By Ryan Keating-Lambert
The latest from the DC Entertainment universe films certainly had a lot of hype and hope from comic book fans, more so after the slaughter of Batman v Superman. Suicide Squad or just ‘Skwad’ as it’s been dubbed on social media, is a fun and somewhat thrilling ride into the world of DC supervillains, and that’s about it. Nothing profound going on here, just a fun superhero movie. But that’s ok, isn’t it?
Government big shot Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles ‘Task Force X’ to protect the world from metahuman terrorists. What if Superman went crazy and started killing everyone? Waller fights fire with fire fire and enlists the help of DC bad guys like Harley Quinn – Joker’s girlfriend (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (never misses a shot, except when he does). These two characters are in the spotlight followed closely by Aussie Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and the pyrokinetic El Diablo (Jay Hernandez). There are other members that pop up along the way, including the dark and stormy Enchantress (Cara Delavigne), who’s really good at flailing her arms about, samurai sword wielding Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot (Adam Beach), who has nothing to do with that metal band.
A lot of names and characters to remember in this film and not enough time to get through them all. What about their backgrounds? What are their stories? Everyone is comparing DC to Marvel, and honestly I’m more of a DC guy, but Marvel Studios has it down when it comes to character development. Most of the avengers had one or two of their own movies before they all got together and hung out.
Speaking of characters, Jared Leto’s Joker only appears every now and then. A lot of scenes were cut in post-production.. Apparently the joke was on him after all. Leto does shine but can’t be compared to the Jokers before him with such limited screen time. I want more! According to an interview in Empire, he was pretty upset that a lot of scenes were cut and said that he made enough scenes to make a Joker movie. Does this mean the rumoured Harley Quinn film will be delayed?
You can’t deny that Skwad has style. The kick-ass comic/punk/gangsta aesthetics drenched in neon lights and vivid colours is gorgeous eye candy. It looks like Jean Paul Gaultier was sick all over this set. South African hip-hop outfit Die Antwoord gave the director David Ayers (Fury, End Of Watch) some beef for stealing their style. Really, guys , really? The soundtrack also does a decent job of pushing along the narrative and lightening up the mood, I wonder if all of those tracks were in the original?
Skwad’s weaknesses stem from the cuts, apparently there were A LOT of them and it’s noticeable. There were a few scenes that came out of nowhere and were kind of incomprehensive. It also seems that some cheese was added to make it a PG friendly film for the kiddies during the holidays. Won’t someone think of the children? Not me. Less cheese and more violence, please. After all, this is a movie about supervillains. The problem here may have been Batman v Superman – critics panned it for taking itself too seriously. This could have led to the reshoots and the shoddy editing. Who can blame David Ayers? He had a tremendous amount of pressure and has probably copped a beating from both the fans and Warner Bros, and now even Die Antwoord?!
Anyway, it’s a bit of a mess, but an enjoyable one. Perhaps an extended cut will bring a deeper more well-rounded narrative. Regardless, I think the critics were a little harsh on this one. There was even a fan petition to take down Rotten Tomatoes. Good luck, guys!