The first trailer for this movie came out what, a year ago? I’ve never been a comic book reader but I’ve always been a huge fan of Batman movies, so why wouldn’t I be all jazzed about a film revolving around the villains of the DC universe? After more trailers started to come out, I had my reservations about certain things I thought I’d be seeing. The Joker’s appearance was the biggest point of contention but also how well a movie where Batman takes a backseat could perform under the stress of a super “hero” movie. Lucky me, I snagged a seat last Thursday night for a late night screening.
Here are some words about it.
Talk about a stacked cast. With heavy hitters like Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney this seemed destined to be excellent. Despite receiving a pretty low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I was not displeased by any means. And the film is clearly doing alright. I had a few issues with the outcome, but I don’t know if a lot of these can be attributed to the fact that I’m not a comic book lover so take all of this with a grain of salt. I saw it with my roommate and he thought it was amazing, so clearly some opinions differ here.
First, the pros. So many superhero films have started with some sort of origin story taking up a good quarter or more of the film. Thankfully with “Batman v. Superman” that wasn’t the case and it seems that DC is taking the hint. While “Suicide Squad” does have an “origin” story as to the first team being formed, the members of the team are all introduced with backstory less than five minutes long. Thank you. Within minutes we’re off the ground running, getting to know and love these quirky misfits without drudging through long minutes of who they are. Speaking of, here’s a little breakdown in case you have no idea what this movie’s about and are confused about me mixing the word “Suicide” with Batman.
- So, we’ve got Deadshot (Will Smith). He’s a trained assassin with any kind of firearm, and his claim to fame is that he’s never missed a mark (except Batman, but that’s more from the comics/series). He just wants to get custody of his daughter back.
- Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Created specifically for the animated series, this is her feature debut as the Joker’s lover. Psychiatrist turned loon, she’s basically a watered down, female version of the Joker. Don’t get me wrong though, Margot Robbie KILLED it as Harley and with talks of a spinoff in the works, I’d gladly sign up to see that. Plus she’s easy on the eyes.
- What Batman film is complete without the Joker (Jared Leto)? Filling those shoes was a big task, especially following the likes of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger (and even Mark Hamill). Leto’s take on the character was a new one, instead choosing to rock body tattoos and a silver grill in lieu of the purple coat and wide grin. He seemed to be more of a cracked out gangster than the “Clown Prince of Crime” we’re so used to having. More on this later.
- Someone obviously has to be in charge of these guys, so enter Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Again, having not read any comics, I’m sure she has a much larger role in the DC Universe that I’m just unaware of. But Davis did a great job being overbearing, strict, and no-monkey-business while retaining the professional air of a government official. Solid casting choice.
- Every squad needs a leader and that fell to Captain Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman). The only non-“villain” character from the squad starts off butting heads with the other members but winds up being a guy we can feel for, and more importantly the squad can listen to.
- Lastly I want to talk about Boomerang (Jai Courtney). This is another villain I never knew of until seeing the animated “Assault on Arkham”, which is another Suicide Squad film from a few years ago. Boomerang is an Aussie thief who’s calling card is hucking a boomerang at his enemies. Sounds lame except these things wind up being somewhat lethal, but he’s added more for comic relief.
If you had no preconceived notion of who these guys were, this might seem cool enough to go see anyway.
So there you have it, a decent line up of actors in what turned out to be a pretty entertaining film. It wasn’t exactly what the trailers sold to us but I would definitely see it again and hope for a sequel, or at least cameos in future DC films.
DIRECTOR’S CUT: Supervillains seen as Superheroes. A new take on the Joker that didn’t quite sit right. A film that winds up playing like a comic book. If you’re a fan of the comic books or the actors, see it. There isn’t a whole lot you need to know going into the theater and it’s already on track to have a huge 2016 run.
SCENE COLLECTED: It’s actually a really subtle scene but the way it was shot was pretty cool to me. When Dr. June Moon summons Enchantress during a meeting, her hand is lightly touching a table when all of a sudden it looks like someone is grabbing hold of it from below, then the hands spin over and Enchantress is now in the room. This probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone reading this now, but once you see the film you’ll understand what I’m referring to.
FLICKCHART RATING: 451/2376