A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
Well well, hasn’t the internet got itself into a tizzy over this? The early reviews came in a couple of days ago and much to the consternation of comic book nerds everywhere, the results were, well, less than satisfactory on the whole. Today was the official release date, so yours truly decided, despite not bothering with DC’s Batman Vs Superman, that he would go and have a bit of an eyeball at Margot’s fishnet buttocks, the subject of fascination for much of the angry Rotten Tomato hating mob.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have bothered at all if Margot Robbie and her heart-stopping bottom hadn’t featured so prominently. With the exception of her and everyone’s blockbuster favourite Will Smith, there was little draw, personally.
Like everyone else, I had seen the trailers and thought “ooh, now that looks cool!” I had avoided the reviews (like everybody does, including this one) and decided to use my own yardstick when it came to meting out critical cinematic justice. In short, I don’t trust anyone else’s opinion as much as my own (and neither should you). And what I thought might be a credible challenger to Nolan for storytelling with style turned out to be, let’s be honest now, something else entirely.
The idea itself isn’t new. Gather a group of bad people together to do a job that nobody else could manage with the promise of great reward. The job is so difficult, it soon becomes apparent that there may well be no coming back from it, hence the Suicide monicker. If you’re not thinking about Kevin Spacey hobbling away from a police station right about now, then what are you thinking?
But these usual suspects are so far removed from Keyser Söze that this is really where the similarity has to end. We are firmly entrenched in comic-book fantasy here. Practically devoid of tangible drama throughout, Suicide Squad lives up to the promise of high-intensity action and sometimes (albeit rarely) even the script manages to raise itself above average. These moments are few and far between and the slick trailers that assured us that this would be as classy as it was sassy proved to be found lacking. Sassy, yes. Classy? Not so much.
Ayer’s direction is not as elegant or sophisticated as anything Nolan has achieved in his career that has since gone Interstellar since his Dark Knight trilogy, and if you had to pick a Joker between Jared Leto here, and Heath Ledger’s altogether darker version, then there really is no contest. Maybe this is due to a lack of screentime for Leto, giving way to character arcs for Squad members that were superfluous from beginning to end and didn’t really warrant inclusion.
Robbie was the best thing about this effort, of which there can be little doubt and despite not coming within sniffing distance of Ledger’s performance, Leto still makes for a very watchable Joker. In truth, the rest of the cast are entirely interchangeable and the film suffers from its character’s demands to be fleshed out and rounded, which was pointless really, as when the trouble was taken to deliver a backstory, the audience could be forgiven for not being overly concerned about those characters that had the least to contribute, past or present.
In all, don’t believe the hype or the trailer. Expectations for this were abnormally high, so you could suggest that the only thing you could reasonably expect was varying degrees of disappointment. Like last weeks’ Star Trek outing, this is definitely worth the time you will take to see it, but don’t get your hopes up or imagine this will ever be the classic that you want it to be, because even with all that it does have going for it, it is what is missing that is the most noteworthy.