Film Reviews

SUICIDE SQUAD

By • Aug 2nd, 2016 •

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Delivers exactly what it promises and what you expect. The best popcorn movie of the summer.

I’m tired of heroes. I’m not interested in anything called “The Justice League.” What is the best thing about thrillers? The villain. You must have a terrific, dangerous, psychopath as a villain. So why not a movie featuring all villains? This is what SUICIDE SQUAD does. Everyone in this film – with the exception of an innocent, clueless archaeologist – is a villain.

But some of these killers have regrets. Do you think Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski (who claimed to have killed 200 people by contract) had sleepless nights? Deadpool wears a cross around his neck.

When another worldly demon wreaks havoc on Midway City, top villainess Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) – who happens to be a dangerous psychopath with a high-level government job – knows exactly how to handle the situation. There is only one way to fight a demonic force. Use the worst of the worst. Add a guy with supernatural powers. Her “team of villains” are already in a state-of-the-art (that means “privately-funded”) prison designed especially for them.

Batman (Ben Affleck) has corralled them by the power of his cape and deep voice. Batman arrested Deadshot (Will Smith), embarrassing him in front of his beloved daughter. Waller’s assembled mega-villains are Deadshot (Will Smith), a renowned sniper and hitman; fire-starter El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), who has become a pacifist; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a half-human, half-crocodile who lives under water; Boomerang (Jai Courtney), an Australian with specialized boomerangs and Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie), The Joker’s (Jared Leto) girlfriend and kill-mate.

These are not the only luminaries of the DC Universe. Briefly showing up for comic-book fans are Panda Man (James McGowan), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Slipknot (Adam Beach) and a few others from the enormous pantheon that goes all the way back to The Silver Age Suicide Squad (1959-1987). There have been 9 Squads. The 10th, DC Rebirth Suicide Squad (2016-present), is made up of leader Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Cheetah, Blackface, Parasite, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and Deathstroke.

Waller doesn’t trust these killers so she has given them lethal injections to be discharged if they disobey. Boots-on-the-ground commander is Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). The evil demon that Waller wants them to annihilate is the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an ancient goddess looking for her brother. No one knows or cares why The Enchantress is so hell-bent on destroying humans. Maybe she has a good reason?

Unfortunately, Flag’s girlfriend June Moone (Cara Delevingne), an archaeologist, is possessed by the Enchantress. Considering how dour Dr. Moone is, the Enchantress is a much better dresser and, arguably, a much better sex partner.

The Enchantress is making thousands of ordinary humans into her mechanical army, resituating her brother on Earth from the Netherworld, and building a powerful monster to destroy all humans.

Harley is so sexual, so confrontational in her stripper-on-sped performance that all the guys are intimidated by her. To a man, they stay clear of her. Harley could walk around naked killing people and the guys would praise her use of a baseball bat.

At the center of SUICIDE SQUAD is the Sid-and-Nancy romance of Harley and The Joker. Walking along the edge of a master-and-slave relationship, Harley and The Joker make a dynamic pair. There’s a sex scene missing. Let’s hope it is in the Director’s Cut Blu-ray. If only there was more of them in the movie.

The Joker must be this generation’s Hamlet (or Stanley Kowalski), with actors honoring those who previously played the character. Does Leto put his own “spin” on The Joker? Taking into account Leto’s beauty, his feline build and his love for makeup, his Joker is an obsessed lover who demands total idolatry and devotion. He’s Christian Grey for the DC Universe!

As Heath Ledger paid homage to Jack Nicholson, Leto must be sensitive to both Nicholson and Ledger’s interpretation of the role. Leto’s Joker is his own and if he keeps it dangerous and masculine and not fall into a Johnny Depp caricature of the role, his will be the uniquely sexual Joker. We haven’t seen that before!

The music is terrific and everything from the opening credits to the end credits is visually stunning and exhilarating.

As an introduction to the DC Universe, director David Ayers put the rumored $175 million budget up on the screen. Instead of handing over the DC Universe to Affleck – you know wants to create the DCU in his own image – Harley and The Joker have a chance for their very own stand-alone.

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at victoria.alexander.lv@gmail.com.

 

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One Response »

  1. I look forward to seeing this. I don’t mind choppy editing. I know most of these characters and I’m glad they redid the Joker closer to older versions I’ve seen. Perhaps it is over the top, but we get a chance to see things in film that we could never see in real life. It’s escapist fantasy and I’m still on board to see it. I like a good” based on a true story” now and then but I really like a good pop corn
    summer movies to.

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