I have no problem admitting that I am a self-professed Marvel Fan Boy. I don’t hide this fact, so it may come as some surprise that I fully enjoyed DC’s Suicide Squad. While the film does have some faults it bucks the trend of DCs dark and gritty vibe and injects a much-needed sense of fun into this particular shared cinematic universe.
Most of the cast does a serviceable job of playing their characters with the notable exception of Will Smith who is just too much Will Smith to really make Deadshot work. Couple this with the fact that through the CW series Arrow we have already seen the story of Floyd Lawton done so admirably that the movie version seems like a shallow copy.
Margot Robbie though is the real standout who simply owns her onscreen performance of Harley Quinn. The character is most certainly properly represented in her first on-screen outing. From the first time Margot Robbie drops a “Mr. J” or lets “Puddin” roll off her tongue, I was assured the filmmakers had done their homework.
There is an amazing bit of fan service when a fantastic cover from the comics is recreated during her backstory and the introduction of the Joker. Jared Leto’s turn as the crown prince of crime is also a surprise highlight of the film.
I was one of the many who recoiled in horror upon seeing the first images of this character redone, which goes to show some things should not be taken out of context. The film portrays this Joker in much more modern and mature terms than we have seen before.
This is the Joker as the crime boss, a man in control of his empire. Much like the older more experienced Batman we have received in this latest iteration, this is a Joker with a story we do not quite know yet.
That may be where the films great failing comes from. I wanted more Harley Quinn and Joker. The thought of a Bonnie and Clyde-esque adventure as the Bat runs them down is tantalizing. That is the movie I want to see.
As it is though, Suicide Squad is a fun romp at the movies. It is not going to redefine the comic book genre, but neither does it sit on the bottom of the heap. The story is drawn from other “men on a mission” type movies such as the Dirty Dozen and follows along those tropes fairly closely with good guy villains and bad guys turned heroes.
The introductions of some of the characters feel very rushed for a film that is dealing with some lesser known villains. One character simply showed up so quickly that I immediately pegged him as a red shirt and the movie did not disappoint when moments later he was killed to make a point.
The action while serviceable never really climbs to the heights you want to see in a super flick and rests too far on the “normal” scale instead of reaching some sort of metahuman stylishness.
Even with these problems though the swift dialogue and quick pacing keep the film moving. The stand-out performances leave you wanting for more when the credits roll and it serves to help build a bit of backstory for the DCU in this new shared cinematic universe.
Finally, it seems that DC has learned the idea that movies are meant to be fun. If they can couple that with some real weight and put the whole thing together we may have some great films to look forward to in the future. For now though, Suicide Squad is a fun, if shallow, time at the movies for fans of the comic book genre!