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If you’re looking for an action-packed movie with a ragtag crew of anti-heroes, plenty of action, a gripping story, and soundtrack you’ll be YouTubing for weeks, then you should probably rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy. If, however, you’re bored of that masterpiece, then you could do worse than DC’s latest big screen offering: Suicide Squad.
That’s not to say Suicide Squad is a bad movie, but it is a flawed one. For those of you already remembering the Swiss cheese that is Batman v Superman (our review), you’ll be happy to hear that Suicide Squad is already a better offering that that. DC and Warner Bros. have learned from their last big-screen outing only months ago.
The movie is a conglomerate of interesting storylines, plot threads, and characters, but it doesn’t all mesh that well. It’s like having a peanut butter and egg mayo sandwich — both are fantastic in their own right, but not together.
The first third of the movie carries a lighter tone as it sets up a range of characters that we have to care about. There just isn’t enough time in the movie to really get to know everyone before they set off on their grand adventure. There are even a few characters that will just show up without introduction — one of them is killed off within ten minutes of popping on screen, Battle Royale style. The tone of this first act should have continued through the rest of the movie.
The movie is a conglomerate of interesting storylines, plot threads, and characters, but it doesn’t all mesh that well
The second third feels like a full on action movie with bodies exploding, vehicles exploding, buildings exploding, and everything exploding. The difference between the first and second acts is basically Alien and Aliens — they contain the same premise, but executed in vastly different ways.
And then we come to the final part, which, again, carried a different tone as it tried to make us care once more about the characters. Sure, it worked now and then depending on the scene, and some sub-plots came to an end, but there was just so much going on at once that it was overwhelming.
What I can say is that Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) really made the movie.
Smith, as always, carries a certain charm to the roles that he plays and that made him the most likeable character of the bunch. Robbie was manic, crazy, and off-the-wall as she should be, though her constant bum-shots were overdone — almost every time we saw her on screen. Hernandez was someone that I didn’t intend to like, but enjoyed in the end. In fact, almost every actor was spot-on in their roles, which made the film a joy to watch.
Jared Leto’s rendition of the Joker was the weakest part of Suicide Squad
Then there’s one of the biggest marketing ploys of the movie: Jared Leto’s rendition of the Joker. This, I’m sorry to say, was the weakest part of Suicide Squad. In fact, every scene he was in felt more like a shoe horn to get him into this new Batman, Superman, Suicide Squad shared-universe mythos. And while some are already comparing him to The Joker from The Dark Knight, Leto’s performance was stale, overdone, and a bore at best.
One of the reasons I used the earlier comparison to the Guardians of the Galaxy is the soundtrack. Much like that film, Suicide Squad throws in a range of catchy and well know tunes into the mix in order to bring out different characters and scenes.
You’ll be familiar with the likes of Eminem’s “Without Me” (remember the music video for that?) and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate So.” Where this doesn’t work, however, is the way songs are sometimes paired up. There were a few scenes where it felt as though the song was picked for one movie experience, but you were watching a completely different one.
And then we come to the special effects.
The practical effects, such as explosions, choreography, were all stellar and fun to watch. What wasn’t fun were several CGI scenes which could have used a few more months of polish and they just looked unpolished and overall cheesy. It’s a pity, really, because they detracted from the scenes that they were in.
Overall, Suicide Squad is a decent action movie, but not something to write home about. It’s great that DC added in a few more scenes to make the film better after Batman v Superman, but it should have been delayed by a few more months.
Release Date: 5 August 2016 (South Africa)
Cast: Will Smith; Jared Leto; Margot Robbie; Joel Kinnaman
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: David Ayer
Genre: Action; Comedy
Age restriction: 10-12 LPGV
Running time: 2 hours 3 minutes
Verdict: If you’re a DC fan then you really should watch Suicide Squad. It’s a decent action romp with funny scenes and interesting characters. If you don’t pay attention to some of the glaring flaws, you may just enjoy the overall experience.