Suicide Squad (2016) - review

Door Janreviews gepubliceerd op Friday 05 August 11:26

The highly anticipated villain film in the DC cinematic universe has arrived! It features Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Captain Boomerang trying to save a city on Amanda Waller’s command. Oh and the Joker is in it too, I almost forgot!

I only know about these characters what this film has shown me, so I am not at all aware of missed opportunities when it comes to backstory. I do know that this film fails in the character development department. There are some attempts at creating some drama, but the tone changes very swiftly all the time.

Don’t get me wrong. “Suicide Squad” is an entertaining action film. It has some very funny moments that reminded me of “Deadpool” in that ‘very funny and you did not see it coming’ way. There was one scene toward the end that became a little too preachy and cheesy and a joke saved that from becoming an eye-rolling moment. Apparently a therapist was on set to keep the actors sane in the dark environment of the film. I do not know what sort of dark footage is left on the cutting room floor, but the product is not that dark.

Like “Suffragette”, there is a character that is prominent in the marketing, but is hardly in the film. Meryl Streep is featured in maybe five minutes of the film about feminism in early 20th-century England; Jared Leto is featured in maybe ten minutes of “Suicide Squad”. The poster features the Joker’s face as some sort of backdrop for the other characters and that is exactly what happens in the film. He is always on your mind because he was featured so heavily in the marketing, but the other characters are what the film is about.

I expected a lot more from Leto’s Joker. He is a talented actor: he is brilliant in “Requiem for a Dream” and “Dallas Buyers Club”, but his performance was too similar to Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker in “The Dark Knight”. I do not believe him when he says that he based it on the comics and what not. The “Suicide Squad” Joker is just a more insane and less terrifying version of the “Dark Knight” Joker. The look would’ve worked better for me if it hadn’t reminded me so much of Miley Cyrus in “Wrecking Ball”.

The marketing is also weird when it comes to the villain. Enchantress is featured in the poster and the first trailer as if she is part of the squad, but the squad is actually fighting her! I’m not really fond of the character either. The film explains why Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang and Killer Croc are villains; the reasons are feasible. Harley is a violent psychopath, Deadshot is a master assassain, Boomerang has ... explosive boomerangs and Croc has a disease that makes him look like a crocodile. Enchantress is just a witch. Magic! The character really felt out of place in this franchise. I must say that I appreciated how the transformations were handled. Her voice really distracted me, though: when she is not transformed into the witch, Cara Delevingne, who is English, plays her with an American accent. When she is the witch, some demonic voice speaks in an unknown language. When the witch suddenly starts speaking English, she sounds like Cate Blanchett using an English accent!

The upsides to this film are Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Will Smith (Deadshot), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) and Jay Hernandez (El Diablo). I felt like they really sold me their characters.

What didn’t suit “Suicide Squad” was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”! It bothered me that it was used as the background music in the first trailer and then it returns in the actual film. That was an eye-rolling moment. Was it the “Just killed a man” line that convinced the film makers to use it? Because that’s the only reason I can think of.

Once again, Chris Stuckmann’s review sums up what is wrong with this film: the editing. He is right in saying that it feels as if many scenes have been left out. I can’t immediately think of scenes that could have been removed, so I guess “Suicide Squad” should’ve been a little longer. It’s 123 minutes long and I think it could’ve been 140 minutes long if it had added vital scenes to build proper story arcs.

Do I recommend “Suicide Squad”? Sure! Just don’t go into this expecting an amazing action film with a great story and fantastic characters. Do expect an okay action film that has some great comedic moments with villains as the main characters.

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