Dir: David Ayer, 2016
I’ve got not idea what the critics were watching but I really enjoyed this.
I’m not a comic book fan. I’ve read the odd Batman or Superman comic but that’s it.
Harley Quinn is not unfamiliar to me. I am aware of a little of her back ground and know how she behaves, but I’m certainly not an expert on her.
Thanks to the Lego Batman games, I know Killer Croc but that’s as far as my knowledge goes.
So, maybe, I’m judging this as an outsider. A true comic book fan might hate it because it’s not in keeping with the characters of the comic. I don’t know. I’m just judging it as a film.
Supervillians Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo and Slipknot are released from prison to form a group, used for highly dangerous missions.
The film is fun. It’s just typical superhero (well, in this case, baddies) stuff. The film doesn’t take itself in any way too seriously. Or seriously full stop. Ayer sets out from the start to have a good time and wants everybody else to do the same.
The actors throw themselves into the roles with enthusiasm and it shows that they enjoyed it.
Former Neighbours star, Margot Robbie, has been the selling point of the film since the announcement of its production.
That’s not surprising as Robbie is superb as Harley Quinn. She’s funny, sexy, lively, energetic and carries the film all on her own.
Mad with a happy go lucky demeanour, Robbie captures everything that I’ve always expected Quinn to be.
Inevitably, Will Smith gets top billing but Robbie outshines him in every scene.
As Deadshot, Smith brilliantly conveys a murderer with a conscience. On the one hand, he’s a cold blooded killer but, on the other, he’s trying to bring his daughter up correctly.
Jay Hernandez as El Diablo is really good as the tortured ex-gang member with pyrokinetic powers.
Responsible for his girlfriends and childs death, Diablo refuses to ever use his powers again but is forced to do so causing him great anguish and pain.
The remaining characters don’t really have anything to do. Captain Boomerang is just annoying loudmouth, without anything to add the to plot or progression of the story.
Jared Leto is The Joker, channelling Heath Ledger’s character in The Dark Knight.
Since The Dark Knight, Ledger’s Joker seems to have become the standard portrayal of the madman.
The often depicted Caesar Romero Joker from the 60’s TV series has been assigned to the past.
But, Leto is no Heath Ledger. Grimacing maniacally with metal teeth and a body shrouded in tattoos, this depiction of Batman’s arch nemesis just doesn’t hit the mark.
He looks more like Marilyn Manson than Gotham’s deadliest threat.
Ayer injects a little of other director’s works into this. The opening credits are shot with neon lighting reminiscent of Joel Schumacher’s foray into the world of superheroes.
However, the actual darkness of the film reminds me of the Tim Burton Batman films.
Earning a PG-13 in the US, the UK censors insisted upon a ’15’. It’s not overly violent or any stronger than the previous Christopher Nolan films and could have sat comfortably with a ’12A’, albeit at the higher end of the category.
It’s this level of violence that David Ayer incorporates into Suicide Squad that makes me think of the Nolan output.
So, there, you’ve got three directors inspiring Ayer and it all works.
Like the Marvel universe, DC is attempting to link all the characters into one big world, where all the films interlink and follow on. In this case, it follows on from Batman Vs. Superman.
It’s interesting but it can make it confusing if you haven’t seen any of the others. They cease being standalone films. and this could, potentially, alienate audiences.
This film didn’t need to be a continuation of the previous Batman film. Unless, of course, Warner Bros. and DC have got a plan up their sleeve and it’ll resolve itself, which, let’s be fair, is more than likely.
A gripe of the critics seems to be the lack of characterisation.
ARE THEY FOR REAL?!
It’s a comic book film. How much characterisation do you need? They’re not real. You’re not supposed to be emotionally involved in them.
I couldn’t care less about their backgrounds. The film provides enough insight to their characters, backgrounds and feelings to get you involved.
This is just critics doing what they do best; being ponces and hating on something for the sake of it.
They want it to fail and will try their hardest to make it happen.
But, with a $400 million return on a $177 million budget, they didn’t do anything to dent the box office reciepts.
I had a great time watching this and, as long as you take it as lighthearted entertainment, you should, too.