HOLLYWOOD—Hmm, what can I say about the comic-book driven, action-adventure “Suicide Squad.” Let’s utilize the term ‘interesting.’ Rather that is a good thing or bad thing is still up for debate and I’ll share why. The movie has a fun concept: a bunch of bad to the core villains are tasked to work together to take down a nefarious villain. I mean we have some wicked ones to say the least: Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje to name a few.
There are a few others, but their roles are not as important to the narrative as those mentioned above. Heading this mission is none other than Amanda Waller, played with such ferocity and poise by Academy Award nominee Viola Davis. Davis just eats up this role and she is such a treat as a hero with villainess tendencies. Helping her lead her mission of Task Force X is Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), whose is practically blackmailed into the mission because his true love Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne), also known as Enchantress is possessed by an evil witch.
So the team is assembled, so what is the problem with “Suicide Squad?” More attention is focused on some characters much more than others in my opinion. I got the biggest feeling that the narrative was pushing Will Smith’s character so much more than the others, and the entire time in the theater I kept asking myself WHY? His character is interesting, but we have 6 others who I also want to learn about. Out of all these villains the true stand out is Harley Quinn. Robbie is just fantastic as this character. You since she has all the mannerisms and psychotic outbursts that this character has come to be known for by those who are fans of the comics and the cartoon series.
I mean I’m seriously waiting for the film industry to tackle a solo flick for her. Smith’s performance of Deadshot seems slightly dry to me; there is not much going on there besides a guy who is a villain, but fights tooth and nail to be a hero even though he knows it won’t get him anywhere. Another problem with this flick that is catered to villains is the fact that the big bad evil, Enchantress, isn’t all that evil after all. Delevinge does her best with the script given to her, but this is the problem we see time and time again with comic book movies: the hero, or in this case, the heroes must have a villain that is an equal if not more sinister foe than they ever expected. Many writers for all of these comic book movie adaptations are afraid to go to that dark place that challenges our hero(s) to make difficult choices or to challenge their morals and ethics.
Many people have been whispering about Jared Leto’s take on the infamous villain, The Joker. His look is something different and more reminiscent of the villain we’ve seen in the comics and cartoon series. The problem with this interpretation of The Joker is it lacks a level of sincerity in my opinion. It felt slightly forced to me; a level of authenticity was missing and perhaps it could be due to the fact that his character is much more secondary to the narrative than it appears. Also it’s hard to look at this interpretation without analyzing the iconic performance by Heath Ledger which is flawless.
David Ayer does a stellar job the first 45 minutes of the movie establishing some of these characters and the narrative and then it begins to fall flat in my opinion. Was I bored watched “Suicide Squad?” The answer is no, but I wished more was given on a narrative front to make me really show a keen interest into how the film would conclude.
Of course, “Suicide Squad” sets the stage for more DC flicks slated to hit theaters in the coming years, but I question rather we’ll see a sequel with this same all-star cast. If so, it might be wise to focus on not throwing a ton of characters into a movie without giving ample development to all of them. The focus should be on delivering a consistent narrative and giving the audience a villain that truly feel likes a bad*** and not someone who is posing as one.