SUICIDE SQUAD Movie Review

SUICIDE SQUADLet’s do this a little differently. Let’s be unedited, loose and kinda bitchy just like SUICIDE SQUAD. I want to cover two critical points right up front before I get all analytical and serious about the movie. People, it’s a comic book. OK? This is NOT an Alejandro Iñárritu or Ingmar Bergman film. There is no life changing spiritual or moral lesson hidden beneath Margot Robbie’s sparkly shorts. Well, there may be but I assure you it’s of a different ilk. You wont go home and crack open some Remy Martin and discuss this into the wee hours. Next, to be as direct as I possibly can, Cara Delevingne cannot act. She is dreadful – laughably dreadful I’m sorry to say. Whoever chose her to fill a significant role in this film was a casting disaster and she brings the whole goddamn thing down a notch. A notch which is only saved by the phenomenal Will Smith.

For the few poor secluded souls who do not yet know the plot, a secret yet ridiculously powerful government figure played by Viola Davis, assembles a group of imprisoned super villains, some crazy (Margot Robbie/Harley Quinn), some with super powers (Diablo & Killer Croc played respectively by Jay Hernandez & Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), some just exceptionally bad-ass (Deadshot/Will Smith), to fight and annihilate even worse villains human and other. Important to note, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller is without question the most evil character in the story, there are some love connections in play, and there are threads weaving SUICIDE SQUAD together with Batman, Superman, Justice League and a whole lot of other DC comics characters that I pay my 16 year old son to explain to me. It’s a big wide DC world out there folks…

SUICIDE SQUAD is a spectacle and I do not mean it in the pejorative way. It is a violent, neon jungle Las Vegas of a movie. No one goes to Vegas for spiritual enlightenment and you wont find it in the film either. You will have a sensory voyage of technicolor art direction, a soundtrack of rowdy yet familiar rock n’ roll songs, a notable score matched perfectly to the narrative by Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price, and a thrilling texture and ‘look’ to the film that was created by – literally – thousands of visual and special effects artists. And all of that is great. And the movie is a blast to watch. It is precisely what is should be; fun, visually arresting, amped as shit, funny entertainment. Director David Ayer also wrote the screenplay, as he did with his previous efforts FURY (meh) and END OF WATCH, which was a very good film. I wonder why comic based films are not written by comic book writers. Seems like a no-brainer right? To that point, there is significant inequality in the script. Will Smith’s dialogue seems to have been written with an incisive and funny hand fitting his character perfectly and delivered with style and, well, all out Will-Smithness. The rest of the script however is utterly lackluster. It is rudimentary and banal. Painfully so.

Rounding out the movie are Jared Leto as the craziest, creepiest post-modern Joker ever. His Joker is not a anarchic fallen angel like Heath Ledger’s, but a wild eyed, emaciated twitch of a man. The veins bulging beneath his eyes alone are terrifying. Want to know how to create crazy fast? Shave your eyebrows. Instant batshit crazy, as well as making anyone look a good 30 points lower in IQ. Leto posseses true malice but also has a saucy and well matched chemistry with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. The other SUICIDE SQUAD members are perfunctory. Boomerang played by Jai Courtney, the poor-man’s Tom Hardy (I know it’s mean but it’s true), is merely ‘there,’ and if you blink you’ll miss Slipknot. The addition of the ninja bitch Katana is good and her character bridges the gap between the “good” guys and the squad. Finally the wonderful Joel Kinnaman, whose character Stephen Holder from the TV show THE KILLING still lives large in my heart, does whatever he can with uninspired material, and it’s really a waste because he is one very talented actor. I want to mention Ike Barinholtz, a solid character actor who I always suspect is a secret Wahlberg brother, who plays the guard assigned to watch over the inmates. He has just the right back country sadistic attitude and provides good comedic energy. Go the theater people, revel in the histrionics of SUICIDE SQUAD, then go play in the street.

3 Stars (3 / 5)

Director: David Ayers
Cast: Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, and…oh yeah, Cara Delevingne
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 123 minutes

SUICIDE SQUAD Movie Review

 

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