Film Review: 'Suicide Squad'
(L-R) Jay Hernandez as Diablo, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Karen Fukuhara as Katana in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure Suicide Squad, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC. Photo credit: Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics.
***Warning: spoilers ahead***
With all of the hype this past year promoting Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ release of the long awaited Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer (Fury, The Fast and the Furious, Training Day), the film is disappointing most likely due to the speed at which the film was produced. That being said, Ayer’s vision for the film needs to be taken into consideration.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, a source claims Ayer had six weeks to pen his version of the script and then jump into production. While the film was still working on reshoots, more and more promotional materials were being released and a delayed release date was not an option. Evidently, what is disheartening about this is that all of these changes clearly affected the making of the film and could have been prevented had Ayer’s vision been more trusted and strategized during filming and post-production.
The first act is a slam dunk. We are introduced to some seriously twisted characters (primarily focused on only two): Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), The Joker (Jared Leto), Deadshot (Will Smith), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), and Boomerang (Jai Courtney). Slipknot (Adam Beach) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) aren’t even introduced until the fumbling second act.
Each snapshot montage of the characters makes us want to know how they’re going to come into play later. We also find out where they’ve ended up. Harley Quinn and Deadshot incidentally wind up at the same asylum run by a rather authority-abusing prison guard, Griggs (Ike Barinholtz). There is tension and an odd blurring of the lines between the very traditional “good vs. evil.” The audience not only doesn’t know what to expect from these muddled antihero’s but they also find themselves rooting for them without even realizing it.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure Suicide Squad, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics.
Then there is the twisted love story that we have all been waiting to see on screen. Whether Harley Quinn was a closeted crazy when working for Arkham Asylum or whether The Joker drove her crazy is unclear and we’re ok with that. The development of Harley Quinn’s character is skimped on so as to save time and lend the screen to the other members of the squad, but it’s clear that everything is complicated and that most of us can understand the desire to love someone whether it’s logical or not; whether they treat you with respect or not. With the infamous “rotten” and “damaged” tattoos on their faces, it’s clear this couple is not only meant to be, but not following convention either, which quite frankly, is alluring in and of itself.
Let’s not forget Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, who is responsible for the entire destruction that takes place in the film. She is a powerful woman who reigns authority and was given a chance, and like most male characters of the same caliber in the genre, she makes a huge mistake. Did we see it coming a mile away? Yes. Can we suspend disbelief? Some of us can. It can be argued that the women in this film are abused, whether it’s Harley Quinn with her attachment to The Joker, Enchantress, who can only gain power with the help of her brother, or Amanda Waller, who only creates more trouble than not. However, these women do not cower and they most-certainly fight back, which is all you can ask for in a power-hungry character—male or female.
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure Suicide Squad, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC. Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics.
By act three, the film loses steam, and we forget why the Suicide Squad is fighting. We do realize they have to put a stop to the seemingly uncontrollable Enchantress and her ancient mutant god brother. By the repeated mindless violence against Enchantress’s minions, we lose the direction and the story. The body count inevitably builds, because otherwise, now our characters would be impossibly superhuman.
Knowing that the script and production of the highly anticipated Suicide Squad were possibly rushed and Ayer’s vision altered, it comes through in the final product. Enjoy the film for, much like the Squad, the mutant it has become and throw your expectations out the door.