Sunday, August 7, 2016

Suicide Squad

Movie Name: Suicide Squad
Year of Release: 2016
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jim Parrack, Ike Barinholtz, David Harbour, Common, Scott Eastwood, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Ben Affleck
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3

The DC universe expansion continues, this time around tackled by director David Ayer, responsible for gritty films such as "End of Watch" and "Fury". The film focuses on a group of anti-heroes (or villains) that are assembled by Amanda Waller to tackle enemies or entities of humanity. This group is comprised of incarcerated villains, some with special skills, others just slightly deranged. Their first opponent is a supernatural entity who has taken over a young archaeologist, the witch going by the name of Enchantress. All these team members have to join their efforts in order to prevent the world from utter destruction.
The premise for "Suicide Squad" is ripe for a comic book film that is filled with irreverence and a distinct point of view. Sadly, the screenplay strips all of those components away, and goes for every possible cliche available. There are so called "villains" that are trying to reunite with their estranged daughters, star crossed lovers, people haunted by previous unfortunate accidents - for a film that is trying to emphasize villains without morals and qualms in pursuing their own interests, all the characters are pretty much one step away of redemption. The lack of coherent tone is made more dramatic by the casting, with Margot Robbie creating an instantly iconic character in Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as the icy Amanda Waller, and as a counterpoint, the utter lack of charisma and relevancy from Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney (Jared Leto as the Joker, ends up being a supporting side note, and exudes nothing but flash and no menace). The opposing villain also makes little sense, and by the end when the main battle occurs, we are caught yet again in a tired, over digitized sea of visual effects that add nothing to the story. For a film that had so much potential, this hits a few right marks, but for the most part, drinks from the same fountain that created "Batman vs. Superman": almost too serious for its own good, without having any edge to actually claim the irreverence that it suggests.