Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Suicide Squad: Might Not Be A Hit, But Far From A Miss

   Summer means comic book movies with big budgets. The season began with the miss that was Batman V Superman and picked up with the hit that was Captain America :Civil War. The buzz on Suicide Squad has been going all year. People dressed like Harley Quinn will line up for tickets to see their favorite villains take center stage. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is churning out hit after hit. DC has not been so lucky. There is pressure to change all of that in preparation for next year's Justice League. There have been bad reviews and rumors of expensive re-shoots, but now we get to see for ourselves!

 It's a world where Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash exist. The government worries that it will need something to counter attack the threat of meta humans. In typical government fashion, they cut shady deals and put together a team of bad guys to do the job. A new threat surfaces and Amanda Waller ( Viola Davis) puts together a team of mostly Batman villains to save the world.

 There are some problems with this. I will elaborate later. The pacing feels off and I think the film suffers from the use of too many flashbacks. The film has the daunting task of introducing the main characters and it's a tough job. You get to see how the show up, but the flashbacks are not enough to give the audience the feel for some of the group. Killer Croc is a bad guy that a lot of Batman fans will know , but the general audience might not get him.

  You would have to live under a rock to not know Jared Leto is the new Joker. People have been out spoken about not liking the new look, but I will continue to defend it. They simply had to go in a different direction than what Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger did. This Joker is established. He is a modern gangster. He is psychotic and ruthless. He is the true anarchist and Leto does a great job. I am not sure if anyone can out do Heath Ledger, but Leto brings a different Clown Prince of Crime to life and it works well. The problem is the film doesn't give you enough of him.

  Will Smith and Margot Robbie steal the show as Deadshot and Harley Quinn. The two are literally ripped right from the comics and cartoons. This should make fan boys happy. Smith still has swagger and is surprisingly great in the role. People were expressing their unhappiness with his casting, but he deserves praise for his run as Floyd Lawton. Margot is Harley Quinn. She has the right look and attitude and is clearly the star of this show. She is the most fun to watch and there is no denying her chemistry with Will Smith.

 The one problem Suicide Squad has is a villain. Yes it's a movie full of them, but I feel like the characters are more interesting than the story. I was not crazy about the film's , "bad guys" and would have rather seen this team in a different scenario. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie. The soundtrack is on point and it is a lot of dark fun.

 We get some great Ben Affleck as Batman stuff! Make sure you stay for the mid credits scene. Characters like Amanda Waller are pulled straight from the source material. The movie also finally gives Jai Courtney a role people will like him in. The film does it's part to set up Justice League and introduces the audience to new characters in a bigger universe. Batman V. Superman was a miss while Suicide Squad is a step in the right direction.  It might not be Guardians of The Galaxy, but it is still light years better than last summer's Fantastic Four.  I'll give it 3 stars.