Suicide Squad

Film, Action and adventure
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Suicide Squad

Never mind the Batmans: here’s a rude antidote to dull superheroics and epic running times

The big fear about the punky, not-for-kids comic-book movie Suicide Squad was that it might be too try-hard: Hollywood awkwardly slumming it with the alt crowd. But this loony wise-cracking DC Comics story, directed with anti-glossy grit by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury), plays like a twisted B-side to some of the slicker movies in the comics world.

“You want to put our national security in the hands of witches, gang-bangers and crocodiles?” asks one government official as ruthless high-up Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) – the baddest badass in a movie full of them – introduces her scheme. Law and order is crumbling after Batman v Superman, and Waller intends to assemble a ragtag band of sicko ‘meta-humans’ to fight evil.

One by one, the Squad is gathered. Will Smith is former gang member Deadshot; Margot Robbie is psychiatrist turned psychopath Harley Quinn; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is Killer Croc; and so on. Waller has a second trick up her sleeve: she controls Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an archaeologist by day, possessed shape-shifter after hours.

This is Batman’s world, and the chiselled guy (aka Ben Affleck) pops up but ends up looking like the square guy at a cool party. The soundtrack – Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Eminem – says a lot about where this movie pitches itself: playfully fun in a Tarantino-lite sort of way. And it’s not all ultra-violence: each member of the Squad secretly dreams of a family, a fitted kitchen and a garden. In the end, Suicide Squad ends up being less a celebration of bad behaviour and more a tribute to outsiders.

There are too many characters for the movie to handle: blink and you’ll miss the Aussie guy with the boomerang. On the other hand, you might end up wishing for less of Delevingne, who winds up croaking like a chain-smoking granny. But what of Jared Leto’s The Joker? We see little of him, but he still threatens to steal the film. Leto plays The Joker like a volatile over-privileged teenager, though his voice hints at some older influences (a bit of Brando, a dash of Pacino, a hint of Anthony Hopkins). His relationship with Margot Robbie also makes him a twistedly romantic villain (watch out for their big gushy moment in a vat of chemicals!). This is not The Joker’s film, but must surely be a taste of things to come in sequels future.

In the end, the characters are more lasting than the story, which is a standard save-the-city-from-destruction yarn. But this crew is a riot, and their world is intriguing and even a little meaningful. What’s more – and this is no small thing in a time of bloated blockbusters – Suicide Squad clocks in at just over two hours, swept into port on a swift wind of pace and style .

By: Dave Calhoun

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday August 5 2016
Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: David Ayer
Screenwriter: David Ayer
Cast: Margot Robbie
Cara Delevingne
Scott Eastwood
Jared Leto
Will Smith
Ben Affleck

Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|13
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mcuttle
Tastemaker

After a rather good setup of some pretty cool characters, this film degenerates into a mess to be honest. The threat that they have to fight only really appears due to the fact that they are assembled in the first place, and the characters are under-developed and wasted. The only really good thing about this movie is Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn. She manages to be sexy and absolutely mental at the same time. DC Comics once again fail to deliver what Marvel can do on the big screen.

Zoe F
tastemaker

I am by no stretch of the imagination a comic book fanatic – in fact I’ve never read on in my life! I’m somewhat familiar with Marvel vs. DC (having only realised that they were not the same thing only recently!) in that I’ve seen the first Avengers film, Iron Man 1-3 and Batman 1-3. What I’m trying to say is I’m not a diehard fan but find the whole superhero thing watchable.

I had little expectation for Suicide Squad, I was caught between hearing lots of hype surrounding the highly anticipated film but having read a few less than complimentary reviews I wasn’t holding my breath for it to be anything special, but nevertheless I decided to jump on the bandwagon / give it a chance – depending on which side of the fence you sit.

