Tuesday 20 December 2016

Suicide Squad

If ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ taught me one thing, it’s to never trust any future movies that involve Zach Snyder. He didn’t even direct ‘ Suicide Squad’, yet the regret I feel for watching it is probably more than I’ve felt for any other film this year (and that’s including ‘Batman vs. Superman’). 

Set after the events involving Superman’s death, this apparently DC film shows the lack of trust that’s appeared for meta-humans (very similar, in fact, to my lack of trust regarding superhero movies nowadays). Believing that they’re under threat, the US need some form of defence from these otherworldly beings, and so Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) sets out to collect America’s most wanted meta-humans with the intention of using them against any potential enemies. One of which actually becomes the enemy, unsurprisingly, which is quite funny – had she not found the Enchantress (Cara Delavigne) then the threat would never have been there, thus we wouldn’t have had to sit through two pointless hours of inane combat and uninspiring flashbacks. Anyway, I digress. Long story short, the criminals band together to save mankind, and you can sort of guess the rest.

The biggest problem with the film is probably that there’s just too many damn characters in it, and the style of introduction David Ayer has gone for does nothing to help. From the very beginning we have to endure what feels like hours of recaps on each meta-human that we’re going to be faced with, explaining their names, powers, features, and backstories in an orderly way. Bringing out a hefty folder of case files labelled ‘Top Secret’ to introduce your characters should be banned in films – it even made the introductions in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ look innovative. To be honest, there was just too much information, and made me think that a prequel for the characters would have been a better move.

The rest of the storytelling was fairly lazy – it felt repetitive and dull and, although most of the acting was really good, it just wasn’t enough. I had real problems with Amanda Waller, and I couldn’t tell whether it was from the character or the actress. She also contributed most of the terrible one-liners from the film, as well as Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who didn’t have a single amusing line from start to finish. Lines such as “I put him in a hole and threw away the hole” from Waller really sum up the whole script. 

I also didn’t think much of Jared Leto’s performance as the Joker, who came across more like The Mask than anything else. His relationship with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) was also disappointing, suggesting that her love for him was healthy, when fans of the comic know that this is not the case at all. Robbie’s performance as Harley was brilliant, but it felt like certain aspects of her character had been removed for no good reason.

There was only really one shot throughout the whole film that I actually enjoyed, which was a brief flashback of the Joker convincing Harley to jump into the vat of chemicals that dyed his own skin and hair his trademark colours. I’d suggest maybe just watching this one on YouTube and skipping the rest – for such a big budget the camerawork and editing really isn’t that good, and the soundtrack alongside it was jumbled and distracting.

If you’re a massive fan of the comics then you’re likely to be disappointed with this one. If you’re a newcomer then you’ll probably find it overwhelmingly dull. There must be someone out that there found ‘Suicide Squad’ enjoyable, but it sure as hell wasn’t me. 1/5


Hannah Read

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