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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Movie Review - Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (2016)
Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Affleck, and Viola Davis
Directed by David Ayer
***This film is currently streaming on HBO Now/GO***

After the disaster that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there was an inevitable sense of dread as I began to watch Suicide Squad, the next film to unfold in the DC Universe.  Yet somehow, despite the horrid reviews (or perhaps because of them lowering expectations), I found this irreverent comedy-action piece a tiny bit better than the film that preceded it.

***SPOILERS from Batman v Superman below***

Notice that I just said "a tiny bit better" because in the end Suicide Squad is pretty bad as well.  However, at least writer-director David Ayer tries to inject a little bit of fun into the proceedings as it introduces a motley crew of imprisoned criminals brought together by government intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) in an attempt to help America fight big-time criminals following the death of Superman.  Unfortunately, bringing this whole group together in a single film gives little time to develop backstories beyond those of ace sniper Deadshot (Will Smith) and psycho criminal Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who happened to be the love interest of the criminal mastermind Joker (Jared Leto) prior to her incarceration.  There are other folks that make up the squad including an alligator guy, an Australian bloke, and some Asian girl, but they are so disturbingly pushed to the sidelines that their existence in the film ends up being laughable by the time the credits roll.  And let's not even discuss the villain -- an evil spiritual entity that enters the body of archeologist June Moore (Cara Delevingne) and then proceeds to create zombie-like creatures that run rampant.

Despite the music video-esque series of introductions we get to each member of the Suicide Squad (which became immediately ridiculous by the time Ayer introduces his second or third character), I was onboard during the film's opening act.  As Amanda Waller rounds up the criminals, something was working for me and then it all devolves into the horrible dark and dreary DC Universe aesthetic with an hour-long finale that isn't the least bit compelling.  Unlike many I've spoken to about this disappointing flick, I didn't dislike Jared Leto as the Joker (although I'm obviously not attached to these characters in any shape or form) or Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn (who at least injected some light humor into the darkness that surrounds her), and I actually think Will Smith plays a nicely grounded character in Deadshot.  Still, Suicide Squad isn't good and it continues the rather abysmal track record for DC.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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