Suicide Squad: A Cinematic Disaster?

Suicide Squad is funny, crazy, and a little strange. If you like DC comic creations, you may enjoy the latest flick, Suicide Squad. A movie rarely takes on the perspective of the “antagonists” of their respective film, which I found refreshing. The movie features Harley Quinn, her beloved Joker (though known as Jay), Deadshot, Killer Croc, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, and Slipknot (if you even want to count his barely-there participation). The character lineup had the potential to be great. The actors were well-known or relatively familiar, but something about this movie was off. Even though the actors gave their characters their best to create the best viewing experience, making for a rather fun time amidst the bad.

The Bad

I have to get this off my chest. The trailers and other advertisements briefly and fans’ hype made the film disappointing. Everything said before the release of the movie was misleading from the start. From what was said, it sounded like the movie’s focus would be on Harley Quinn and Joker as the protagonist, and it would be their side of the story. For many DC Comic fans, it was exciting. So it was a letdown to see that the trailer and hype swirling around the movie were inaccurate. Granted, this wasn’t the first film that this has happened to, but it was almost annoying to see in a movie such as this, with an over-eager fan base, anticipating the storyline of Suicide Squad. The trailer didn’t give the audience an overview of the plot, so we went in blind to what would happen in the film. I found it bothersome when the film was finally released.

The plot was bland and, frankly, basic. The government decides to make a task force to stop the villain, the Enchantress, and her brother (who was oddly not named). They share a desire to take control of the world after being absent from humanity for so long. Though this was done slightly differently, the idea of an otherworldly force controlling humanity is overdone and washed up at this point. The threat the Squad faced isn’t clear until the climactic action sequence actually happens. When the antagonist is finally presented, I don’t think even she knew what she wanted to do. The story was poorly done as it seemed to lack an actual goal on how it wanted to begin or end. The event sequencing was set caused its own demise before anything could actually transpire.

The film’s pacing didn’t help it; it dwelled too much on specific details that weren’t pertinent to the storyline. It sped by too fast in other areas, only barely brushing over certain parts that seemed more important to the film’s progression. The movie progressed quicker than it should have. It was almost like it was stumbling over itself to keep up with its own pacing, likes a child tripping over their untied shoelace.

Another issue the movie had was focusing more on Harley and Joker. The Joker’s appearance seemed unnecessary in most places. The film broke focus almost every time he was present, which was frustrating because their relationship wasn’t the movie’s focus once the plot was somewhat established. To start, Quinn gets more of a back story than any other character in the film. Hers seems to continue through the feature while other characters only had a brief overview of who they were and why they were selected for the Squad. Joker’s initial appearance was greatly needed to explain how Harleen Quinnzel became the Harley Quinn that was so beloved in the film. However, every other time after that, Joker doesn’t seem to fit in the plot. His appearance made it seem like the movie was trying too hard to fit too many things into two hours and 10 minutes. It was as if this was a separate storyline from the actual one that was already unfolding. It made the entire thing awkward and very bothersome to watch every time Joker came on screen as it distracted from the main events.

Characters

On a different note, the actors picked for the movie were nearly perfect for each role save for a select few. They helped add to the character’s personalities in their own way without being annoying, overbearing, or coming off too energetic to the audience. In some cases, they helped improve the characters they were portraying. Margret Robbie’s performance as the infamous Harley Quinn was the perfect pairing. I don’t think any other actress could have played Harley and still captured the sheer chaotic energy of her character. Robbie was crazy in all the right ways and really showed the essence of Harley Quinn. Harley was written in a way that wasn’t ostentatious in the slightest. Harley’s character was perfect and true to her original form.

Will Smith as Deadshot seemed like an unusual actor choice because Smith didn’t fit the role well. He did a decent job on his portrayal, though his acting or lines seemed odd or unnatural in some movie scenes. I don’t think Smith fit the part of Deadshot in the way needed to be portrayed. However, during the emotional aspects of the film during his back story, Smith matched the loving father role well. Deadshot was written almost as well as Harley, except for a few interactions he had with characters which made him awkward.

