Suicide Squad, or DC’s suicide? Let’s go through the pros and cons of the newest addition to the DC universe.
It had always been an inevitable conclusion that there would be more than a few vicious critics for this Warner Bros. production, primarily due to the ever-growing fanbase of their biggest competitors, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel’s recent successes such as Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool, means that not only are fans of the MCU the typical comic-loving maniacs, but also members of the general public who just love a good action comedy.
And let’s face it, people had set their expectations way too high for Suicide Squad, seemingly expecting an Avengers movie with different characters. You’ve got to cut a little slack for DC too: how can they compete with Marvel while simultaneously trying to stay as different as they possibly can?
One thing I can’t fault this film for is the casting; my God, David Ayer’s choice of cast was pretty incredible. Will Smith played Deadshot just as I imagined he would, and managed to give a natural emotive depth to his character’s background and motives that can be rare in superhero movies.
Many critics have been complaining about the sexuality of Harley in this movie, but do seem to be forgetting that she has always been one of the most manipulative women of DC: as DC have set Suicide Squad in the modern day, I feel her character’s sexuality is highly appropriate.
Played by the beautiful Margot Robbie, she was made much more than just a pretty face in tight shorts and pigtails, and the psychotic ecstasy her character demands was captured brilliantly. Just as you think Harley’s character seems almost inhuman in her insanity, Robbie drops in a hint of emotion that allows some empathy for her wild aggression, in particular her strangely romantic relationship with Jared Leto’s Joker.
Now I’ve heard a lot of criticism of Leto as the Joker, but I respect him for taking on the role left by such iconic actors: he didn’t do too badly at it, either! Leto’s new angle of the character shows a less psychopathic side of the Joker, and the focus on his deep infatuation for Harley allows for a dramatic emotion shown by Leto that we’ve seen very little of from the Joker; a clever move for an antihero film.
If you’ve ever watched How To Get Away With Murder, you’d know the brilliance of Viola Davis’ acting skills, which I feel may have been underused in this movie as she plays Amanda Waller. Excellent casting choice nonetheless for such an aggressive leading character, and the Emmy-winning actress succeeded in showing the spineless supervillain we all know and hate.
HOWEVER…while Cara Delevigne is a beautiful supermodel and a real down-to-earth woman, I don’t think she was the best casting choice for Enchantress, whatsoever.
Given she wasn’t helped much with the terrible CGI graphics towards the end, and having about 6 minutes in total on-screen, I do have to sympathise, but her character hindered the film completely, offering little insight into June Moone’s character but virtually none into Enchantress: there was no point where I as an audience felt any kind of connection to Enchantress, or even truly understood her superficial motive.
To me, the general plot was very underdeveloped, and I wish there had been more focus on certain characters; it would have been awesome to have seen more of the Joker, Enchantress, and even Killer Croc’s characters. As a supposedly main character of whom trailers galore had been focusing the majority of their attention to, there was a lot less of the Joker than I’d wished to see.
I feel he could have given some more humour and life to the film had he been more present in the latter half. Boomerang and Harley were Suicide Squad’s only true spots of humour, and even that wasn’t ample; Killer Croc’s character seemed a great platform for a more playful feel to the film, which I feel may have made it a more accessible superhero action film.
Character development in this movie was certainly an area that lacked colossally, and I genuinely walked out of the cinema with little emotional connection with ANY character. Ayer evidently wanted to try something new with a more solemn approach to superhero movies, in an attempt to distance DC films from Marvel’s.
Hopefully, following such negative criticism, mistakes will be learned from. The huge contrast between the two rivals unfortunately needs to be narrowed before DC can expect to step up even close to Marvel’s height: this means more comedy, more action, more truth to the comics, and a huge amount of work into character development.
The latter half of the film was extremely messy, and made me extremely disappointed with the outcome of Suicide Squad, a film that had so much wasted potential! Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hopeful for the next addition to the DC universe, and I do hope the awesome new cast is utilised to their full skill-base.
In Batman V Superman, DC showed that they can make decent superhero films, but how long until they truly wow their fans? The future of the Justice League is still hopeful, with Wonder Woman on its way – don’t give up yet folks.