Suicide Squad is a long anticipated film in the DC Universe and many people have got sucked into the excitement. The trailers have looked promising, the posters look quirky and outlandish. After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice there was a beacon of hope that Suicide Squad will be the saviour for DC Comics films. In addition to the hype, the cast has been overwhelmingly positive about the film and this feature started to show a glimmer of light where we can imagine a world where DC Comics sticks it to Marvel. We wanted more than a glimmer, we enthusiastically wanted fireworks.

I enjoyed Suicide Squad to an extent but overall it failed to match the expectations pledged. It has not saved the day and now I believe there is agitation amongst the fans and critics but before I delve into its problems let’s discuss what was actually good about it. Recently I have read reviews that have crucified without mentioning a constructive or upbeat point. The critics that have created an entire review without pointing out a single positive were out to destroy the film before even watching it. A troubling trend within the industry.

It was odd to how they structured the entire story and I think it is because director David Ayer was trying to impress on too many aspects

The film is absorbing and it brings the comic books to life. The story follows a secret government agency trying to recruit imprisoned super-villains to carry out dangerous black-ops missions in return for clemency. The tone is set from the start with its catchy music by introducing all the characters one by one in a curriculum vitae type manner. A significant chunk of the film is the agency trying to entice the super-villains to come on board. Quirky is probably the correct word to describe the tone of the film and the overall performance. All the villains are interesting in their own unusual way but there are three obvious standout performers; Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is naturally crazy and because of this, she gets the most laughs and her outlandish behaviour is fixating as a viewer. Deadshot (Will Smith) surprisingly held a stimulating role as an aggressive yet logical type of character that I was not expecting and then you have the new Joker (Jared Leto) whom as a character probably had the hardest role to impress but the new take on the comic book villain was refreshing even if he was obviously trying to be overly crazy at times. I didn’t like the Joker’s laugh which was added with special effects – why not just do a natural take on the laugh? Anyway, the formation of bringing the Suicide Squad together provided an intuitive start to the narrative as you earnestly feel that you are heading into to an exciting dark ride into the world of bad people doing less bad things for the sake of our society.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith) provided an exciting performance

This brings to surface to what failed this feature. The film and narrative structure are massively disjointed. For instance, you start off with a smashing introduction to the imprisoned super-villains but it never really merges with the storyline. It was odd to how they structured the entire story and I think it is because director David Ayer was trying to impress on too many aspects. You have the Suicide Squad, the secret government agency, the Witch, the Joker and then all the backstories and it becomes convoluted. You are essentially become a part of a comic project where every aspect is trying to make it to the main stage. I feel that is the best way of describing what is wrong with the narrative structure. The tone of the film completely dissuades you from feeling anything. Why? Because it remains static all the way through and the tone is set right from the start. The tone is a constant loudness. There is no slow build up between scenes; some sections of the film provide a moment of emotional outlet followed with no emotion on the next and then you have quiet scenes riding up against loud action-packed scenes.

All these good elements remind you that this film is not great and that you wanted more…

Due to this disjoint behaviour, the film places you in a undesirable position where you feel you are watching two different films. The main villain feels out of place – I do not feel (without getting too much into it because of spoilers) that the villain established itself within the core of the narrative. You become way too interested in the Suicide Squad, and then the Joker’s involvement and then the main villain and then the secret government agency and the reason you cannot jigsaw it all together in a reasonable and enjoyable way is because the film provides these narrative objectives terribly. The team dynamic of the Suicide Squad is not as free flowing as the Avengers (yes I said it). They do not appear to complement each other in a way you would expect. There is no “I’ll take his head with a baseball bat whilst you shoot him in the leg” moments.

The characters do not complement each other as much as you’d like.

Frustratingly Suicide Squad provides a great cast and you have to applaud Will Smith and Margot Robbie for carrying the team through the film with their witty lines and uncontrollable laughable behaviour. Harley Quinn is a strong leading female but the debate is still on in whether she represents feminism; it’s a very difficult character to assert an answer to this topic because she is complex as an individual. With all the hype surrounding the Joker, I’d have expected him to be in it more but unfortunately he just turns up whenever he wants and disappointingly he is a good character. The cinematography at times has to be admired – it manages to portray a city in disarray perfectly. The soundtracks to the film are also to be praised yet you have to question why some scenes did not match the score or emotion of the music. All these good elements remind you that this film is not great and that you wanted more which makes it more than frustrating however I must make the point that it is noway near as bad as the critics suggest and you should watch it and form your own opinion.

Conclusion: A film with high expectations that sadly falls short.

Director – David Ayer

Main Cast

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Jared Leto
as Joker
Will Smith
as Deadshot
Cara Delevingne
as Enchantress
Jai Courtney
as Captain Boomerang
Viola David
as Amanda Waller
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
as Killer Croc

3.1 stars out of 5 stars

By Dan Hart

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