Viola Davis’s character Amanda Walker, a United States intelligence operative. Her character seemed like she couldn’t pick whether or not she wanted to be likable or be the real villain. Davis’ performance was excellent, and she did the best she could with what she had to work with. Still, her character was unlikable and grating in most of the scenes she was shown in. The aura around this character was so smug it’s was gag-worthy. She messed up the almost perfect atmosphere the other characters built before she entered the scene.

The remainder of the Squad, El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Slipknot, and Killer Croc, seemed to have no purpose but to take up space in the Squad. They were irritating in most of their scenes but for different reasons. El Diablo realized the wrong he had done in his past and no longer wanted part of that old life. It was respectable by all means, but they made him join the Squad anyway, which made the rest of his appearances unpleasant. Every time the camera focused on him he, did nothing but stand as his teammates fought the magical army. All of the battles could have been finished in seconds had he torched them all. Most of the time, the team could have been safe from harm, and it would have condensed the movie back down to about an hour.

For Captain Boomerang, his intended purpose was clear – he was to be the comic relief when the scenes became too intense. He failed, and he wasn’t at the fault of his actor. Harley Quinn was funny enough; she defused tensions when they became too dramatic, rendering Captain Boomerang a waste of budgeting, writing, and screen time. Slipknot’s appearance was so brief that he honestly didn’t need to be shown at all. His screen time was less than 10 minutes and made him entirely useless. His sole purpose was to set an example for the Squad to deter them from deserting the mission. His appearance was so brief that his actor isn’t even worth reviewing. He didn’t get the chance to do anything significant.

Killer Croc’s (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) character clarifies that his actions can’t be judged by what was seen in the same way all the other characters were. His personality fits well with how he was initially portrayed in the comics. However, in the movie, his words are practically incomprehensible through all his growling. Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s acting could be depicted as good through his character. Still, at most points, when Croc was the focus, it was just overall hard to understand what he was saying or if he was even speaking at all. His facial expressions never seemed to change, making it hard to depict his mood. Even though Joker isn’t a part of the Squad, his performance is desired to be discussed.

Jared Leto’s Joker is alright. He was too quiet, and Joker isn’t a calm or quiet character. However, Leto did bring an interesting twist to the Joker. He owned his role and made changes as needed to make Joker more modern to fit into modern New York without making him look or feel too ridiculous.

Some Good

Everything else for this presentation was terrific. The stunts, the CG animation, transitions, and lighting made the movie more enjoyable to watch. There was no visible point that screamed, “this is undeniable fake.” Despite the film’s shortcomings, it didn’t fail here. The lighting and the camera angles for the movie were astounding. They brought more drama and tension to the film without looking goofy. The color scheme was unique and made for a great watch. The stunts didn’t look overly flashy or feeble, leaving viewers wanting more. The animation engulfs attention as the backgrounds appear on the screen.

The musical choices for Suicide Squad were superb; it seemed every character had their own tune and song that fit them perfectly. Each piece that played seemed to fit the sequencing of events, mood, or scene. The music tied this film nicely, which helped make it polished and audience-ready. The music compositions helped set the tone when characters missed their goal. It added humor or seriousness to the scenes; it was never overbearing or ridiculous. The scores were never out of place or unnecessary, which added to the movie’s comedy most of the time. This element of the film was refreshing ass not many other films find such musical success. The music was iconic; many of the songs were easily recognized simply by the sound, making the music and scenes harmonize.

Take Away

Overall the film was enjoyable, though sometimes a little too fast for its own good, leaving some desired. It was definitely watchable for those who love comic book adaptations movies in recent times. The performances given by the actors make the film likable and, in some parts, carry the plot farther than it could actually reach by adjacent scenes. The music choices were outstanding, and the movie itself was polished off nicely, making it almost dazzling despite its many shortcomings. Overall, the film deserves a three out of five-star rating. It is enjoyable if nothing in the movie is analyzed for sense.

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