Film Review: Suicide Squad

Well, it’s here: the most hyped superhero movie of the past decade. Having faced critical drubbings for its last few outings, DC had to make Suicide Squad work. The premise was slightly different from the usual superhero flicks (or so we were told): the squad is made up of criminals and sociopaths brought together to form an expendable, deniable team designed to fight ‘metahuman’ threats in return for money and/or time off their multiple life sentences.What can possibly go wrong?

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Well, let’s start with the script…

A little bit weak in my view. I hate to run comparisons, but this was no Guardians of the Galaxy in the snappy, funny dialogue department. The actors (Will Smith and Jared Leto especially) delivered the lines with plenty of enthusiasm, but I’m not sure they really had enough to work with. There were some moments that raised a smile, but they were infrequent; on the whole, the script left me a little cold I’m afraid. Still, the dialogue was the low point; the rest of the movie was creditable, and certainly delivered a lot more passion, action and thrills than Batman vs Superman. A lot of critics have complained that the weaving in each character’s back story made the film jar in places; I didn’t have a problem with this. The film makers kept the flashback sequences short (though there was a massive clump of them at the beginning which did appear a little bit forced), and relevant, so I didn’t have a problem with them. The film steered away from hand-to-hand combat sequences (Marvel pretty much owns the farm when it comes to a good, long running punch-up), instead focussing on firearms. This worked well, but perhaps got a bit tedious after a while. Katana (the lady with the sword) was underused in my opinion; more work for her would have broken up the fire fights. To each his own, as they say.

 

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But what about the story? I think it worked. Many disagree, though I haven’t seen a convincing argument as to why it was so bad. It didn’t have any massive holes, it didn’t hang around in one place too long, and it held itself together right until the end of the film. Not sure what the problem was here: it’s a superhero flick, why are people expecting the Shawshank Redemption?

The direction was pretty good (actually, some of the sequences featuring  the Joker were bloody excellent),  and the acting was certainly a lot better than anything we saw in Batman vs Superman. It’s still a long way off from anything coming out of the Marvel Studios, but I think Suicide Squad shows that there’s potential for the future. I just hope the Justice League movie doesn’t stuff it all up.

I’m giving Suicide Squad six out of ten.

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