Suicide Squad (2016)

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A band of DC’s top villains and some heroes take charge in this wild ride from the director of Training Day.

With the death of Superman in the Doomsday battle, U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has come up with a plan to ensure safety and who better than to assemble a task force made up of some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. The potential team members are all incarcerated at Belle Reve Prison but to ensure that they will do their job, they will have U.S. military officer Rick Flag in charge of the team. The team consists of elite assassin Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, ex-gangster El Diablo, master thief Captain Boomerang, assassin Slipknot, and the mutated Killer Croc. Flag’s ally, samurai warrior Katana, rounds out the team.

When Waller intends to bring in Flag’s girlfriend Dr. June Moone, who has the power of the ancient goddess known as Enchantress, to join them, Enchantress has taken over Moone’s body to full capacity and makes her intentions known. Teaming up with her brother Incubus, Enchantress decides to destroy mankind as retaliation for her imprisonment. The team must comply or risk getting killed by implanted nano bombs. However, there is someone who is also in the midst in an effort to get his girl back and it is none other than the maniacal Joker! Will this team be able to overcome their differences to save mankind and should they succeed, will they be able to change their fates forever?

It is clear that DC Comics has set up their own cinematic universe. However, unlike Marvel’s in which both the big and small screens connect, DC’s cinematic universe is sticking just to the big screen. Taking place after the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, this film revolves around the team of villains who are basically forced to join forces to do the unthinkable: save mankind. Some of the characters from this squad had appeared in TV form on the series Arrow yet again, that squad had different actors and characters than what we see here.

David Ayer, who is known for his work on more serious fare like Training Day and Fury, knows of the backlash of tone with BvS and injects some well-needed humor in this film. And the cast actually does well here. Will Smith gets redemption points after his work in recent fare like After Earth, to make a good Deadshot, who may be a hitman but has cares about his daughter and willfully gives himself up to Batman, played in an extended cameo by Ben Affleck, in his backstory. Margot Robbie, who co-starred with Smith in the hustle drama Focus, is the film’s true breakout as the newly reinvented Harley Quinn, who sports a more modern look when compared to her jester look, which is seen briefly in her backstory. Viola Davis brings out one of her best roles as the mastermind Amanda Waller, who is a no-nonsense agent who forms the team, knowing that if they fall, they can just die and no one would care.

Jared Leto does his best to play a modern day Joker, who is seen as a very notorious gangster with sheer insanity. However, while it will ultimately bring comparisons to the likes of Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger (who earned a posthumous Oscar for his role in 2008’s The Dark Knight), Ledger is truly the ultimate Joker, but give Leto credit for doing his best here. Joel Kinnaman, who replaced Tom Hardy in the role of Rick Flag, does quite well and earns redemption points from his role in RoboCop as does Jai Courtney, who may have just found the role he was truly meant to play after getting less than critical fare in Terminator: Salvation and A Good Day to Die Hard. Props also go to Cara Delevingne, who makes a good villainess in Enchantress and the debuting martial artist and actress Karen Fukuhara, who makes the most of her role as the sword-wielding Katana.

Suicide Squad is a fun and wild ride that is about one thing for some of the cast members: redemption, and they succeed. Leto may not be a Heath Ledger, but makes for an okay Joker here. However, it is clear who the film’s true breakout star is as Margot Robbie will return to the role of Harley Quinn in the in-development Gotham City Sirens.

WFG RATING: B

Warner Brothers presents a Ratpac Entertainment in association with DC Comics. Director: David Ayer. Producers: Charles Roven and Richard Suckle. Writer: David Ayer ; based on the characters created by John Ostrander and Lew Schwartz. Cinematography: Roman Vasyanov. Editing: John Gilroy.

Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, Kara Fukuhara, Adam Beach, Alain Chanoine, Ben Affleck.

 

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