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“Suicide Squad” – A review by Claire O Leary

suicide squadI’m going to try to be as fair as possible with this review, as it would be too easy to go off on a rant, and I don’t want fans of the movie to try to shut me down with a petition (I’m not at Rotten Tomatoes fame level). As a DC comics fan, I really want the DC movies to do well, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. While this movie doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as Batman V Superman did, it’s still a little hollow, and heartless to me.

The introduction to each character starts with a slightly heavy handed “Will Smith is a bad guy for a reason” kind of scene. This seemed a little unnecessary, as the whole basis of their advertising for this movie seemed to be the fact that they were bad guys. Batman is dropped in here to arrest Will Smith, as he holds a gun to him, over his own child’s head. This was a weird choice, leaving Batman to just stand there looking menacing, while Will Smith decides if he should put his gun down or shoot.

They work through Will Smith (not Deadshot, but Will Smith), Harley Quinn, Captain Kangaroo (who, I was surprised to find out was actually played by an Ozzy), Diablo, Killer Croc, Katana and a token red shirt. Then of course there’s their handler, Flagg, who seems to just be there to yell at Will Smith.

The best way I can describe the storyline to this movie is disjointed. It takes forever to get on track, and once it does it gets straight back off that track and switches to another one. Even now, I’m finding it difficult to remember what happened story wise. I know there was a lot of old school rock music in the background, and a lot of quips, but I can’t really remember what anyone did. There was also a little too much of women being punched in the face for comic effect for my liking (seriously, a female guard appears for about a second just to get punched in the face, then never seen again).

Harley Quinn had some good moments, and some good lines, but I would have liked to see her as her own character, rather than just “The Jokers girlfriend”. She spends a lot of her time, trying to get back to her boyfriend, who left her to rot in jail. I know, I know, she has Stockholm syndrome but I always considered Harley a more independent character. My favourite Harley moment is as she hangs from the helicopter. She was perfectly Harley-like in that moment, and I want to see more of that Harley.

Speaking of Joker, Jared Leto’s take on the role was interesting, with what little screen time he got. It was fun to see how they dressed him in several of the iconic Joker clothing from the comics and throughout the movie. He wasn’t really the clever, scheming kind of Joker that I love, rather more of a hip hop mob boss, but he worked well in the part. I think there was just the right amount of him in the movie, any more would have been overkill.

Probably, the stand out character for me would be Diablo, he had a lot more layers to his personality than the others. Jay Hernandez played the part really well as he reminded me a little of Jon Bernthal in Punisher.

Honestly, it’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not a great movie. There’s just nothing original about it. It feels safe, like they looked at things that worked in other movies recently and threw them all together. The most obvious of these being Captain Kangaroo’s pink pony obsession. My first thought was, “Well someone has seen Deadpool.” This movie desperately wants to be loved, but it’s too messy and tries too hard to please everyone. The group of us that went to see this movie together walked out with a wide range of opinions, the group opinion seemed to be a resounding “Meh, it wasn’t awful”. So, I guess I’ll leave that as the closing statement, it’s not awful, but DC still have a way to go, fingers crossed for Justice League.
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