Suicide Squad (2016) (DVD film review).

Even the bad press associated with the 2016 film, ‘Suicide Squad’, reached my ears but with a new Harley Quinn film due out, I thought I ought to give it a look and see for myself.

The original comicbook Suicide Squad was essentially DC Comics take on ‘The Dirty Dozen’, without the training. You force the most dangerous imprisoned super-villains into a culpable team to take on the next bad superman and, if it goes wrong, they take the flak. It isn’t like super-villains don’t always escape from prison.

In many respects, the film keeps to this premise, although considering how the prison warders are essentially torturing them when they step out of line, one can’t say much for the American prison system for reforming them. None of them are angels but you do have to wonder just who are the bad guys. The squad is implanted with an explosive pellet to keep them in line and Colonel Rick Flag (actor Joel Kinnaman) is their line-boss with the button and Amanda Waller (actress Viola Davis) is their boss.

Previously, June Moone (actress Cara Delevingne), possessed by the Enchantress, was sent to kill Incubus (actor Alain Chanoine), only to discover it was her brother and they joined up, sending zombified humans turned into monsters out onto the streets of the city. Without knowing this the squad is sent into action backed up by a SWAT unit. Don’t expect any scruples about not killing anyone. Outside of the JLA, this is probably the next biggest team and a problem of giving them all screen time and you really do need a score card to scort out the scrum.

Therein lies a problem in pace, when the entire team goes to a bar during the carnage and get seriously pissed and talk amongst themselves about their personal problems slows the pace of the film right down. Granted this is the only way to give them character moments as a team and probably contractual but it is so out of place. These are all mostly recognised psychopaths. Why would they want to show ‘me’ moments and give away their own fears to the other team members? Considering that in the cinema, this is nearly 2 hours long, I can see it being used for a toilet break by the viewers. You would think the dream sequences that the Enchantress gives each of them would be enough of that.

Oddly, if that is ignored, ‘Suicide Squad’ isn’t a bad film. High action, a lot of violence and an objective to win. Considering that they are all homicidal, I doubt if any of them would show much of a conscience about what they’ve done.

It’s not as bad as it could be, although when you look at my comments below, a firm edit which would have sliced out a couple sub-plots would have helped it a lot.

You’ll notice that I haven’t really addressed any of the squad individually. In anything but appearance, they do tend to blend in with each other. Not that there is anything wrong with their performances, but they are all on par with each other than truly say one is more star than another. I don’t mind this equalism but it’s also hard to discuss any of them or their actions separately.

There are a couple of obvious flaws. It’s shown that the Batman and the Flash put some of them in prison and there is a mention of Superman, yet considering the danger this city is in, why hasn’t the Justice League gone into action? I doubt if even Amanda Waller could stop them.

The team depends on showing what their powers are to continually establish who they are although you would think Captain Boomerang would be using his boomerangs more.

The use of the Joker also seems rather superfluous. All right, it’s established that Harley Quinn is a bi-product of his mistreatment of her as his psychiatrist although this is contradicted by the fact that she actually liked it and already gone crazy. Considering that Harley does split from the Joker at some point for the next, removing his presence here from the equation would have helped the film than act as a distraction than see it as a selling point. In the comicbooks, the Joker didn’t really care if Harley Quinn lived or died no matter her mental state and it’s a shame that wasn’t played up.

Considering the main adversaries are magical entities, the team are really out-classed. Even so, when it comes down to it, you have a giant team versus two individuals, which ultimately doesn’t look like a fair fight.

The only extra on the DVD is a 2 minute gag reel when lines are messed, forgotten or the props don’t work.

Don’t lose heart, unless you want it squeezed.

GF Willmetts

February 2020

(pub: Warner Bros, 2016. 1 DVD 118 minute film with one extra. Price: I pulled a copy for £ 4.00 (UK). ASIN: 500230293)

cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Alain Chanoine and Cara Delevingne

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