"Suicide Squad" (2016)- Movie Review

Written and Directed by David Ayer
Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto

‘A Huge Let Down’

Have you ever been let down by a film that you’ve been wanting to see for so long? If you’re a movie-goer, chances are that you’ve probably encountered this situation often. When a big, anticipated film is about to be released, hype builds around it. Exciting trailers and eye-catching posters pump you up, making you eager to see the film right away.

Then, comes the feeling of disappointment when you finally watch the film. After anxiously waiting for this moment for so long, you have to face the fact that the wait was not worth it.

In a nutshell, this sums up the case with the long awaited superhero film “Suicide Squad”. David Ayer’s venture into the world of super-villains is one of the most disappointing films of the year. A messy, over-the-top comic book film, “Suicide Squad” has plenty of style but no substance. It suffers from problems that have become all too common in superhero movies, including a lame villain, one-dimensional characters and a story that is all over the place. Despite the efforts of a talented cast of actors, “Suicide Squad” never lives up to it’s promising premise and feels like a missed opportunity.

It’s a shame because at a first glance the premise of the film seemed to be promising. Unlike most superhero movies which focus on the heroes, “Suicide Squad” follows the adventures of a group of super-villains. Recruited by a secret government agency, these dangerous criminals are forced to work together to save the world from a mysterious threat.

Although “Suicide Squad” wants you to root for these bad guys to save the world, the problem is that you barely get to know any of them. Yes, they all have their own superpowers and get funny one-liners. However, most of the characters are not given enough screen-time to leave a lasting impression. Aside from Deadshot and Harley Quinn, who are each given detailed backstories, the rest of the squad is short-changed. We never learn why they became bad or how they ended up in prison. As a result, it is hard to care about what happens to these bad guys when their lives are at stake.

The story that brings these super-villains together is so messy that one wonders how it got approved in the first place. Perhaps, the best way to describe “Suicide Squad” is that it’s like a jigsaw puzzle in which none of the pieces connect. It’s a collage of exciting but random scenes strung together without connecting tissue. The film keeps switching back and forth between three different storylines: the mission of the suicide squad, the twisted relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn and a monster that will destroy the world. While these are certainly exciting stories, the film makes almost no attempt to connect them together. The result is a disorienting viewing experience that feels like you’re watching three films rolled into one.

Despite it’s flaws, however, “Suicide Squad” is not a total disaster and worth watching for the performances given by a talented cast. It always helps when you have Will Smith and Margot Robbie, two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, in your film. While these actors aren’t given much to do, they bring a radiant spark and energy that saves the film from falling apart.

Will Smith brings his usual charm and charisma to the role of Deadshot, a hit-man who kills for a living. Funny, likeable and confident, you can’t help but root for Smith as he carries the film with a larger-than-life presence.

Margot Robbie is perfectly cast as the seductive and psychotic Harley Quinn. With wild energy, witty dialogue and perfect comedic timing, Robbie captures the craziness of the character down to a tee. It is a star-making performance that is one of the rare highlights of the film.

As for the performance we’ve all been waiting with bated breath to see, Jared Leto is electrifying as the Joker. Although he isn’t given much screen-time, Leto delivers a version of the Joker that is creepy, menacing and unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Despite the actors that have played this role in the past, Leto does it justice.

Given that it is a superhero film, one would expect that “Suicide Squad” would at least have a memorable villain. Unfortunately, however, this is where the film falls flat. It seems like the writers ran out of ideas and went with the most cliched villain possible. Neither threatening nor scary, it is one of the worst villains I’ve seen in a superhero movie in recent memory.

So far, I may have given you the impression that “Suicide Squad” is not worth watching but it does have a few redeeming qualities. Although it can be overbearing at times, the film’s soundtrack keeps you entertained even when a lot of what is going on doesn’t make any sense. There is also a memorable opening scene that promises a far more exciting film than the one we get.

In the end, “Suicide Squad” is a fun but forgettable summer blockbuster that will not please everyone. Comic-book fans will adore the film, but it’s going to take more to convince casual movie-goers that their time and money was well-spent.

2.5/5 stars

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