You are here
Don't bank on this Suicide Squad
ET tu, Suicide Squad? Given the chance to strike at the heart of the mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe earlier this year with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the two most beloved stars in DC Comics' line-up barely registered a pulse on the excitement scale with its dreary take on the state of the superhero world. Now, a B-Team of lesser-known meta-humans try to take up the slack.
Fanboys and viewers with low expectations will prop up the box-office numbers - but even from a noisy, effects-driven summer blockbuster perspective, Suicide Squad - or The Expendables (2010) meets The Dirty Dozen (1967), only with a lot more make-up involved - is a major disappointment.
Written and directed by David Ayer, the film, featuring an ensemble cast, is part origins tale, part black ops mission, part psycho love story - and totally messed up. The presence of big names like Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis - along with the ubiquitous rock- and hip-hop-infused soundtrack, does little to relieve the tedium.
You know the drill by now: the government has a secret plan to recruit the worst of the worst - the most dangerous super-criminals in the world - in a last-ditch effort to save the world. This murderer's row, recruited by government hardnose Amanda Waller (Davis), will have their sentences reduced if they follow orders; if they try to escape or misbehave in other ways, an explosive device implanted in their necks will be detonated.
Deadshot (Smith) is an assassin who never misses, able to send a speeding bullet into the skull of a victim from great distances, and with some panache too. He was reined in by a certain black-caped crusader (Ben Affleck) and now spends his days in prison, beating the daylights out of a punching bag.
Harley Quinn (Robbie), a former prison psychiatrist who is crazy in love (crazy being the operative word) with her one-time patient The Joker (Jared Leto), wears hot pants, chews bubble gum and swings a baseball bat with wild abandon. Robbie is currently the blond actress of choice for roles that - one way or another - define female empowerment. Harley, who also gets to spout the best punchlines, is destined for bigger things: her own television series?
Other members of the squad may defer to Deadshot and Harley, but they each have a unique skill-set. Boomerang (Jai Courtney) is from Down Under and handy with, well, you know. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), DC's answer to Marvel's Human Torch, is a pyro-kinetic homeboy who lights it up in a big way when riled, while Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is a mutant with a bad complexion and a temper to match. Slipknot (Adam Beach) makes a brief appearance but hardly figures in the plot.
Just to ensure that minorities are well represented, Katana (Karen Fukuhara) is a ninja who wields a mean samurai sword. She serves as protector to Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), the army officer in charge of the squad. His main squeeze is June Moon (Cara Delevingne), a scientist whose body has been possessed by an ancient witch known as The Enchantress. As the primary villain of the piece, she is spectacularly underwhelming - thanks to kitschy special effects and the fact that her evil witch's outfit looks more like a Victoria's Secret number gone terribly wrong. Like that costume, this Suicide Squad is dead on arrival.