Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad ★★★★★

It's an amazing feeling when the movie you imagined in your head comes alive on the big screen. All year long I have been hoping that Suicide Squad would live up to the trailers, and for me personally, it truly did. It is my favourite film of the year without question. But please go see it and form your own opinion, as I can definitely see why there's a schism between fans and reviewers (more on that later). There will be no spoilers in this one.

A team of metahumans with special abilities are recruited right out of prison to do the government's dirty work - government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) groups them together as Task Force X, or the "Suicide Squad", a group of bad guys who can do some good. But if they disobey or try to run, they've got explosive data chips implanted in their necks that she'll trigger to blow. When a mysterious evil entity rises, the squad will have to band together to stop it.

It is quite easy to see why fans would love this movie and critics might hate it. This is exactly what I wanted - almost a pure popcorn ride. This is one of the most "comic booky" comic book movies I've ever seen, an action movie with humor, ass-kicking and pace that jumps straight into the fun and action and almost never lets up. If that's what you wanted out of the movie, I doubt you'll be disappointed. If you want a movie that is less colorful and a little more serious and methodically paced, this is not for you. It definitely isn't going to win any Academy Awards, but I think it will win the hearts of comic book and action movie lovers for sure. That is not to say that it doesn't have serious moments though - there is a tragic character element to these guys and gals. They're the bad guys, and when they actually have a chance to do some good, you get a sense of the humanity in them, underneath all the chaos and madness. For me personally it walked that tightrope perfectly - overall it's a fun, extremely fast paced action ride, but injected with a lot of humor and some real heart as well. It is precisely what I want a comic book movie to be like, and for me this is unquestionably DC's first full fledged home run. It never stops, it never lets up, it never ever apologizes for what it is, and even though it has a lot of humor (almost every scene has some kind of joke), it works really well.

This does a similar thing to what The Avengers achieves (introduces you to a group of dysfunctional (anti)heroes who have their own wild personalities, and then pits them together to go fight something evil in the big city), but it kicks off straight away. No foreplay, no nonsense - here's the idea, here are the characters, here's the villain, let's go. A lot of viewers might find it jarring, but I absolutely loved it. The movie doesn't spend three hours on plot, it just kicks into high gear right away, and it is quite literally as colorful as a comic book. There are a lot of stylistic choices that may rub people the wrong way too, but again, I just thought it embraced the fun, the energy of a crazed comic book/music video come to life. The film has a lot of montages, fast and crazy flashbacks, graphics on screen, and a lot of music. Tons of classic rock and hip hop, and it vibes wonderfully with the tone of the movie - a wild, fun, unhinged popcorn movie comic book extravaganza.

The characters are also fantastic, and their chemistry and overall vibe was just spot on in this movie. Without them it never would have worked. We have Floyd Lawton, a.k.a Deadshot (Will Smith), the cocky gun-for-hire, lethal with any type of firearm, but he also shoots off his big mouth a lot. He clashes with the man who is trying to lead the squad, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a military man who tries to shackle together a team of the wildest, most lethal and most unpredictable bunch you will ever meet. You've of course got Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) the playful, wicked fun schizophrenic who is wildly in love with the crazy gangster pimp The Joker (Jared Leto). Mr. J has his fair share of scenes but he is not a regular member of the Squad itself. There is also Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a crocodile monster of a man, who can bite or tear you apart. June Moon/Enchantress (Cara Delevigne), an ancient witch with mystical powers, including teleportation and possession. Katana (Karen Fukuhara), a master at martial arts with her soul-stealing sword. Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a wild and silly Australian with custom made boomerangs for every purpose. El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a reformed Latino gangster who has been possessed with the spirit of fire, and can torch just about anyone at will. Finally you've got Slipknot (Adam Beach), a man who can rope his way through or into any facility with ease. If it sounds as though there are too many characters here, they all have their own part to play and when they do, I found it almost perfectly balanced. Perhaps not surprisingly, Deadshot has a major role in the film, as he is played by superstar Will Smith. So if you're expecting The Joker and Suicide Squad, you may want to aim for Deadshot and Suicide Squad, which is closer to the truth, but that's not a bad thing. This is without question the best role Will Smith has had for decades, he is a cocky, self-assured killer who knows exactly who he is, what he wants, and doesn't apologize for it. But he also has limits, and his own desires, and will do just about anything to fulfill them.

I loved that the film only strives to be great entertainment, and achieves it - our misfit heroes have to band together unwillingly and fight something powerful and evil, but then it sneaks pathos and character moments into the story when you least expect it. You suddenly stop in your tracks and realize that even these people have their own lives, dreams and desires, even if the movie is focused on being a funny, wild and action packed rollercoaster which simply does not let up. Yet again I really must stress that the style is frenetic, colorful and bounces all over the place, so if you prefer quiet drama films you may be taken out of it, but I think the average action film and comic book film lover will have a goddamn great time. I don't care what the critics think, every person should make up their own mind anyway. I fail to see how this film could possibly deliver a better version of this story and this team, complete with a lot of in-nods to savvy comic book and DC fans. There are also a few surprises relating to the DC Extended Universe at large, including a mid-credits scene that you shouldn't miss.

Suicide Squad is completely unapologetic, and I am delighted about it. It charges forward and only ever aims to be a fun, action packed, colorful comic book blockbuster, and it succeeds at that in fucking spades (and jokers). It was precisely what I had hoped I'd get when I saw the trailers - an irreverant, silly, wild, chaotic crazy team movie, like The Avengers on fucking steroids. Don't miss it on the big screen, my audience was laughing and having a great time, and for once, all my hopes and expectations came through in bright bold, neon colors and a barrage of classic rock craziness. I can't wait to go see it again! Bravo DC!

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