“Suicide Squad” Review: “Another Underwhelming DC Comics Film”

AUSTIN VAN PAY | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST

Ever wondered what it would be like to take a group of comic book villains and put them all together on one team like the Justice League?  Well then the “Suicide Squad” is the perfect example of what you’d get!

Writer and director David Ayer brings us this newest DC Comics film which puts some of the “worst heroes ever” all onto one expendable team so they can finally do some good for the world. The team is taken out of prison by the U.S. government’s Amanda Waller and they’re given an opportunity to protect humanity from other powerful meta-humans and  whatever else might be lurking out in the world.

First off, the marketing and trailers for this film were phenomenal! They gave off this eccentric and exciting vibe that left me anxious to see a potential different take on superhero films. Sadly, the final product didn’t fully meet my expectations.

Just taking a look at the lineup of characters, it’s easy to see that the film has a ton of iconic and interesting material to work with. The most well-known characters being Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Both of these characters were by far the best parts of the film. Sadly it seemed that there was just too many other characters to juggle and the others ended up being pushed to the back-burner for most of the film.

Will Smith as Deadshot was given great characterization and you really did feel an emotional connection to him. His family dynamic with his daughter is well done and gives you a interesting and quite different perspective of him. He also has some great one-liners to brighten up the film’s mood.

Then we come to Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. She’s absolutely fantastic and brings so much energy, insanity, and humor to this iconic villain. Her story is definitely the most fleshed out and this is especially noticeable through the interplay with the highly anticipated Jared Leto version of the Joker. Leto definitely gives an interesting version of the clown criminal, but sadly he was underused and only had around 10 minutes of screen time. It’s also worth noting that Harley and Joker’s relationship is a bit more love centralized, toned down and maybe a little less faithful to the comic book roots.

There are noticeable issues with the film ranging from choppy and quick editing, a lackluster villain, pointlessly long action scenes and a list of underdeveloped background characters. I wish these problems weren’t present, because there is so much great material to work with and it had the opportunity to use it extremely effectively.

DC Comics is in a very difficult situation with being so far behind in solo character films and  building connections within their world. It has been a common theme for them to attempt to stuff so much into their films which leads to messy plots and a lack of solid development, but overall “Suicide Squad” does have some solid aspects, specifically Harley Quinn and Deadshot. It does suffer from a lack of character development for many members of the team, a weak villain and some not so stellar editing.  It’s hard not to appreciate the effort here and it does give some solid entertainment. I can’t say that I hate this film by any means, but it’s disappointing to see the finished product and know that it could have been done much better.

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