#REVIEW: “SUICIDE SQUAD”
Expectations truly are impossible for David Ayer’s DC Comics Adaptation, Suicide Squad and despite it managing to be an artfully-conceptualized piece – everything from its stunning CGI to costumes and a frenetic soundtrack (ranging from Twenty One Pilots to Eminem to Queen), it ultimately is lacking strength at the core.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) spends much of the introduction briefing us on our Supervillains. One by one in comical form, we learn their individual stories as she convinces her secret government agency colleagues over a steak dinner why it in fact is a great idea that under her and Captain Rick Flagg‘s (Joel Kinnaman) direction these criminals are needed to protect the United States from an imminent threat. She mistrusts Dr. June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and the Squad then must join forces, risking their own lives, to take down the witch Enchantress who has claimed June‘s body.
When we think of Writer/Director David Ayer’s work, we think gut-wrenching suspense and tonal cohesiveness like Training Day and End of Watch. Suicide Squad at times feels comical, at times like an Action Film without the intense action, while at moments touching and at once supernatural even, without every being committed to any of the above. This does it no favours.
The main issue with Suicide Squad is that while it is incredibly-focused on its mission to band these Supervillains together to save America… and the World, we aren’t clear nor fully convinced on our Villainess, the witch Enchantress‘ true motives and consequently what our Squad truly are up against. Because so much of the story relies on her and her mythology versus a real explanation, the Film like the witch herself, ultimately lacks a vital organ.
What we did love most about Suicide Squad is Will Smith‘s Deadshot, who gives us tons to like with his well-timed wit and a genuine love for his daughter (our Shailyn Pierre-Dixon) that keeps us invested. Nor can we deny as a Torontonian, the real thrill of seeing our cityscape featured so prominently. We also love that despite having the ambitious task of telling the many, many stories of these characters, Ayer‘s storytelling never plods or feels excessively long.
That being said though, several key characters are reduced in capacity and this doesn’t fare well for all. This was supposed to be Harley Quinn’s moment, but at times it feels she is in a completely different Movie. Margot Robbie‘s Quinn is reduced to a beguiling and submissive (yet dangerous) love thing to Jared Leto‘s Joker, whom while effective in his eeriness, is under-utilized. Each character has their own personal tragedy en route to their here and now and we don’t really get a full sense of this with her. While Kinnaman is fine as Flagg, we don’t buy the underlying love story between him and June as much as we would have liked and this is such an integral part of the story.
We wanted so bad to love Suicide Squad but it didn’t quench that summer thirst we had for that hard-knocking, gritty Blockbuster. That being said, the Film still is a must-see for the spectacle and phenomenon it will become.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release SUICIDE SQUAD Friday, August 5, 2016.