Thursday, August 4, 2016


had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of this highly anticipated movie about a group of iconic DC Comics villains played by an impressive array of big name talent. They are touted as the most dangerous supervillains in the world and all are being held in a super-maximum prison. That is until one, high up the food chain government official named Amanda Waller gets the bright idea to assemble them into a team to fight against supervillains even more dangerous than this ‘Suicide Squad’ is.  The team, is of course kept in check by explosive devices that have been implanted in their necks and can be remotely detonated. The team leader is a tough as nails military guy named Rick Flagg.  

Walking into this movie, I knew nothing about the characters or their villainess ways and back stories; well except for the Joker of course. The first impression I got about Suicide Squad is that Warner Bros. Studio and writer/director David Ayers seemed to be expecting a lot of people like me to be among the audience. This was evident by the way a huge chunk of the movie was taken up with painstaking ‘fill in the blanks for that audience’ time wasting.  Personally, I think it was also done that way to cover up the fact that Suicide Squad had a very paper thin plotline in which the ‘badder’ bad guys were cardboard cut-outs.

I've always been impressed with Viola Davis’ work as an actress, but as her character of Amanda Waller, she seemed to be content to channel her TV character of ruthless defense attorney, Analise Keating. So much so in fact, that between the resemblances in characters, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was watching some sort of surreal episode of How to Get Away with Murder. I am familiar with Joel Kinnaman  through his work in The Killing. I felt he did a fairly decent job in this movie as Rick Flagg, who was given the daunting task of riding herd on the ‘Suicide Squad’ and stopping the big bad.  Part of which just happens to be the Enchantress; an ancient entity who has taken over the body of Flagg’s beloved, June Moone. Cara Delevingne who played the dual role was, in my opinion, very lackluster as June, yet much more convincing as Enchantress.

I find Jared Leto to be hit or miss in his portrayals of movie characters over his career; either I like his work or I don’t.  I did not like his work as the Joker.  I couldn’t decide if he was really trying to be a menacingly psychotic Joker or if he was just playing some demented version of David Bowie.  Either way, it fell flat for me. But then, I haven’t liked a Joker since Jack Nicholson left the role of the painted faced adversary to Batman (don’t get me started on the horrible casting of Ben Affleck in this role).

As for the actual ‘Suicide Squad’ itself, there are two powerhouse performers that keep this movie from dropping down into the dregs of flopdom; Will Smith as Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Dr. Harleen Quinzel aka Harley Quinn. Both actors have enough screen presence and power to bring their characters to life and carry the threadbare plotline along. Robbie is a joy to watch as the sassy, sexy Quinn who is, by turns, a vulnerable little girl and sly vixen.  Will Smith commands every scene he is in and he brings out the complex nature of his character creating a believability.

The other members of the Squad; Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, all had standout moments. Jay Hernandez in particular as El Diablo really stepped up to the plate in key scenes for his character.  Karen Fukuhara as Katana just seemed to be part of the scenery. Not a ‘Squad’ member, but Scott Eastwood as Lieutenant GQ Edwards managed to be a background player who didn’t fade into the scenery. Instead he showed real screen presence even in such a bit role as this.

Suicide Squad isn’t a terrible movie. It has enough going for it to keep you in your seat. If you are a fan of the DC Comics characters and can put up with a slow draw to the big bang at the end, then Suicide Squad will be a winner for you and well worth the price of the ticket.

Marla’s Score: 4/10

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