Hi, everyone! Today I finally had the opportunity to go see Suicide Squad! The hype surrounding this movie has been absolutely insane, and I was looking forward to seeing it from the very first trailers and rumors were released. And while it didn’t live up to my every expectation, it was still pretty frickin’ awesome.
Before I get into specifics, I just want to say that I gave this movie a solid 8/10, and I really enjoyed watching it! Just because I have critiques to the movie doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. ALSO SPOILER WARNING! I TRIED MY HARDEST TO MAKE A NON-SPOILER REVIEW BUT I JUST COULDNT CONTAIN MYSELF AND HAD TO TALK.
Plot And Overall Movie
¨Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.¨
The plot they give you online is very vague when it comes to what the movie is actually about. It would have been easier to say ¨criminals with sad backstories band together to defeat an evil witch and her brother¨ but apparently that just isn’t substantial enough. Personally, I didn’t find the plot very compelling and I felt like it took weird dips and turns along the way to fit in the backstories of the main characters (which don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed, but it just seemed so jumpy). They didn’t really make the mission clear for the first three-quarters of the movie, so you were kind of left in the dark fumbling for what they were trying to accomplish while they kick-ass doing random things. Either way, I wasn’t watching it for the plot really, it was all about the characters and the overall vibe of the film that had hooked me on it in the first place.
Cinematography and Aesthetic: Personally, the art and ads for this movie are what made me (and most likely plenty of others) set suicide squad apart from just you average superhero (or anti-hero) movie, especially one made by DC. The art itself was dark but fun, it had a lot of spunk to it. It was insane in its own way, turning hideous criminals and psychopaths into bright smiling skulls, and writing in neon lights. I was so enthralled by this aesthetic of their neon yet eerie mood that was being set for all their trailers and such that I was a bit scared it wouldn’t carry over into the movie. However, I ended up with nothing to be afraid of considering this art style was carried out through the whole movie, from how they introduced the characters to the title screens to the interjections. Also, the cinematography for this movie was very well done. Sometimes in movies with a lot of action, everything is focused on special effects and the on-camera fighting and the sounds, except here it seems that they paid extra attention to every area to make it the best it could be. The scenery not only did its job but more often than not was very appealing to the eye. The only effects I didn’t really love were the ones surrounding the enchantress towards the end, I thought they came off as a bit cheesy compared to the rest of the film.
Also, while the effects were great and all the actors were talented in their characters skill, the fighting scenes seemed to run a little long. Yes, I know this movie is an action movie, and the main goal is killing the bad guys, but sometimes it just felt like random fight scenes (not even the big fight at the end) would take twice the amount of time they should’ve taken. Watching characters with special fighting skills like Harley and Katana were entertaining and intriguing, but characters like Deadshot and the other soldiers just seemed to be shooting for so long, and you can only watch someone shoot a machine gun so many times.
Soundtrack: Wow. Just wow. I’m a sucker for a great movie soundtrack (like in Guardians Of The Galaxy) and this movie definitely delivered. Unlike many movies, the songs that were on the soundtrack were actually featured in the film, not just inspired by it, and they were set in perfectly. The scenes matched up excellently with the music so that the movie was enhanced by it, instead of made corny. There was something for everyone from Twenty One Pilots to The White Stripes to The Animals. Some of my favorite scenes in the movie set to music were Harleys opening scene to You Don’t Own Me (Grace) and the scene where they are getting all suited up with Without Me (Eminem) playing in the background. The soundtrack for this movie was thoughtfully put together and definitely a win for this film!
Now onto my personal favorite part of the film! The squad themselves! Casting in comic universe movies will always be the most difficult because not only do the actors have to master strange quirks, voices, and attitudes, but they have to live up to the expectations that their devoted fans set for them. While the Joker is one of my favorite villains I can think of countless other people who are more diehard fans than I am, including my best friend Diana, and I still had high expectations. For the most part, the actors in this movie completely met my expectations. Their scripts may have not, but their portrayal and capability to do what they did with what they were given were fantastic in my book. Saving the iconic king and queen for last, I am going to start with my third favorite character in the movie.
Diablo: It is no secret that I am enthralled with fire and anything with fire powers. It is just so intense and terrifying that I can’t help but be hypnotized by it. Knowing that, I found Diablo to be one of the most well-written characters in the movie (even without the amazing firepower). Not only did he seem truly evil/merciless, but he had a backstory that enhanced the depth of his character instead of just telling you things that you already knew. He is strong willed in not using his powers, unlike the other members of the squad, until it is absolutely necessary. And when he does, he does it because it is the last resort, and is willing to put everything on the line. He knows he is dangerous but he tries everything in his power to control himself because he knows first hand the consequences of his actions. His story and his persona in real time fit together incredibly well making him certainly a character to watch in this film.
