Suicide Squad review: Are DC movies starting to trend upwards?

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Suicide Squad FI

Does Suicide Squad have what it takes to help the DCEU get some respect?

Suicide Squad is out in theaters, and DC’s villain feature has been getting raked over the coals by some reviewers. It may be that some are expecting something other than what Suicide Squad is prepared to provide, but my opinion may differ from some others out there. This review will be, as all of my movie reviews are, spoiler free. Some minor plot points will be discussed, but nothing outside of what you could see in one of the film’s many trailers. So without further ado, our Suicide Squad review. Hey, that rhymed…

The movie starts with some introductions of the main characters. The most recent round of intro trailers showed some of the same style of intro — a neon encrusted caricature of the character, some of the character’s skills, that sort of thing. They then go into a bit more backstory on our main villains. Before anybody gets worried that we’ll see yet ANOTHER Batman origin story somehow in Suicide Squad, don’t worry… there’s nothing anywhere near that egregious. We see at most a few minutes for each character to flesh out their backstory. Everybody obviously knows the Joker. Most people probably at least know of Harley Quinn. Some of the other members of the team are probably just a bit more obscure to all but the most die hard DC fans. The intros were long enough to be effective, but not so long to be distracting or drag things along too much.

We know from the trailers that Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is trying to create a team of super villains as a sort of secret ops unit to send into dangerous situations against other meta-humans. It’s made pretty clear that she’s pitched this idea before, but never had any backing, but this time she gets her way. It’d be a pretty boring movie if she didn’t. The antagonist appears, so the group is thrust into action pretty quickly, and the stakes of their service are laid out pretty clearly.

Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is the leader of the group, and as such he holds the proverbial leashes of the rest of the team. It’s pretty obvious that our other main characters are Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) because they do get a bit more backstory interspersed throughout the rest of the movie. Harley’s backstory obviously includes quite a lot of the Joker (Jared Leto), while Deadshot focuses on something quite a lot more normal.

Suicide Squad - Harley QuinnOf the main characters, my biggest regret was knowing that Tom Hardy was initially cast to play Rick Flag. That’s not to say that Kinnaman did a poor job, but envisioning Tom Hardy in the role really just would have fit perfectly. I was initially worried about the portrayal of Harley Quinn, fearing that she would be nothing more than eye candy throughout. And while Margot Robbie does truly rock the part (though I’m still not a fan of the freaking face tattoos and whatnot), they do give her more to do that just stand around and look pretty — though there is still some of that too. I really enjoyed the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and Diablo (Jay Hernandez) as they had some of the more interesting arcs in the movie. Fans of Stranger Things will be happy to see one of the minor characters here too. Jared Leto’s Joker wasn’t my favorite part of the movie, though he was effective, bringing his own style to the role.

The story made sense, and progressed in a rational manner. Scenes never felt particularly rushed, nor did anything linger for too long. There was humor throughout at appropriate times, and the action sequences were pretty well done. The music/sound was a bit feast or famine. There were parts where there seemed to be too much music changing around too quickly, and there were parts where it really just felt like there needed to be… something… that wasn’t there. It may just be something with the DC Extended Universe, but some of the editing did feel slightly off, as it did in BvS. All in all though, this was a decent comic book movie. Anybody expecting it to be something other than an action movie with some super villains, and an over-the-top story is expecting too much. All I really wanted from Suicide Squad was to be entertained, and the movie delivered there. It is admittedly a pretty low bar to clear, but Suicide Squad was definitely more entertaining that Batman v Superman.

Suicide Squad isn’t going to be a movie for everybody. If you aren’t generally into comic book movies you may not enjoy it. If you’re expecting more of the movie than what it is ready to deliver, you may be disappointed. But I went to the theater hoping to be entertained, and I left the theater entertained. That’s really all you can ask, isn’t it?

Suicide Squad Review
4 Out of 5
Nailed It
The movie did a good job of introducing the characters. There was enough backstory without dragging everything to a halt.
Needs Work
Some of the editing felt a bit odd. Some instances of too much, or not enough music/sound
Bottom Line
If you're expecting this movie to be some form of high cinema, you're going to be disappointed. If you just want a decent action flick with some super-villains, you ought to have a much better time.
Our Rating4.00
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