Film: Suicide Squad

Thursday 15 September 2016 by

Suicide Squad, Film, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie

When it comes to superhero films, Marvel have dominated the market for years. But DC are fighting back, with a pretty stellar line up of films coming this way. We’ll rapidly brush over the farce that was Batman vs Superman, and look at Suicide Squad.

This team of metahumans are probably the nastiest of the nasty bunch. Their superpowers render them almost untouchable, until someone rounds them up and place bombs in their heads to make sure they don’t run off. These guys are expendable, so can be sent in to a bad situation without much fear of mourning their loss. So when an ancient, evil witch, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) tries to – you know – take over the world, it is up to the Suicide Squad to stop her.

Plot is pretty thin on the ground for this film, but please don’t worry too much about that. It’s really not about plot. It’s about how many quips and explosions you can fit in 123 minutes. And it turns out, you can fit quite a lot. Will Smith flexes his superhero/anti-hero muscles again as Deadshot, the character around which everything else circles. The trailers might have fooled you in to thinking that the Joker (Jared Leto) is your main protagonist, but with a mere 15 minutes of screen time, he really becomes an addition to what is really the Will Smith and Margot Robbie show.

Margot Robbie… Can I admit a massive girl crush on her? She plays Harley Quinn to absolute sheer perfection, and captivates you every second she’s on screen. When it comes to outstanding performances, it is Robbie that steals the prize here. Although Leto huffs and puffs and makes a pretty good entrance, his Joker is not quite my taste. Perhaps it’s the limited screen time which meant he didn’t get to show off, or perhaps it’s because my heart will always be with Heath Ledger’s terrifying Joker in The Dark Knight. Either way, it comes down to Robbie and Smith, and they take what they have (see above quips and explosions) and make a pretty good film out of it.

If you’re a DC fan, you’ll recognise the characters straight off the bat, but with some of the more obscure ones (such as Captain Boomerang, played by Jai Courtney) I know a few people have simply shrugged their shoulders at them. But don’t dismiss them because they’re no Batman. All of the characters make a mark in this film – and it’s clear they had fun doing it. Despite the Joker’s limited screen time, it never feels like the big cast are jostling for position, each given their own chance to shine. Just because Smith and Robbie outshine them all, doesn’t mean the rest of them fall short. And that’s what I kind of loved about this film. It does feel like a little bit of a love letter to the more outrageous elements of DC Comics. There’s no attempt to tone down the more bizarre aspects, or ignore the “smaller” characters in favour for the box office hits. The characters explode on to the screen and stay with you, and everything about this film feels like it was made by a bunch of friends having fun.

If you can see it on the big screen, it’s well-worth it for the entertainment value, but ultimately it may not be worth the price of the ticket if you’re looking for something a little more taxing on the brain. DC have definitely upped the game with Suicide Squad, and Marvel need to tread carefully after the promise of Justice League and Wonder Woman films next year, but DC still have a way to go to get the nuance that is so prevalent in the comics and yet never quite translates to screen.

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