Captain Boomerang: Personally, I could have done without Captian Boomerang. Not only did I find his complete disinterest in the plot aggravating, but I just didn’t think he fit into the squad and their vibe. He wasn’t insane. He didn’t have powers. He had no incentive for being there. He was a thief that could kill with a boomerang that disliked being in the squad from square one. I can easily say he was my least favorite of the bunch.
Killer Croc: Coming into this movie I hadn’t really heard much about Killer Croc except that he was in the squad. However, I was actually pretty impressed with how he was portrayed which was surprising for me because I usually tend to think that characters with that much CGI can be cheesy a lot of the times. Similar to Diablo, he seemed very villain-like from the beginning. Isolated from the group, intimidating and crude, Killer Croc came off as a real villain. Not a cartoon version of a villain. And while he wasn’t one of my favorites, I think he did a really good job with the role and portraying a hardcore and difficult character. On top of that, his effect work was wonderfully done, something I didn’t really have high expectations for.
Deadshot: Deadshot seems to be a character people either hate or love. I definitely was on the love side. I was impressed with Deadshot’s character for the most part even if he could be cheesy and repetitive at times. I will agree that he didn’t really fit with the likes of Harley Quinn and the Joker, seeing as he was very much down to earth and realistic, however, I think it was a good thing because it added some diversity to the cast. If they were all as insane as the next, it would even them all out. If there were all characters just as insane as The Joker, the Joker has the risk of being outshined! Anyway, throughout the film I really enjoyed how they portrayed the majority of the characters as having a human side to their insanity, so seeing Will Smith play the part of not only a master assassin but a father? That excels at both aspects? I was impressed. My only complaint with his role was script based. I understand that his main concerns were his daughter and her quality of life, however, I felt like this point was repeated too many times, making what should have been a loving connection into a bit of a forced emotional moment. Also the fact that they felt the need to stress how he was the most dangerous assassin in the world multiple times made it feel cheesy like they have to keep reminding you even when he obviously was very talented in his skillset. However, despite the scripting repeats, Will Smith did an outstanding job with his character!
Enchantress: I wanted to like Enchantress because I like Cara Delevigne, but it didn’t really happen like that. In the beginning, I really liked her character. She was genuinely creepy and mysterious. Except as the film went on it seemed like she started losing the genuinely that had made her character so scary. She lost the dark mystical outfit in favor of an unnecessarily scantily clad outfit that made her look less mysterious. Basically, once she changes outfits, it’s all downhill from there. Again, Cara did excellent with the material she was given, however, the material was the problem. It seemed like there was little to no depth to the character, and everything surrounding her plot line felt incredibly rushed. It was almost as if we didn’t know enough about her to be scared of her.
Katana: Similar to the Joker and Harley Quinn, I wish Katana could have her own film. Being the perfect balance between ruthless and sympathetic, she had us all on the edge of our seats whenever she made an appearance. She was driven, focused and didn’t let anyone get in her way. She was a very subtle character, something I appreciated amidst all the glam and chaos of the other characters. She was swift, silent and always seemed sincere in her attitude. Her sword skills were admirable and her on-screen fights were easily the most entertaining to watch out of the whole squad. She was an incredibly strong female character even if she didn’t have as much screen time as I would have liked.
Joker: I always thought no one would top Heath Ledger as my favorite Joker, however, Jared Leto is on the track to do the impossible. From the first released pictures, I was quickly obsessed with how they chose to portray the Joker in this movie. Instead of being messy, stuttering and overall gruesome, Leto was punctual, glamorous and charming. His appearance gave him more of a feeling of authority and power than Ledgers Joker gave off, in the same way you get from a Mob Boss or the like. He reflected older, classier, versions of the Jokers personality while taking a new modern twist on the appearance. He made the Joker scary on the inside and charming on the outside. With this characteristic, however, it brought a lot of mixed feelings in its fans (including myself). While you watch his scenes you know he is evil, and you know that he is insane, however, you can’t help but find yourself almost loving the Joker and it creates a bit of a moral conflict.
