Suicide Squad enters the third installment of the DC Extended Universe. It tells the story of a group of criminals forced together to save the world from an ancient threat. By now, most people have heard a lot from both sides on the film quality, so here’s the next drop in the ocean. My take away from this film is, while there are pacing and editing issues present, they aren’t nearly as glaring as they were with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. What I’m beginning to think is that these problems are going to be consistent across the board until we get to a point where there are less visions flashbacks. These tend to be the more jarring points of the film, but Suicide Squad worked them in as best as they could and each one worked and served a purpose.
DC has been called out on what many would call “questionable” casting choices. Jared Leto and Will Smith received a good bit of criticism; however, Smith delivered as Deadshot. The unofficial leader of the Squad was given the lions’ share of development, but it was certainly earned, as Smith's character provided a good bit of the humor many claim the DCEU sorely needs.
Not to be outdone, Leto’s first outing as the Clown Prince of Crime, while contained to a subplot, has done the job of making me interested in his character and literally left me wanting more. Funny, flamboyant, and daring, if this was any indication, Gotham City will be quite the fun place to visit come The Batman.
Unfortunately, some will be a bit disappointed in this portrayal of Harley Quinn, as she seems quite enamored with The Joker. Flashes of brilliance are there, and Margot Robbie looks keen to play the character for years to come, so seeing a more independent Harley isn’t totally out of the question, but there’s no room for that going solely off of Suicide Squad.
Surprisingly enough, El Diablo was arguably the fan favorite of the film, by the end of it. A character many would dismiss as a stereotype was given quite the development near the film's third act and had a truly astounding finale to his arc.
Unfortunately, but realistically, it left me wanting more from some of the other Squad members. Captain Boomerang, Katana, Killer Croc, Slipknot, and even Flagg to an extent kind of missed the character development train, but for most of them, the chance to show up elsewhere in the DCEU (in Batman, The Flash, and potentially Green Arrow) eases the pain a bit.
The story of the film is solid, and a bit of a twist just going from the trailers. The actual story, was pretty classic comic stuff, and as Flagg said in the trailers, fits the Squad MO. Go somewhere dangerous, that’ll get you killed. It worked in a lot of ways, with the twists and turns that really highlighted the characters personalities.
I liked the twist that was played throughout the film that, instead of having the characters revealed as better people than they think they are, they went in the opposite direction—showing our “heroes” aren’t as good as they think they are.
The visuals during most action scenes were amazing. Though, I think, as many have suggested, the DCEU could do with more fights going on during the day. It just makes things easier to see, and when you do it in 3D like I did, being able to see things more clearly is a huge bonus. The effects though, were top-notch. The work on the “magic” elements was so impressive.
Lastly, some claimed the villain was “weak.” (Spoiler Alert!) However, I have to disagree. Their motivation was classic: revenge. Nothing breathtaking, but works. Enchantress clearly outclassed everyone and was a real, global threat. Strong actor portrayal, though admittedly I don’t know Enchantress well enough from the comics to compare, but simply as a character, the performance was enjoyable.
Overall, this was what the DCEU needed. It showed depth and added to the world in positive ways, and hopefully some of the techniques that went into this will be used down the line. People wanted humor? You got Joker, Harley, Deadshot, and Boomerang. You wanted color? This film is pretty stylized in shades of purple and green. There’s red, blue, and all that. Oh, and the soundtrack? Top notch, for sure. Even got Sucker for Pain on my phone.
So that’s my critique, but I’m not critic. I’m just a fan. A DC Comics fan. I liked BvS and Man of Steel too. In my opinion it goes Man of Steel > Suicide Squad > Batman V. Superman. The film is not without fault, but that goes for any film. It’s strong suit is where it’s such a self-contained story, that it doesn’t give any real buildup to anything so everything is focused. Helping translate that into more of the films will help a lot. At this point though, I think it’s just the DCEU way, and maybe for the best.
You really want to know if you’ll like Suicide Squad? Just go see the movie and make your own assertion. It’s really the best way to know if you’ll like it or not.
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