It can be hard to avoid spoilers before a show, especially one that’s been as widely anticipated as this one, but I try. I like to give the most honest review I can, after all, so I try not to be influenced beforehand. Still, I couldn’t entirely avoid it, there was some disappointment about Suicide Squad. On my way in, on the next ticket line over, I actually heard the box counter girl advise a young man to ‘just take it for what is was, don’t have any expectations’. It was good advice. I did exactly that and I was just fine.
Apparently Suicide Squad as a comic (actually a couple) before it was a movie. Makes sense but I didn’t actually connect that until they started talking about Batman and Superman. Ah the Marvel Universe – it all makes sense now. With comic adaptations comes weird nonsensical plotlines, amazing special effects and an unpleasable fanbase. Check, check and check. Still, for a summer popcorn flick, it wasn’t that bad. It had a good soundtrack. And it’s obvious how this movie (and presumably the comics) came about. These
villains anti-heros are more interesting than the original heroes they were invented to combat.
I loved the casting/acting. The clear star of the film was Margot Robbie who completely walked away with every scene she was in. I liked Harley Quinn’s chemistry with, well, pretty much everyone. But her romance with the Joker was especially fun to watch. Though I confess it was weird being attracted to the Joker, never had that before. Voila Davis as the cold-blooded project leader was also particularly good. Will Smith was great too and I REALLY liked Jay Hernandez (he had lots of tattoos and didn’t wear a shirt. Plus fire).
The actors had a lot to work with – the character design was top notch and the main characters all had explicitly stated desires and goals. Sure the dialogue was a little uneven in places, but pretty much we knew what we should expect from each character in each situation (well okay, in most places, anyway). We got to see events and the character’s reaction to events. The pacing was also a little weird but Suicide Squad knew enough to take a break and slow things down every now instead of having one long action scene like some movies I could mention.
Not all aspects of the writing were good. There were a few “_______ doesn’t work that way” moments, which was distracting. The main plot was a little contrived and advanced only when the characters were ready to get on with it. The villains, while beautifully done didn’t really have that complex a motivation or desires and were basically there to be a backdrop to the anti-heros. The rules were never explained, which is important in a superhero movie. The Suicide Squad didn’t have a plan, per se, they just had to go in and improvise. Fortunately they improvised very well indeed. There was more than one crowning moment of awesome.
So was Suicide Squad worth watching? Yes. It was visually wonderful if nothing else. Not quite ‘Gods of Egypt’ beautiful but still gorgeous. Actually I would recommend this more to the non-fans than the fans. People who went in knowing what they should expect seemed a bit let down. But I had fun. It didn’t feel like 2 hours and that’s a good thing. I will probably see this one again for fun (and it really was fun) and I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel.