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8/8/16

SUICIDE SQUAD - REVIEW


Batman V Superman may not have been the runaway success DC was hoping for but, bad reviews aside, it's looking like Suicide Squad might just be their best bet yet with fans praising the film left and right, defending it defiantly.

The promise of a dysfunctional team of villains working for the good guys in a colourful, violent adventure like no other with a brand new Joker and a live-action Harley Quinn thrown in certainly sounded promising and more fun than Zack Snyder's recent output. The good news is that Suicide Squad is like the anti-Man Of Steel: fast, wacky, cartoonish, playful, it constantly aims to entertain and, very often, it does just that. More good news is the cast mostly works with Margot Robbie clearly having a great time with her portrayal of cosplayer favourite Harley Quinn, Will Smith getting all the best lines and Jai Courtney almost stealing the show in a career-best turn as Captain Boomerang. You can also expect some nifty cameos from certain superheroes you might have heard of.

As for Jared Leto, his Joker is given so little screen-time it's hard to pin him down. It's unclear what the actor was going for exactly but he's doing something new with a familiar character and that's commendable.

The main thing missing from the trailers was the plot as the focus was placed firmly on the team itself and not much else so my main worry was that there would barely be a story linking everything together. And that's, sadly, where the problems start. You can tell there was a great movie in there somewhere but Suicide Squad is buried in so much nonsense it eventually becomes a challenge to pinpoint the good stuff. The main story feels like a bunch of rushed video game cut scenes, sort of like an Arcade shooter but with more slow-motion. The irony is that the film quickly skips through some genuinely interesting plot points to make space for this impressively dull and dumb tale. Everyone's fascinating backstories are either rushed through a montage or simply mentioned once so when you finally see what their adventure is all about it's almost insulting.

The villain is so ridiculous you'll think you've stumbled onto a Mortal Kombat Annihilation screening by mistake. Add to that a lot of shockingly bad CGI, dodgy editing and an overall plot that reeks of last minute changes and ultimately makes no sense and you've got a good idea of what you're in for. The film suffers from a lot of inconsistencies from gaping plot-holes to corny groan-inducing jokes or one-liners and a tone that switches back and forth from serious to over-the-top far too often. The final showdown with the main baddie feels pretty lazy and you end up wishing that this talented cast, these cool characters had been given more interesting things to do this entire time. The soundtrack and score, I should point out, are obnoxious to the point where they constantly interrupt otherwise enjoyable scenes.

Some genuinely fun moments, a refreshingly upbeat tone and a reliable cast just about make this one worth checking out. That said, this remains a mostly lackluster effort that perhaps tries a little too hard to please and only succeeds in short bursts. In the end, we needed to understand why this Suicide Squad is necessary but the film instead clumsily confirms our fears: it's not.

Passably entertaining supervillain romp.

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