Praise being given, I wish he had been in more of the film. With all of the hype of him being such a major aspect, he didn’t get a lot of screen time, and I was extremely disappointed. His Joker was deserving of more scenes even if he didn’t have much to do with the plot. Leto even confirms, frustratingly, that much more was shot that eventually got cut from the film. However, it does give some room for the viewer’s imagination. If he wasn’t in the movie, what was he doing? This is especially heightened at the very end when he rescues Harley Quinn. Is he planning something? It certainly is a very abrupt cliffhanger that can possibly lead to a more Joker involved spinoff or sequel movie. I will be able to make more of a decision on my favorite Joker once I can see more of Leto on screen!
Harley Quinn: I know all the diehard Harley Quinn fans weren’t incredibly impressed with Margot’s portrayal of her, however, I loved it! It may have to do with the fact that I had nothing to compare her too, but even so, I felt that she did a really incredible job with a really complex and psychotic character. She was inappropriate, insensitive and insane. Everything a villain should be. She was a wild card, and Margot showed it. The expressions, the walk, and the overall intensities of Harley Quinn were all there. There were a couple things she could have added such as a more pronounced character voice, but in every character portrayal, there is room for improvement. Finally, I thought Margot did a really good job of showing the human side to Harley. A great example of this is after she witnesses the death (or so she thinks) of the Joker, and she is shown crying on top of a car. It honestly breaks your heart to watch such a strong character breaking down like this. However, when the rest of the gang appears she is quick to wipe away the tears and break out her smile. It shows a layer to her character that we all tend to forget is there, the woman beneath the makeup.
The other thing I really loved about her character was her props and her costumes. I thought they were all fitting of a modern day Harley Quinn, especially when they are put together with the Jokers costumes. She stood out considerably from the bunch with her colored pigtails, messy makeup, and glitzy outfit. Her jewelry and accessories reflected her insanity and devotion to her Puddin (Joker), something that seemed thoughtful of the costume creators. Her weapons were all personalized to her with great attention to detail. From small hearts to expressions of love and hate, her gun and bat were adorned with countless symbols of Harley Quinn and her essence. For creating a costume completely new from the comics that still accurately encompasses such a unique character, they did an incredible job of capturing her in her clothes.
The King And Queen Of Gotham: I’m going to admit it, I never read the comics and I didn’t know much about the background or other versions of their relationship. However, after seeing this movie I knew I wanted more of it. (A whole movie please!)
I have always loved the Joker ever since I heard of him as a villain and seen him in the movies, however, I never knew much about Harley Quinn, only that my best friend Diana was obsessed with her (and the both of them together). So knowing that Diana would have a lot to say (and fangirl over) about this relationship, I went over to her blog to see her review. And upon reading her review I realized something that I hadn’t known prior to seeing this movie. Apparently, this is one of the only versions of their relationship where the Joker reciprocates the adoration that Harley shows him. In other versions, it is a pretty gruesome and abusive relationship, even if Harley is insane enough to be okay with it. Of course, I had to go do some more research on the leading couple before collecting my thoughts. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that they are one of my favorite fictional couples, something Diana has been telling me for a long time, but I am finally understanding. However, I may not have thought that if I hadn’t seen their relationship in this movie. Their relationship in this movie, while demented, is incredibly romantic and gives you all the feels. It shows a more human side to two characters that seem like they have gone so far into their heads that they are past the point of no return.
Harley’s flashbacks of them together were my favorite part of the movie, unveiling the relationship from memory to memory really showed a depth to the couple and their own characters that I was unprepared for. It shows that the Joker really does have a heart even if he doesn’t necessarily know how to use it to love. Along with any flashbacks of them together, the moments where the Joker rescues Harley, from the chemical vat and from the prison, had my heart swelling. My mind knew it was insane, that it was strange to be so obsessed with this off-kilter relationship, but that’s the point of their characters. They are supposed to make you feel that way. You are supposed to love them even if they are twisted and messed up, and its supposed to make you feel a bit uncomfortable. It just means they did a good job in portraying the relationship and the characters (and that you have a healthy conscious!)
I loved them together so much that now I just want a movie of them. Forget everyone else. But until then I will just have to make fan art and watch clips of the movie to hold together this new inner fangirl this movie has unleashed.
So I think I covered most aspects of the film in this review, and while I could be a bit nit-picky in the review itself, I promise I really enjoyed it! (And I may even be treating myself to a second screening soon!) What were your thoughts on the film? Were they good or bad? Let me know in the comments! More posts to come soon!