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Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)


Minor spoilers should be expected.

Suicide Squad is the third movie in the DC Extended Universe, based on the DC comic series of the same name. The movie is written and directed by David Ayer, while produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The movie takes place after 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', which took place after 'Man of Steel', chronologically being the third installment in the cinematic universe of DC.

The movie features an assemble cast of Will Smith as 'Deadshot', Jared Leto as 'Joker', Margot Robbie as 'Harley Quinn', Joel Kinnaman as 'Rick Flag', Viola Davis as 'Amanda Waller', Jai Courtney as 'Captain Boomerang', Jay Hernandez as 'El Diablo', Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as 'Killer Croc', Cara Delevingne as 'June Moone/Enchantress', Karen Fukuhara as 'Katana', and Adam Beach as 'Slipknot' in the main roles, while Ben Affleck and Ezra Miller reprise their roles as Batman and Flash for short cameos, respectively.

The movie does not specifically adapt any of the existing Suicide Squad comics, but take characters from it in a new story. The basic premise of the story is that after the death of Superman at the end of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', Amanda Waller decides to assemble a task force of world's most criminally dangerous metahumans so they can protect themselves from threats. This includes the world's most accurate hitman, Deadshot(Floyd Lawton), an insane criminal that once used to be a psychiatrist and is also the girlfriend of the Joker, Harleen Quinzel(Harley Quinn), skilled thief who uses utilizes boomerangs as an accurate weapon, Digger Harkness(Captain Boomerang), a cannibal that has a skin condition that turns him reptilian Waylon Jones(Killer Croc), A retired gang member that can summon flames, Chato Santana(El Diablo) and a criminal who can 'climb anything', Christopher Weiss(Slipknot). Accompanying them are Rick Flag, who is to lead them to the mission and to make sure they do not stray away from it, and Katana, who is to guard Rick Flag and make sure none of the criminals kill him.

Threat ensues when one of the intended members for the squad, archaeologist June Moone who accidentally unleashed an ancient evil force called 'Enchantress' in the past and was possessed by it, can no longer control the entity inside her and it establishes itself as an antagonist, eventually planning a full scale destruction of the world. The rest of the squad is then assembled and forced to defeat the threat. The Joker also makes brief visits in the movie, in flash backs and in the present time, focusing on freeing Harley Quinn.

The story is as simple as it sounds, and there's no complexity to it, nor any twists in the plot that may provide it depth. The movie does a decent job in managing some of the characters, with the primary focus being on Deadshot and Harley Quinn, with El Diablo having the most development after those two(although one can argue he had more development than Deadshot), but the other characters are mostly 'just there', such as Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and Katana. The acting, however, was on-point for all the characters and the portrayals were decent as well. El Diablo stole the show for many with surprising back-plot that appears on the second half of the movie rather than how the others had an introduction at the start(except for Slipknot, he isn't established at all). The character was well developed, most sympathetic out of the rest of the squad and had a decent back-story, with Margot pulling off a very good portrayal of Harley Quinn as well as Will Smith being a good Deadshot(with no surprise given his record of being a good actor). That leaves us Captain Boomerang, who is, although a fun character, does not have much focus, and Killer Croc is just there to be occasionally funny and sometimes munch someone's neck. Then we have Rick Flag(decent but generic character), Katana(who also has no development), and random soldiers which includes Scott Eastwood as a side character with very small screen-time which kind of makes you wonder why he was cast to begin with.

I'd talk more about the story but honestly it's very plain, so doing that would spoil it and I really don't want to go there. 

Now, of course, the big question. How well did Jared Leto pull The Joker off? Well. For starting off it is of course very necessary to state that this is not an adaption of any existing Joker, and is rather a new modern-gangster-ish take to the character. Jared Leto is a good actor, which is without any doubt, and he did a decent job with the character given to him. But was the character in itself any good? That is a tough question. And it's tougher to answer given the fact most of his role, including footage scene in behind-the-scene reveals as well as some trailers, was cut out, leaving us with only a few minutes of his presence which makes it very hard to judge the character. It's certainly not the Joker that we know, and that does not mean it's a bad one. However, I also can't say it's a good one given that I've always been a fan of the comic portrayal of the Joker, as well as the animated ones which are voiced by the legendary Mark Hamill. So unless we see him as an actual regular character it's hard to truly judge, but from what I was able to see of him I have to say I'm disappointed.

Why? Is it a bad character? Not necessarily. But the problem lies in the overhyping of the character as well as showing footage that wasn't even in the movie later. WB once again pulls shit on their advertising aspect and overhypes something that wasn't remotely as good or important in the movie, so it definitely disappointed me that not only did we not get to a see an accurate Joker adaption even after DC is making those movies themselves, but we didn't get to see the new Joker much anyways.

He's not very Joker-like in the screen-time he had, but he's not too different/inaccurate either because we did not see him do anything that the original Joker would do so we could compare, nor did he find himself in any situation in the movie where we could've expected Joker to act in a signature manner.

So I'm hoping they make up for it in his next appearance, and STOP overhyping things that wont pull it off.

Moving on from the main cast, the movie features a short cameo from Ben Affleck's Batman as well as his Bruce Wayne, and also Ezra Miller's Flash cameo that lasts a few seconds.

While the plot is very simple and cliche as I mentioned earlier, it is well constructed as a movie. The movie does a decent job with taking a simple plot and making use of the characters, and while the movie is not a masterpiece, it is certainly a fun ride that keeps you entertained and the characters do not fall flat, nor does the story feel bad. Perhaps one of the reasons the plot is so simple was to avoid risks that BvS took(and failed in) with having a complex plot the general audience didn't understand. And it did work, as the general audience had a better time watching the movie as compared to what happened with BvS.

The soundtrack of the movie is pretty good, ranging from a very large numbers of artists contributing to it and featuring songs of different genres, one for everyone. Originals such as 'Sucker for Pain' and 'Heathens' are great, as well as existing songs featured had a decent selection as well, such as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Seven Nation Army' to name examples. The songs you hear in the trailers show up in the movie, even if for a few seconds, however, 'Sucker for Pain' cut out the verse by the singer 'Logic' when it plays in the character for some reason.

Final Verdict:

Suicide Squad is a 7 out of 10

While Suicide Squad does not really live up to the hype, it does a decent job in pulling off something that hasn't been done before and it's an absolutely fun experience that I would call good.

It's an entertaining movie that does not get boring at any point, neither does it lose it's pace.

A simple story, but a well crafted movie. Recommended for comic fans, however, if you're looking for pin-point adaptions, this is not for you. And for those who only want to watch top-notch movies in the theater, you should wait for the disc release on this one.

Muhammad Junaid

Muhammad Junaid is the writer of Entertainment Ghost. He writes articles, reviews, previews and entertainment news about gaming, technology, the media and so on. You can follow him on Twitter @Mr_MJunaid and Facebook MJunaid

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Published On Entertainment Ghost At Sunday, August 14, 2016