For me it was enjoyable but fairly average, my stance is I’d probably buy it on DVD to watch again, although would wait for it to be <£5. There’s no denying that Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn stole the show, though you’ve probably heard that more times than can count, but she really did the part well and demanded your attention whenever she was on screen – though I found that I was almost waiting for her to make an appearance whenever the focus was off her. That said, Will Smith puts in a solid performance as well, playing the part of Deadshot – it was good to see him back up to standard. I was not so keen on the casting of Cara Delevingne, I just couldn’t get into it at all - for a start I felt she looked far too young for the part of June and to me she was maybe out of her depth with a dark character like Enchantress, besides that I couldn’t overlook her supermodel/socialite status and just found it made for uncomfortable viewing – I haven’t seen her act before other than in the trailers for Paper Towns, but thought she’d be much better suited for this type of part and movie. I think critics of Jared Leto were harsh, especially considering his exposure in the movie was minimal I don’t feel as though he really had much opportunity to explore the potential of The Joker character, this along with the fact he’s inevitably going to be compared to Heath Ledger who is widely accepted as unsurpassable I can’t help but think people were always going to undermine the efforts of anyone who came along after, although I personally think Jared took on the role in his own way and done it well – I’m open and accepting to him as the new Joker, and hope to see him appearing in the Harley Quinn spin off film.

Sarah G
Tastemaker

What to say - I went with my partner - he absolutely hated it! I think he was asking too much as I enjoyed the couple of hours of ridiculousness and escapism. It is by no means the best comic adaptation I've seen, and I found the move into using the occult a bit problematic but for films like this - for me the point is not to have to think to hard and to be able to suspend disbelief so I had fun! Plus I love Will Smith and Viola Davis so I was more than happy!

Richard N
Tastemaker

Oh DC, will your live action films ever live up to the hype and stand a chance against juggernauts Marvel? (We're looking at you Wonder Woman)


Suicide Squad's problem is that it is basically trying to be an Avengers film...without having any of the origin films preceding it. It ends up squeezing every team member's backstory into the first third of the film. It ends up becoming a bit of a drag, with the highlights of the film having already been used to promote it in the trailers.


That being said, Will Smith and Margot Robbie give convincing performances as Deadshot and Harley Quinn respectively, and Viola Davis is a woman who can do almost no wrong in her acting career, in the role of the fearsome and commanding Amanda Waller (similar to her role in How to Get Away with Murder). Perhaps I expected too much, given the hype that preceded SS, but it's still a mess that left me feeling empty and not very interested in most of the characters (much like how in X-men Apocalypse, it left me as a viewer feeling bored and detached).


If its purpose is to set up the rest of the DC-verse, then I pray hard that now that SS is out of the way, this paves the way for better quality DC films with better storylines and beter characterisation. 

Liz G
tastemaker

Not what I expected plot wise but I enjoyed it for what it was - bubblegum for the brain! I thought there were some great characters but Jared Leto and Margot Robbie stole the show! Fun to watch xx

MillieMollyMoo
Tastemaker

I am a Batman fan and my fave villain has to be Harley Qinn,so I was excited to see this movie. I am also 35 years old and what I want from Batman is very different to what the teens and pre-teens want from Batman. In fact they would call it The DC Universe,this is actually not a 'Batman' film...it's about the bad guys....we are repeatedly told by the characters throughout the film that they indeed are 'The bad guys'.URGH!


I am going to say it,Suicide Squad is pants! Oh I blooming hated it. 


I felt it lacked substance,the script had lots of plot holes. Not very funny,the best jokes had been used in the trailers and fell very flat when I watched it. this heavily publicesed flick has kind of eaten itself up in promo and the image of the thing. Everyone looked great,the colours in the film were bangin' but the substance of the story was weak. 


Harley was ok- Margot Robbie did her best with it,but she really was put there to make teenagers drool at her bottom. It's a shame,she is such a good character.


The Joker was the biggest disappointment. It was a very weak performance from Letto. Quite vein and brash-contentless. He played it more like a gangster/pimp with that element of sex pest throughout. Really horrid but not in the Joker sense,just boring.


The rest of the cast are capable but in a film that is crammed with unfinished idea's,it's hard for any plot line to gain any proper momentum. 


This all may be because I am old! My 16 year old cousin loved it. It's very much trying to appeal to a certain demographic.......I don't think that's me.....

FloA
tastemaker

After hearing so many different opinions about this movie I finally decided to go and see it myself, not too sure if I had to expect something superb or a terrible movie...
The story is essentially about a team of villains set up to save the US (and basically the World) using their bad habits.

There is some pretty strong characters with very well defined atmospheres and backgrounds such as Harley Quinn or Deadshot but to be fair, the story focus on them often...
For me, the soundtrack is great and works really well with the overall ambiance.
I would say that all the fuss around this movie in the media is confusing but in the end, I think that Suicide Squad is quite an easy movie to watch, neither bad nor amazing but fairly satisfying.

julio bruno
moderator

I did not know what to expect, but I was really looking forward to a better film than the last Batman Vs Superman which underwhelmed me.. I was not disappointed this time around. The characters, although many, are well developed specially Deadshot (Will Smith) and the great Margot Robbie. She stole the show in my opinion, as did Jared Letto in the few minutes he was on screen. Action was good but there are clearly misses with the story - it is a lot to jam in two hours- but as hero film goes this one is good.

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with this film BUT my expectation were very low after Batman v Superman therefore I'm not sure that it helps much.

As I said I found it very entertaining but still very far from any Marvel film but if you are a super heroes fan then I think you will enjoy it.

Shona R
Tastemaker

This really seemed like DC tried to cram a lot of backstory in, in order to catch up to the Marvel franchise.

The first 30 minutes give us the back story to the suicide squad members and to me this could have taken its time rather than reeling it off like a list.

The amount of stories/hype around the Joker is totally overblown considering how little he is in the movie.

Harley Quinn on the other hand is absolutely amazing - Margo Robbie does an excellent job.

I'm not sure it's as good as it could have been and I can understand some of the negative reviews - but it was a nice action movie to watch for a couple of hours.

Enjoy!

charlotte_sometimes
tastemaker

 I'm not angry. Just disappointed.


The Good

  • Margot Robbie is fantastic as Harley Quinn. Her performance is truly magnetic and steals every scene that she's in. Considering how little she is actually given to do she does a fantastic job.
  • The stockholm syndrome element aside Harley's relationship with the Joker is well portrayed and suitably captivating.
  • Will Smith gives his best performance in years as the film's main protagonist/antagonist Deadshot. Considering the fact his defining, and only, character trait is the fact he is a father kept away from his daughter Smith manages to give depth along with providing some of the film's few laughs.
  • Ike Barinholtz is hilarious. End of.
The Bad
  • It's really not as good as the trailer. As in prepare to be extremely underwhelmed if you loved the trailer like I did.
  • Most of the film really doesn't make sense.
  • Considering the press surrounding the film Jared Leto as the Joker is totally sidelined. 
  • The soundtrack was ace although scarcely linked to the film. it's as it someone was trying to jump on the wagon that was the success of the soundtrack from Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Jai Courtney is naff. End of.
The Ugly
  • Film's like this as dependent on their villain. Cara Delevigne is awful as the Enchantress - only 1/3 her fault - the other two thirds belong to script and CGI.
  • There's a really creepy hypersexulaised scene between Batman and Harley Quinn.
  • The film is really really boring. The dialogue constantly talks about how much fun they are having and how crazy there are. It's not and they're not.
  •  The henchmen look like walking blackberries. Literally. End of.

Ladyvp
Tastemaker

I enjoyed this movie. I found it entertaining for the two hours. As a super hero movie I thought it was a average first movie but has the potential of having amazing sequels.


The first 30 minutes is spent introducing all the new characters which is required for a long list of super-(anti)heroes not many people would know. But the problematic thing is that there are some characters that stand out and we find out more about (Harley Quinn) some other you never delve much deeper than what you find out in the opening (Crock and Bomerang). 


The acting was really good from some (Jared Leno and Margot Robbie- if they make a spin off with just these two I would be happy) and some not so good (I have not seen Cara in other movies but this one I thought she was not good and was cast purely due to her popularity - my personal opinion please feel free to disagree with me!). I found Amanda Waller a bit too much and really disliked her character (which is the point but really towards the end you hate most of the people who are meant to be "good"- again blurring the lines in between good and bad which seems to be a popular theme with superhero movies at the moment). 


Story line wise it was OK- I felt too much time was spent setting up the movie so the action was shortened. 


All in all I liked it- go there switch off your brain and watch a new set of anti-heroes try and save the USA/Gotham. 

Nemo B

I hope the review has nothing to do with the fact the film splashed out on a big advert (the front/back cover...)