It’s tough to follow a masterpiece, but it can be tougher to follow a failure. While the new Ultimate Edition has made some headway into redeeming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, all eyes are on Suicide Squad to save the DC Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of those involved, Suicide Squad falls into the same hole of messy plotting and the thin characterisation that Dawn of Justice was lost to back in March.
That isn’t to say there’s nothing to love in Suicide Squad. It sounds like the cast have really bonded over a reputedly grueling shoot, and this translates nicely onto screen as the #skwad come together and let it rip. Margot Robbie and Will Smith make a fantastic pair, although both come dangerously close to being upstaged as Jai Courtney fills a role he was born to play: sleazy Aussie Captain Boomerang. Similarly, Viola Davis is on fine form as the commanding and cunning Amanda Waller, whose steely gaze is almost worth the price of admission.
Alas, Jared Leto fails to impress as the Joker in his limited and over-hyped screentime – the less said about this bizarre interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime, the better. Similarly, most of the Squad are thinly sketched-out, and often overshadowed by needless sexualisation and lazy stereotyping. The sexual politics of Suicide Squad are particularly concerning and off-putting, and hinder the best efforts of cracking actors like Robbie and Davis.
Suicide Squad takes a while to settle as it stumbles through piles of exposition, and the clunky script distracts from David Ayer’s laudable attempt to take DC films in a new direction. Ultimately, a weak villain and flimsy stakes hinder the best efforts of a talented cast, who sadly can’t save the film from itself.
CAST: Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevigne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Jared Leto
DIRECTOR: David Ayer
WRITER: David Ayer
SYNOPSIS: A secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, named A.R.G.U.S., creates a task force comprising supervillains, the “Suicide Squad”. They are assigned to execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences.