘Concussion’ earlier in the year, this is the best I’ve seen him since ‘Hancock’ back in 2008. At times he seems like too much of a good guy to be in amongst all these bad guys but this offered an interesting dynamic to the character and the group. Smith hasn’t stayed quiet when it came to his co-star Jared Leto and has expressed his dislike for his approach to his role as the Joker, did it pay off though? It’s almost impossible not to compare him to previous portrayals of one of cinemas all time greatest villains but once you stop doing this you’ll begin to appreciate him in the role. He is really creepy and gives it his everything. Although I wasn’t a fan of his look in any of the promotional material it works in the film. Alongside the freak dressed as a clown comes his bonkers other half, Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. Robbie was very entertaining in this role and anytime she was speaking I was happy. The rest of the cast suffer from not being as interesting as the characters I’ve already mentioned. Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman stand out the most otherwise whilst the rest of ‘Squad’ fail to make much impact. There wasn’t nearly enough of The Joker, Harley Quinn or Batman. I know it’s about the Suicide Squad but when the other characters aren’t as interesting and these guys make appearances it’s hard not to want more of them and less of the others.
Characters aside, the narrative definitely has its issues, the majority of the film feels like one big finale which meant that at times things do become slightly monotonous. The movie really could have done with some variation in terms of setting and plot. Also some of the character motivations are rather questionable and if you think too hard about certain aspects cracks begin to appear. The villain was pretty rubbish too, there’s too much CGI used around them and the big action sequences never look impressive or overly convincing as a result. There are some good individual moments from certain characters within the action scenes but on the whole there wasn’t really any memorable set-piece. However, I did enjoy how the film carries on from ‘Batman V Superman’, it does this in an authentic way but still feels like its own film. There are some laughs to be had along the way too, Jai Courtney’s character, Captain Boomerang was good for this but I still couldn’t help but think that the film was never as fun as all the marketing made it out to be.
For me ‘Suicide Squad’ is the weakest film of the DCEU so far, the narrative problems really do hold it back at times, better action and more of a sense of fun would have massively improved things. Nonetheless the film is still entertaining and should be seen for Harley Quinn, The Joker and Batman alone. If anything this film has got me excited for any potential Batfleck standalone film with these characters because I would love to see that. By no means the failure that many are making it out to be but it would be naive to ignore the films many flaws. Still, Harley Quinn.
Rating – 6.5/10
Question: What other directors would you like to see take on a film in the DCEU?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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