Posted in Film reviews

Suicide Squad (2016)

Now this was a film I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. Suicide Squad promised to be an action-packed blockbuster with a lot of comedy thrown into the mix… you know, basically the DC universe’s answer to Marvel’s Deadpool (2016). And the trailer really sold the film. But even whilst I devoured every trailer on YouTube, I didn’t really understand what the plot of the film was going to be. There seemed to be a focus on Harley Quinn and her crazy antics, destruction, and more Harley Quinn. It was both a good tactic and a bad one on Warner Brother’s part. Good because it meant I was thoroughly pumped to find out. Bad because… well, the film was kind of lack luster.

Now if you would like to keep the film a mystery, I suggest you find another review to read because I’m about to spill everything about this film.

From the get go, this film promised a lot. It promised the infamous Harley Quinn in all her glory (which we got), the Joker up to his usual psychotic tricks (which we partially got), a whole lot of tension between the ‘good’ guys and our anti-heroes (if we can really call them that), and a hell of a lot of action (yeah, not so much). Plus the usual hints of a big old baddie to fight, and our favorite caped crusader making an appearance.

All of this led me to believe that, you know, the ‘anti-heroes’ of the film would escape Waller’s control and go on a team rampage of whatever city this films set in (because they never make it clear which one this is all going down in). They would do what they do best; plot, murder, and steal until our local bat swoops in to stop them – and you know, build up more hype for the upcoming Justice League film.

Then the rumours started (and by that I mean a toy company released an Suicide Squad themed toy line) that the Joker would be taking the mantle from our Dark Knight, which was certainly an interesting idea to toy with. It made me think that maybe this film was actually set before Batman V Superman (2016),

But no. None of these thoughts actually occurred in the film.

So here’s a quick run down of how the film really went down:

We open up with Amanda Waller (played by the magnificent Viola Davies) vouching for the creation of the squad, allowing for a convenient place to insert a whole lot backstory for our mass-murdering troupe.

So we have:

  • Deadshot (played by Will Smith), a never-miss assassin who’s only blind-spot is his daughter, which is conveniently used by the Bat to arrest him.
  • Killer Croc (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a guy who… you know what, I don’t even remember how or if they explained his origins or how he was arrested, but he’s a bloke that’s part croc that likes to eat people. So yeah, there’s that.
  • Captain Boomerang (played by Jai Courtney), an Aussie diamond thief who’s captured by the resident speedster when he comes across the pond for new thieving grounds.
  • El Diablo (played by Jay Hernandez), a fire breathing mob boss who turns himself in after a heated argument with his wife, leading to a fiery death of both the unnamed woman and their children.
  • Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie), a one time therapist of Mr J turned psycho assistant. She’s brought in by the Knight himself when the Joker tries to evade capture by driving their car into a river, despite Harley crying out that she can’t swim.
  • Slipknot (played by Adam Beach)… yeah, I don’t really know his significance. He last 5 minutes on the team before having his head blown off for trying to escape.
  • Katana (played by Karen Fukuhara), a woman who, funnily enough, wields a magical Katana. She’s not a villain – well, it really depends on your outlook – but she’s only included in this team to protect Rick Flag.
  • Rick Flag (played by Joel Kinnaman) an army special forces officer pulled in to lead the squad on their daring missions, but mainly because Waller can manipulate him due to his relationship with June Moone. Which brings us to our final member:
  • Enchantress (played by Cara Delevingne) is an evil force possessing the body of archaeologist June Moone who had a serious case of in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now did you notice that during role call that only two of them were given a reason to want to behave? Deadshot with his daughter and Rick Flag with June? Yeah, that’s because to keep the most deadly bunch of thugs in line you only need to blackmail two of them.

Up until this point, the film has been mildly entertaining. You get to see Harley in action and Will Smith prove that he will always be a smooth talking motherfucker in every film he appears in. But from here on out the film changes. In order to keep up with every other action and superhero film on the market, stakes are introduced.

So whilst Waller in pitching the squad to a board of directors, it’s revealed she has Enchantress’ heart under lock and key and basically enslaving a big ball of evil. Obviously the one thing you don’t want to do when you have control is piss off the woman with unfathomable power, but this is Amanda Waller we’re talking about. Her life revolves around pissing people off. So obviously Enchantress has her own plans in motion. She steals a very similar bottle that her spirit was held in from Waller’s home and releases her brother, who remains completely nameless throughout the entirety of the film. ‘Brother’ then helps Enchantress shrug off the pull her heart has so Waller can’t kill her. They then start playing destruction with the unnamed city.

