A Warner Bros. Film, Directed by David Ayer, as part of the DC Extended Universe

RELEASED: August 5th 2016

STARRING: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto

REVIEW: 'Where do we even go with this movie?' is a question asked both right here in this review and also, most probably, some months ago by the people who made the film.

Because watching it, it's pretty clear that there's been a lot of disagreements over what Suicide Squad should be, and as a result, a lot of differing opinions over what Suicide Squad is. Be prepared for a couple of harmless spoilers (the things said here are pretty predictable once you start watching the film - as is a lot of the actual plot) as we take a look at the third film in DC's Extended Universe.

Suicide Squad follows the exploits of Task Force X; a unit of supervillains created by government agent Amanda Waller (Davis) to protect the world in light of Superman's passing at the end of Batman v Superman; kept in control via bombs implanted in their necks in case any of them do anything naughty. However, before Waller's pet-project can kick-off, one of its members, the Enchantress (Delivingne), turns out to be too much to handle, and with the help of her demonic brother, begin wreaking havoc in Midway City. Now it's up to the likes of Rick Flagg (Kinnaman) to lead Deadshot (Smith), Harley Quinn (Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Courtney), El Diablo (Hernandez), Killer Croc (Agbaje), Slipknot (Weiss) and Katana (Fukuhara) to bring down the rogue gone... rogue. Also, the Joker (Leto) wants his girlfriend back.

Amanda Waller

The end result is a film from a 'creator driven' studio that feels like it has too much studio interference. The film seems rushed at times, with some poor editing; the same problems that befell its predecessor, Batman v Superman. In some cases however, in my opinion; the choppy style and alternative pacing works in its favour. This is a film about people who have already lost their former lives and are recruited to form a taskforce. Starting at the beginning of each of these characters stories when they're already in prison simply wouldn't work. So what we get instead is a beginning chunk of a movie wherein Waller exposits the backstories of the various criminals to fellow government-types. This allows for cameos from characters like Batman and the Flash, in small roles, but ones that seem necessary to build a properly cohesive universe wherein superheroes and supervillains have been trading blows for some time. It also allows for the filmmakers to insert some colourful character profiles for a bright and different sort of introduction than you'd usually get from these movies: it's silly, but it's fun; something DC's Extended Universe has been severely lacking in its movies so far.

El DiabloThat tendency to embrace the weirdness is something that plays in Suicide Squad's favour. Although the majority of the cast like Deadshot and Harley Quinn are pretty grounded in realism, other characters like the monstrous Killer Croc, the soul-taking Katana and the pyrokinetic El Diablo are introduced as if their zany gifts aren't that far-fetched in the DC Universe; and while some viewers may argue that these things seem like they've been simply ignored, it is in fact quite important to embrace some of the stranger things and act as if they're the norm if you're building a franchise wherein the prominent characters are superheroes.

Unfortunately, the joy of both those factors wears off as the movie continues, and the poor editing and craziness begin to become overwhelming, as both the characters and the audience are bombarded with intense amounts of computer-generated imagery that looks very out of place compared to the rest of the film.


This is never more obvious than in the scenes where the real villains of the story are present. The Enchantress and her brother, Incubus, once they go full-villain, are horrific eyesores; blots on what could have been a decent movie. It's as if the more powerful they become, the worse the film actually gets. The over-the-top special effects become unpleasant to watch, and the story begins to drag into obscurity.

Things happen that have no bearing on the film; such as a scene where Captain Boomerang abandons the squad, but reappears a few seconds later among them as if he never left, explanations be damned. Likewise, the films begins to switch from the cinema adage of 'show, don't tell' to 'just tell, because who needs to be shown anything?'

It's highly disappointing, and threatens to bring the film down to the levels of Batman v Superman bad.

Luckily, the film is saved by its cast of characters. As expected, Will Smith and Margot Robbie bring their A-Game. They're great actors. They play great characters. There's not that much that needs to be said about them; people know they're the real stars of the show from the moment the movie begins.

But the real stand-outs come from some of the other members of the cast. Hernandez gives us a heart-wrenching portrayal of obscure DC villain El Diablo. Croc and Katanna are also cool but don't do all that much.

Davis' Waller is ruthless and is, despite the fact that she's surrounded by supervillains, a real arsehole. Someone who you can believe the Squad would fear, even without them blatantly saying so (which they have a tendency to do). She's downright cruel.

Captain Boomerang and KatanaMy personal favourite was Captain Boomerang. I'll be honest, every film I've seen Jai Courtney in thus far has been garbage. But here, something just clicks. Boomerang is a shitbag, there's no doubt about it; but he's a loveable shitbag; he's funny, crass and all around entertaining. Like many of the cast here, you can see Jai Courtney is having fun with the role, and that's Suicide Squad's real victory.

Oh yeah, there's also Beach's Slipknot... For any info on him, remind yourself of the premise of this film, think about the fact that he's the only character that doesn't get a backstory, and you can probably figure out what happens to him pretty early on in the film. It's as if they didn't even care about keeping things secret when it came to him. And as a result, neither do I.

The Joker

And then, of course, there's Jared Leto. Like the film, Leto's Joker isn't as bad as everyone seems to be making out. He's a very different Joker to any we've seen before; more of a gangster mob boss than a psychopathic maniac. He's got his shit together. He just goes about it all in a rather... alternative way. And, strangely enough, he was a character I was rooting for in his quest to reunite with his love, Harley Quinn, even if their relationship is a bit dubious at times.

Is he perfect? Of course not. And neither is the film. But it's definitely watchable, and compared to Batman v Superman, a definite step in a right direction; even if there is still a long way to go before the DCEU gives us any cinematic masterpieces.


Also, I know this was Marvel's thing, but stick around after the end. There's a mid-credits credits scene because DC apparently do that now.

Published by Emrys Moungabio