Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Stars: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman
Genre: Action/Adventure Science-Fiction Superhero
After the lackluster performance of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans began to doubt that DC could pull a heroic legacy from their collective minds. It would seem that Zach Synder had sunk any leverage that other comic book stories might have. While it will take some of the strongest minds to keep DC on track, Suicide Squad is a joyful leap in the right direction.
Violence/Scary Images: This movie has the spirit of a R-rated film, but it has been scaled back for a PG-13 audience. Heads explode. People get stabbed and sliced. A lot of women get hit. Creatures explode from gunfire. Electrocutions, fires, and explosions fill the battle scenes. Very little blood splatter (if any), but the movie has a flair for Zach Snyder’s ultra violence.
Language/Crude Humor: B****, S***, and God’s name in vain get dropped several times. People get called puss**s, and someone gets called a d***.
Spiritual Content: Evil spirits and powers granted by the devil are prevalent throughout the movie. There’s a small glimmer of hope, where light beats darkness, but it is small.
Sexual Content: Harley Quinn has been in the news lately and for good reason. For most of the movie her body is exposed in her revealing costumes. Her bottom half is nothing more than a shiny bikini bottom. She’s the sex appeal of the movie. What breaks my heart is that so many girls want to imitate her style. She is a very popular female cosplay in many ComicCons. But she isn’t alone. Enchantress wears a bikini as her outfit as well.
Drug/Alcohol Reference: The Suicide Squad drinks at a bar.
Other Negative Content: As much as I enjoyed this movie, there are some very intense (almost overkill) on sexuality, violence, and spirituality. You won’t see gore, nudity, sex scenes, or satanic worship, but the movie has a strong love for being lewd. Also there are scenes where women are getting punched, and they are meant to be funny. Not cool.
Positive Elements: The Suicide Squad is written off as low life killers and bad guys. No one believes they should be given a second chance. They even believe that they are evil at heart. A great spiritual visual is dropped by Harley when she says, “We are pretty on the outside, but ugly on the inside.”
God could not agree more. To him, we are the vile villains that grew up with evil intentions. We deserve a jail cell for eternity. But the huge difference is that God would not rest with keeping us as villains. He took that life from us through Jesus. We should all believe that we are no better than the Suicide Squad when it comes to our moral record, but instead of a prison and a life of manipulation, we receive a second chance.
There’s so much in this movie, I don’t know where to start. First you have Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). She is a defense director who put the Suicide Squad together in case someone stronger than Superman were to ever come with vengeance. She pulls together Deadshot (Will Smith), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Enchantress (Cara Delevinge), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoyeagbaje), and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) to be the government’s dark task force. Led by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a military specialist and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) a master swordswoman, the team is dropped into Midway City where there is an apocalypse-level event. Meanwhile, the Joker (Jared Leto) wants to rekindle his relationship with Harley.
In many ways this movie is an apology to fans for Batman and Superman’s joyless adventure. From the first second to the very end of this long movie there is fun, wackiness, style, and charm. David Ayer wanted to prove to comic book fans that being a bad guy can be humorous and thrilling.
There are bomb loads of content in this movie. Whether it is the lengthy story between Joker and Harley, the side stories detailing everyone’s life, the main villain, the dialogue between characters, the huge amounts of character building, or Harley dropping ditzy/crazy lines. It doesn’t feel like an overload because most of the content focuses on the lives of the Suicide Squad and what they offer the team. Be warned, the movie is long, and it feels long. But there is a lot of fun to be had, a lot of good jokes dropped and the classic DC storytelling style is present. Scenes will drop tidbits of story at breakneck speeds and tiny bits of plot will fill in as the movie progresses. It is more like a collage than a direct story.
The movie tropes and action scenes are predictable. You won’t be stunned by twists and turns. Only one twist makes it into the movie, and it is treated as no big deal. Everything is simple storytelling about mischievous antiheroes who have their own reasons for saving the world (or destroying it). The fight scenes are your average BIFF, POW, WHAM, STAB, SHOOT with some cool choreography every now and then.
What I think gives the movie a lot of cred is that the evil villain that is threatening the world is not the main conflict of the movie. The main conflict is the team and how they view themselves compared to truth, justice, and the American way. They beg you to sympathize with them even though they come from lives of treachery and sin. Many people will ask, is the Joker worthy of the series? To be honest, the Joker is a bit obnoxious. He is true to the current comics, but Jared Leto makes him so intense that you can’t get much story out of him, just merely crazy montages where he does his freaky thing. He’s a great poster child for the spirit of Batman’s enemies. The Joker is not in this movie for that long, which is good because the focus is better spent on other characters.
You could tell that the writers and directors were petrified of being bland and boring. To remedy that they made almost every scene filled with iconic rock music, sweeping montages, and symbolic elements of each character.
What this movie comes down to is great fun and a wonderful pleasure for those who enjoy the DC storytelling method. The elements that make it charming will give you whiplash. Harley will make you chuckle with her quips. Will Smith plays an excellent antihero. All these make a recipe for a very fun movie. The sheer overwhelming content of this blockbuster ensures that there is a lot to chew on.
DC has a long way to go to win their brand of fans. If Suicide Squad is any tell of what is in store for the future, DC is winning the older audience with hip stylized directing, heroes with adult themes, and intense stories. It looks to be a fun ride.
Hats off to DC.
+ Lots of charm in every character + The DC storytelling method + Tons of content
- It feels long - Story elements are a bit predictable and simple
The Bottom Line
DC has a long way to go before they establish their superhero credibility on the big screen, but Suicide Squad's charming and whacky presence is a step in the right direction.