This is where our team fits in. They’re all suited and booted (by that I mean planted with a bomb in their neck and given their wardrobe from when they were arrested) and sent out into the battle zone where they face… I’m not entirely sure what. Zombies? Animated charred remains? Whatever, the point is they’re being attacked. Captain Boomerang and Slipknot attempt to escape where Boomerang does do much but talk and Slipknot actually tries to escape – and get his head blown off in the process (see, I told you he didn’t last long).

Clearly baffled about what’s going on, nobody tries to get to the bottom of it. Nobody tries to find out what their mission is and instead the bumble along fighting the dead things until they get to their destination. Harley Quinn decides to take the elevator rather than walk the stairs (how she knew which floor to go on I’ll never know) and has one of the best fight scenes in the entire film, showcasing how superb Harley really is.

Oh! I forgot, whilst all this is going on, the Joker has been hatching his own plan to get Harley out – only to find she’s on the Suicide Squad. So he beats the shit out of a prison officer who slips Harley a phone, whilst plans her escape by capturing the guy who designed the bomb.

Yeah.

So Harley receives a text telling her that her pudding is nearby and ready to carry her home. The Squad then discover that their super urgent, super important mission was to rescue Waller from her office – where she promptly kills everyone working with her. The squad aren’t even slightly fazed by this – a little pissed, yes. But not fazed.

They then go to the roof top to wave goodbye to Waller, except the Joker has swiped their helicopter and uses it to run off with Harley. Waller orders Deadshot to shoot Harley and he misses. Pissed off, Waller orders the copter to be shot out of the sky. Harley manages to escape (barely) but the Joker goes down with it.

Another copter is called for with Waller promising to send another once she’s out (ha, as if she would do that) before being promptly shot out of the sky.

They then go to the crashed site and find Harley, who promptly rejoins them like nothing has ever happened. Deadshot finally finds their case studies – a massive binder- and reads it all within seconds before confronting Flag about their real mission. He then tells them, kind of, about the situation, especially now that it looks like Waller is out of the picture.

Finally they set their sights on Enchantress. The whole sequence of events is so horrific, it’s almost comical.

Normally, big baddie is, you know, big and bad. Enchantress is not. Whilst her brother embodies everything that  you assume from ‘big baddie’, he’s defeated relatively quickly with El Diablo sacrificing himself for his new ‘family’ (hahaha, the guys only known them for 5 minutes. How believable). Enchantress, with her heart back in her body, becomes the main threat but… she doesn’t do anything other than control the reanimated dead and this big beam of light. It’s not explained what it is, or her plan further than the destruction of the human race. She talks briefly of turning the human ‘s machines against them, but nothing further than this is mentioned.

Harley then pretends to change sides (which is completely believable due to the fact she’s already abandoned the team once) before using Katana’s Katana to slice the witch’s heart out of her body (because logic). Then in a sequence of events that is more confusing than the entire plot of Inception(2010), something (a bomb?) is thrown at the big beam of light and Deadshot takes aim. In a moment of pure desperation, Enchantress sends him a vision of his beloved daughter begging him not to shoot. You know, instead of some of the creatures she created or anything at all useful to herself. Deadshot ignores his daughter and shoots the bomb.

Rick Flag, now in the possession of Enchantress’ heart (honestly, you try better to figure this shit out) decides to squash it, effectively killing the demonic freak and her host body. But that’s all fine because sweet little June gave Rick her permission to kill her if it meant being rid of Enchantress earlier in the film. So her does it and Enchantress is killed. The world is right again! Harley and Rick can bond over the fact their loved ones just died!

Except June promptly starts moving because they successfully managed to kill Enchantress without killing June – yay?

Anyway, Waller walks back in like nothing ever happened and tells the squad they’re all going back to jail because hahaha, were they really naive to believe they would be let out after everything?

Everyone starts negotiating better deals – Harley and espresso machine in her cell, Killer Croc a TV, Deadshot time to see his daughter, and all of it is granted. Well, except for Captain Boomerang who decides to ask for his freedom and is promptly rejected and put into solitary confinement.

Then, to keep in theme with the completely ridiculous ending, the Joker breaks into the prison and escapes with Harley. How did he survive? No one fucking knows, not even Jared Leto.

So, to sum up this masterpiece of pure and utter shit – they nailed the trailer’s in spectacular fashion but lost their footing on the final product. I can honestly say that this is one of the biggest disappointments I have ever experienced from a superhero film. They tried to rush something that could have easily been a huge success. The chopped off parts and fixed it together in a Frankenstein’s monster.

But at least the soundtrack is good.

 

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Author:

I'm currently working my way through a Creative and Professional Writing degree in London.

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