Suicide Squad ★★★

For a film that took $745 million dollars at the box office, a financial success I would expect, this film has taken a fair amount of shit to go alongside those pretty impressive numbers. Box office takings it seems aren't everything, but we've always knew that, but the hype that surrounded this one made it almost impossible to live up to the expectations. That seems to be one of the problems with the DC extended Universe and the recent MCU films, the feverish expectations of the being the next big thing. One of these films is going to flop huge at some point, it's coming, and only a matter of time before either the viewing public or the critics turn their backs on what has been the real cash-cow of this century.
Suicide Squad suffers in much the same way as Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film did, it has too many characters to introduce and does it sloppily with under-written and poorly developed anti-heroes who enter into a plot that is unfortunately a fucking mess. I actually enjoyed the first hour or so, Will Smith wasn't as annoying as he usually is and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn took the plaudits as the most interesting and entertaining of the bunch. But this film would have had to have been three hours plus to give the characters enough room to fully invest in them, know their backstories, and find their place in the context of the DC Universe. Some of them work, some of them are throwaway characters who'll cut the odd throat or mutter the odd one-liner, but remain on the periphery of things compared to the bigger name characters. Robbie owns this film, it isn't just the outfit or the sarcasm she delivers with glee, she's simply a bit more comic-bookish than the rest. In truth I had trouble actually remembering all of the squad, that shows that it never put enough flesh on the characters to stick. Joel Kinnaman reminds me a little of Henry Cavill's Superman, a charisma vacuum who brings little to proceedings in a role almost anyone could have filled. This certainly feels like a missed opportunity, but I found there was enough here for me to not totally dismiss this as garbage, but I can certainly see where and why all the criticism came from.

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