Suicide Squad (2016) – DC Comics Twisted Gang of Baddies
Once upon a time, this was one of those films that I looked at with a quizzical eye. Because of this, I didn’t get to see it in the theater, but did buy the DVD when it released.
The story begins with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) putting together a team of “bad guys” (already imprisoned) who have the potential to do “good things.” Her goal is in pursuit of America’s safety, but in assembling this team, she risks more than Americans. Among the team is Deadshot (Will Smith), a marksman who never misses; Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), an Australian thief; and Dr. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Once a respected physicist, Dr. Quinn is living proof of the adage love is crazy.
Assigned to Gotham’s insane asylum, it was here that Harley met The Joker (Jared Leto), the man for whom Harley willingly ascends into insanity. Under the directive of Captain Flag (Joel Kinnoman), Waller gives these criminals their freedom with a proviso, They must first have a tracking device placed inside them; a tracking device that will detonate at the press of a button. Flag’s participation is secured given the woman he loves, archaeologist June Moore (Cara Delevingne) is being inhabited by the evil Enchantress. A woman Waller once thought she too could control.
I don’t think it’s stretching it to say this is emotionally and mentally, the darkest superhero film I’ve seen to date. Because it’s a story about villains – and insane ones at that (literally), connecting to any of them is impossible. Where there is a lighter approach is in the knowledge that these characters do have a past. Often it’s one (or someone) that makes them want to BE someone who’s better.
The character, in this introductory film, with the most heartwarming back story is Deadshot. His story is sure to make you wish he were on the good side of things, and then there is Harley. Harley seems to be an interesting character study, or she could be if she weren’t so completely, well, insane. Everyone else is interesting, and I found myself pulled into the romance between Flag and June. Everyone brings their a-game to the film even those actors who I’m not a fan of, for no other reason than I don’t like them as actors, but recognize they’re talented.
Despite the fact that there is plenty of action, and interesting ideas addressed, I was surprised how compact this story is. It covers a very short space of time, and gives these baddies one mission. This is unlike so many of the other super hero flicks I’ve seen. The story moves fast through the darkened streets of Gotham as a result.
Marvel fans may not have a positive reaction to this film because it IS darker in comparison. But if you like Arrow, you’ll already “know” these characters since we’ve met them in Oliver Queen’s world even though new actors play the roles. It’s still entertaining to reenter this world I first knew from the small screen. Those who like Fox’s Gotham or Batman v Superman will also find much to like. (Plus, any DC Comics fan will love catching a glimpse of the “new” Barry Allen, and the continual race towards Justice League.)
It’s not the best comic book flick among my collection, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed Suicide Squad. Crazy characters, shenanigans and all.
(Content: Violence is the primary reason for the rating in addiction to its dark thematic elements. Enchantress uses dark magic to get one she wants. There’s immodest dress throughout, and some profanity. The film is rated PG13.)