Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad ★★★★½

This film is the best DC ensemble movie to date, much better than the morose “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. The cast of criminal misfits is varied and each boasts a specialized skill/power. But what strikes the audience most is the soundtrack. Many Queen tracks are blended into specific scenes to evoke a special feel and give emotional punch.

Even though the film was sufficiently entertaining in spite of a so-so storyline, I felt the characters were a little subdued. I was surprised by Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. Based on the comic and video game depiction of the character, I expected the screen Harley Quinn to be psychotically wild and crazy. But strangely, her character didn’t feel that way. This Harley Quinn was rather tame and she even evoked pathos in flashback scenes which showed how the Joker transformed her.

Meanwhile, Deadshot was strictly professional. I was afraid Will Smith would pepper his character with lots of motor-mouth wisecracks. But thankfully no. He simply got on with his job with minimal drama. Killer Croc was rather well-behaved. He didn’t bite off people’s heads when released from his bonds to join the team. El Diablo was so invisibly inconspicuous and didn’t show off his powers until halfway into the movie and during the climax. Captain Boomerang was more impressive in his intro flashback than being put into action. He faded into the background as the film wore on.

So the acting performance award goes to Cara Delevingne. During the film’s preview and pre-release interviews, I thought she was just one of several Suicide Squad members. To my (and the audience’s as well) surprise, her Enchantress character turned out to be the lynchpin of the whole movie. It was amazing to watch her morph between two different characters – good, innocent Dr June Moore and evil, insidious Enchantress. For someone who isn’t a full-time career actresses, kudos and two thumbs up to Delevingne for portraying her distinctly opposite roles superbly.

But generally, I enjoyed the intro flashbacks of each member of the Suicide Squad, as narrated by Olivia Davis, most. Those sequences were more awesome and funnier than when the Suicide Squad actually jumped into action, slaying mutant monsters.

My only gripe with this film is the fate of Olivia Davis’ character at the end. In Deadshot’s words, “how she didn’t die” was beyond disbelief. How did she survive a helicopter crash when everyone else on board died? Why didn’t Enchantress kill her, or at least transform her into a mutant monster, defies all logic. I just can’t accept she watched the climatic battle from a safe distance and emerge at the end to take charge as the boss again. Bad scripting by the producers.

I say this because by the end of the movie, the audience accept that the Suicide Squad had earned its redemption. For all their reputation as baddie villains, they didn’t abscond to freedom when their keeper freed them. Instead, they stayed behind and risked their lives to save the world. Their reward is to a return to maximum security incarceration, albeit with comfortable perks. But what sucks most is they remain under the control of Olivia Davis’s shady character. For me, she is the real villain because she tried to manipulate people/powers she couldn’t handle and got burned. She got away because the Suicide Squad bailed her out.

In conclusion, this film represents a real proper start for DC to do an ensemble superhero movie. It still has a long way to catch up to the standards of Marvel’s Avengers juggernaut, but the potential looks good for future sequels. Highly recommended and definitely worth your viewing time.