Suicide Squad is the newest film of the young DC Films universe, which spotlights a group of villains, thrown together by the government to combat the next Superman... if that Superman should turn out to be a danger. With micro bombs implanted into their necks, Task Force X get's deployed into a disaster of biblical proportions and has to save the world, wether they want to or not.
Suicide Squad is a movie made by David Ayer, director of End of Watch and Fury, that sheds some light onto something the other DC movies haven't gotten to explore yet: the best collection of bad guys in fiction. Because, as any self respecting comic fan knows... DC has the best villains around! However, Suicide Squad is not a film like we might be used to from DC Comics. The last (good) DC films, like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, were all thematically deep films. You can very well write a scientific paper of the struggle of the feminin self against toxic masculinity when looking at BvS, for example. Suicide Squad does never go that deep into anything. It is, however, the most "fun" film DC has ever done. It is fast paced, funny, colorful and features a cast of greatly realised DC Comics characters, clashing into each other. Even the music, which consist mostly out of well placed pop songs, shows that this is a different kind of film than the other DC stuff. Think Guardians of the Galaxy, in a darker shade.
The whole cast is great, with not a weak spot in sight, but especially Will Smith's Deadshot was a highlight for me, which I did not expect. He is a true action hero leading man, in shoot outs and one liners and never disappoints as the emotional center of the film. Shame on me that I ever doubted Will, he truly is Deadshot.
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is a sight to behold and a pure and perfect version of the comic's character. BTAS fans even get to see her in her animated harlequin suit, which many people clamored to see and her suitcase of stuff is packed full of her other comic outfits. She is as crazy as she is sexy and packs quite a punch in her action scenes as well! Other characters, like, Katana, Captain Boomerang and Croc are awesome, but fade a bit too much into the background, which is a shame, but understandable. Karen Fukuhara, Jai Courtney and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje did right by their comic book counter parts! Viola Davis' Amada Waller is as bad ass and ruthless as comic fans expect and Jay Hernandez' El Diablo another emotional anchor for the film. Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag is game too and has a lot of scenes to show his range in the role of the military leader of the team. Even model Cara Delevigne delivers, with her portrayal of Enchantress that looks like straight out of a horror film!
So... let's talk Joker. Jared Leto is on fire in the role, but there is a problem with his Joker. He simply is not in the movie enough, to really get a feel of him. His scenes are all great and he creeps me out even more than Ledger ever did, because his Joker has a weird sexual subtext going on in the way he moves and talks to people before killing them. Ledger was pure evil in the role, but Leto is even less predictable, even more insane. The way everything he wears is clearly themed on his own self obsessed ego is just perfect and actually a lot closer to the comic version as people want to admit. This is a guy who drove a car with his face on the hood in the comics of the 60s, you know? Of course he is self obsessed and self referential. I have to admit, IF I would get more of him in the role, he might be my favorite version of the Joker yet and that includes the comics. Yeah, he is THAT good... there is just too little of him to really seal the deal, which for me was the film's biggest problem. I hope Ben Affleck's solo Batman film is going to change that relatively soon.
The villain's plot is as straight forward as it gets however, and nothing you haven't seen before, including an ominous portal in the sky over a city and a faceless army for our heroes to fight through, but it works and facilitates the interaction between the Squad, which is what the film is all about. Who will betray who, will they work together or not etc.
Visually this is still very much a DC film, which means it looks like a FILM, not a TV show on a bigger budget. Colors pop everywhere and David Ayer's direction shines through. Cinematic stuff, that shouldn't be missed on the big screen.
There is also a lot of world building going on, which fleshes out the cinematic version of the DCU even more in a lot of awesome ways, so DC fans should keep their eyes peeled. The pacing is fast and furious in the beginning, when every main character gets his own awesome introductory sequence, some including origin flashbacks. All of those work very well and absolutely pump you up for the film, but are mostly a bit on the short side, which makes sense for the film, since you cannot waste too much time with each character before the real film begins, but I wished for a bit more with some of those really interesting character bits. Due to the fast pace, it can seem a little choppy at times, but that doesn't detract much from the awesomeness on display.
The film does slow down in the second half though, which gives character beats more room to breathe.
Overall Suicide Squad, while not a masterpiece, is a great fun, sometimes slightly uneven, popcorn film and well worth your time, even if you don't know the characters yet. For fans it works just as well, as it really is a Suicide Squad comic come to life.
And while I like the more thoughtful and deeper stuff from the last DC films, there were a lot of people who found that a bit too slow or boring, so Suicide Squad might be exactly what the are looking for in a DC film!