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What happens when the Government doesn’t want to get its hands dirty? They assemble the worst of worst to do the job for them in the new DC Comics movie, Suicide Squad starring  Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, and Viola Davis. Is this best movie ever about the worst heroes ever, or is it just the worst movie ever?

Review

Meet Task Force X (L-R): El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara ).

Meet Task Force X (L-R): El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Katana (Karen Fukuhara).

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved the evil bad guys. Don’t get me wrong, I love the good guys like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and Captain America, but there’s something about being on the other side of the law that is seductive. There’s something about not caring about the consequences that’s extremely liberating. The bad guys are usually sharper dressed and have cooler weapons, gadgets and toys. I thought Darth Vader was cooler than Luke Skywalker. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen The Dark Knight so many times now, I basically just fast forward all the parts to watch the Joker.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) outlines her plans of creating Task Force X to combat metahumans.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) outlines her plans of creating Task Force X to combat metahumans.

Suicide Squad is the third official film of the DC cinematic universe, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman being the first two. This is a stand-alone film, but it perfectly intertwines itself with past and future movies with cameos and talking points between the characters. What’s great about Suicide Squad is that you don’t have to watch any of the previous movie to understand what’s going on. Director David Ayer (Fury/End of Watch) does an amazing job telling the story of a group of bad guys who just may be able do some good, even if it kills them.

Director David Ayer knows how to work with a great ensemble cast.

Director David Ayer knows how to work with a great ensemble cast.

If you have no clue who the Suicide Squad is, imagine that it’s the Expendables of DC Comics bad guys. When the government needs a legally or morally questionable job carried out, but doesn’t want to get its own hands dirty, they recruit some of the worst possible villains to do it for them. In this movie, meta-human super beings are now known to exist, and if the next Superman just so happens to not be a boy scout, the government needs to be able to fight fire with fire. Thus the program known as “Task Force X” has been green lit for execution. Lead by the cold-hearted Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the team affectionately known as the Suicide Squad must do her bidding or have their heads blown off by an explosive device implanted in their necks. Without spoiling anything, some shit goes down and the Squad must suit up and get to business before the whole world is destroyed.

Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) orders the squad to suit up and move out.

Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) orders the squad to suit up and move out.

I had a blast with this movie. It kicked ass on so many levels and that not just with the film’s action. The movie starts off with amazing set-up of the main characters. Each one is profiled in quick sequences that even non-comic nerds can easily follow. The scenes not only showcase their deadly talents and personalities, but they also provide a couple of Justice League sized cameos during the main squad member’s captures. The movie also perfectly represents the characters as they are amalgamations of previous iterations from comics, games, and animated movies. If you’ve never read a comic or watched a cartoon, this movie is perfect to get you all up to speed on the likes of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and the rest of the squad.

Ben Affleck as Batman makes a couple of cameos during the origin scenes.

Ben Affleck as Batman makes a couple of cameos during the origin scenes.

First things first, lets get with the film’s biggest strength: the cast. Will Smith as Deadshot leads this band of misfits. He’s an assassin for hire who’s never missed a shot. Smith was perfect for the roll, because he’s a perfect mix of bad ass, intelligence, and humor with a dash of heart. Smith’s Deadshot gives the team its humanity. This mostly comes from the relationship with his daughter. He does the bad things he does so that she can live a better life.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie are the highlights of the film.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie are the highlights of the film.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was everything I have ever imagined in a live-action version of the character. She was born to play her. She is equally silly and charming as she is insane and psychotic. She is as gorgeous as she is deadly. She’ll melt your heart as she charms you, but then show no remorse when she slits your throat. She was skillful with a gun and her bat and she did it with acrobatic grace. If you had any doubts in her ability to pull off such an iconic character, I’m here to tell you that you won’t be disappointed. She’s that good.

The Joker and Harley dynamic was everything I was hoping it would be.

The Joker and Harley dynamic was everything I was hoping it would be.

Speaking of Harley, you can’t talk about Harley without talking about her beloved Puddin: The Joker played by Jared Leto. Leto was incredible. He brings to life a modern-day take on the character. He’s nothing you’ve ever seen before. He’s not Nicholson, Romero, Hamill, or Ledger. He’s his own version. Now some may not at all like this take and that’s understandable. Leto breaks all the rules with this version of the Clown Prince of Crime. To me, Leto felt like an amalgamation of a drug lord like Al Pacino in Scarface mixed with the insane logic of Jack Sparrow. In this movie, The Joker is mostly there for Harley flashbacks and to throw a monkey wrench into the Suicide Squad completing their mission. Mr. J doesn’t have a lot of screentime, but when he’s on, he’s absolutely hypnotic and mesmerizing. I can’t wait to see him really take on the Dark Knight in a future Batman solo movie.

Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang was great. Just wish he was utilized more.

Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang was great. Just wish he was utilized more.

The rest of the squad is compromised by Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, and Adam Beach as Slipnot. I really liked these guys. Captain Boomerang added a lot of humor to the movie. He’s a drunk smart ass that fights like a soccer hooligan and loves pink unicorns. My only complaint about him was that I wanted more of him. El Diablo is a homeboy from East LA with pyrokinetic power. I really loved that they portrayed him as a tortured soul. He’s super powerful but refuses to unleash his fury as a self imposed penance to make up for a past sin. I didn’t know much about El Diablo before, but thanks to this movie, I want to more about him. Killer Croc was also awesome. He had really fantastic make-up effects. I loved that he had a second set of eye lids like a real crocodile. He was totally wicked looking and his growls and speech rocked the bass of the theater speakers. My only complaint on Killer Croc was he seemed small. I would have preferred him to be more of a hulking gargantuan. The dynamics of the entire squad really gives the film a more relatable and fun tone as well as offers different audience members their own type of bad guy to root for.

El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) is a tortured soul with a sad past.

El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) is a tortured soul with a sad past.

On the government side we have Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress. Davis played the perfect puppet master and Kinnaman was great as her soldier errand boy. In the comics and cartoons, Amanda Waller is an intelligent strategist that always get her way and that’s what we get in Suicide Squad. I liked Rick Flag, but realistically, he really was just a typical soldier. Katana was cool, but like Captain Boomerang, could have been used a lot more. But it’s understandable that some characters had to step back from the more well-known characters as you can’t give each person equal screentime. Who I was really curious about was Enchantress and I have to say she was wickedly super cool. She’s a an ancient witch that’s over 6000 years old and has unmeasurable magical powers. She’s a pawn of Amanda Waller as her human side is an ally to the cause. She was super creepy and actually more scary at times than the demons and ghosts I’ve seen in modern horror movies. I loved how she transitioned from her human host self to her witch side. Suicide Squad really throws at the audience a smorgasbord of characters, but I think the film does a good job of showing off the main characters while perfectly using the support characters to to make the character developing scenes and action sequences more interesting.

Cara Delevingne as Enchantress is ultra powerful and spooky.

Cara Delevingne as Enchantress is ultra powerful and spooky.

The only major complaint I can really nit pick with the movie was its pacing and plot. I felt at times that the movie was all over the place as each scene cut to the next. I also hated that scenes I saw in the trailers were completely omitted or oddly edited. The bar scene in the movie was really awesome, but the part of Harley taking everyone’s drink order was completely removed. Little touches like that would have made the movie even better. The plot of having bad guys save the world is a pretty simple concept, but the motivation in this movie just seemed a bit weak and convenient at times. I actually liked the story of the comparable animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham a lot more. These are really minor issues I had with Suicide Squad, but for its flaws, it has so many more strengths that make the movie fun and enjoyable

This image is an example of what ended up on the cutting room floor during edits.

This image is an example of what ended up on the cutting room floor during edits.

The biggest comparison I can see this movie getting from both critics and audience members is to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a group of non-heroes trying to save the day. Suicide Squad also has an amazing soundtrack that I can see people buying the CD or MP3s and jamming to the songs in their cars. I loved how each character had their own theme song that really added to their personalities and origins. But really that’s its only comparisons. This movie is its own entity and I feel many will think its the best movie so far in the DCCU because it actually gives audiences relatable characters and takes moviegoers on a pretty kick ass ride. If you were one of the many who complained that Man of Steel and Batman v Superman were too dark and depressing, then Suicide Squad is the movie you’ve been waiting for.

Verdict

verdict Fantastic

Suicide Squad is fantastic. I had such a great time watching some of my favorite villains come to life in extraordinary fashion. Will Smith was great as Deadshot. Jared Leto may not be everyone’s cup of tea as the Joker, but he brings a more diabolical version to the table that feels like a natural progression of the character in modern times. Margot Robbie perfectly personifies Harley Quinn from her beauty and charm to her gymnastics and insanity. Director David Ayer does a fantastic job with not only shooting a tight movie with great action scenes, but he also adds one of the best soundtracks to the movie to give a ton of personality. The only major flaws I could point out was that the plot felt weak and convenient at times as well as the underutilization of some of the characters. If you are a fan of superheros and the DC universe, this is a movie not to miss. If your unfamiliar with the characters and are curious, I highly recommend checking it out. Suicide Squad is a kick-ass fun time at the movies.

PS: Unlike the previous DC/Warner Bros. movies, Suicide Squad has a mid-credits scene that ties into the upcoming Justice League movie. Make sure you stick around and check it out.

And if you want to learn more about Suicide Squad. Check out Batman: Assault on Arkham.

 

If you like this review, please share your thoughts in the comments below! And remember to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter: @TheFatmovieguy!

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