Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Suicide Squad: Action, Humor, and a Little Plot

Is Suicide Squad the great movie so many hoped for? The simple answer is no. Is Suicide Squad as horrible as many "professional critics" think it is? The simple answer is also no. Look, folks, Squad is a comic book movie and not necessarily from the top of the card for DC. I've read a few Suicide Squad comics, and there has even been a form of the group on the CW's Arrow. I've also read  Harley Quinn and remember her creation for the original animated Batman series in the 90's. What do these comics have to do with the latest movie version? It's simple. These comics are driven, at least the ones I've read, by the randomness and craziness of the characters. The same is true of the movie Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad has very little plot to get in the way of the action.  To expect much more than this is not really within the realm of the comics.  You must remember that most of these villains, with the exception of the Joker, don't have that big of a story arc. They have always been minor villains. Deadshot is the oldest of the characters. He made his first appearance in 1950. The rest of the group didn't really start appearing until the 80's and 90's, with El Diablo in his current form being the youngest created in 2008.   

Suicide Squad has the same dark overtones of the DC Universe, so no surprise.  Will Smith (Deadshot) has his usual quick one-liners. Margot Robbie plays much the same Harley that we recall from the animated Batman, and the rest of the cast meets expectations. In other words, the movie is heavy on the action, predictable, and filled with fairly two-dimensional characters. It is a fun movie that you can let wash over you. It's not complex or deep nor does it have bizarre scenes that need explanations. 

The story is simple.  We get some quick back stories of who these villains are. We learn that Harley is crazy; Deadshot is kind of a gray area bad guy; Killer Croc is just mean; El Diablo is a gang member who would become better; Kitana has a sword that drinks souls; Boomerang is all about himself; Flag is a super soldier; and the baddies are ancient aliens. Jared Leto, who plays the Joker, delivers a tonally good Joker if a bit over-the-top. My biggest issue with Leto's Joker is the look. 

Following the backstory, the Suicide Squad is sent out to stop the baddies, the Enchantress and her brother.  The Joker is trying to free Harley Quinn, and we learn that the person, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who would use the bad guys as throw-away heroes, is as bad as the Suicide Squad. 

Suicide Squad is a fun enough movie, held my attention, and I didn't feel like I'd wasted my money. The action sequences and the special effects are entertaining. It was, more or less, what I expected having read the comics. No, it's not one of the great films. It's a comic book movie, plain and simple. I will probably buy the Blu-Ray.