For every Deadpool, there is a Howard the Duck; every Blade, a Fantastic Four. The superhero movie genre is notoriously hit-or-miss. This summer’s eagerly anticipated blockbuster is DC’s Suicide Squad, and there has already been a plethora of publicity surrounding the movie. What all this hype does, however, is mask a muddled film.
The plot centres on the question of “What if the next Superman is a terrorist?” The solution is to assemble the most dangerous villains on the planet and force them into cooperation by placing an explosive device around their necks. What starts off as an intriguing premise of harnessing evil to fight a greater evil quickly descends into a hodgepodge of confusing storytelling and a case of worrying how the next scene would be set-up.
A glaring problem is how the audience is introduced to our cast of treacherous anti-heroes through the briefest of backstories. Trying to shoehorn such an extended cast into 130 minutes of film leaves little opportunities for each character to shine. Jared Leto’s Joker isn’t actually in the film that much, which is surprising considering the amount of media attention that was drawn to him playing the part. His own take on the character is unique and offers a somewhat cyberpunk sensibility to the role; however, it lacks the charisma of Jack Nicholson’s portrayal in 1989’s Batman and is certainly not as menacing as Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight. Comic relief comes in the form of Harley Quinn and, although Margot Robbie does her best to bring some laughs, she is let down by some rather flat jokes.
Visually, the film is a delight; director David Ayer clearly has an eye for a good shot. The plot moves at a breakneck pace, and where the picture truly excels is in its action sequences. Much darker than Marvel’s Avengers, it embraces violence throughout.
Despite its flaws, Suicide Squad achieves what it sets out to do: it’s pure, popcorn-munching entertainment. It is enjoyable escapism to the max and has plenty of franchise potential. This certainly won’t be the last time we see this group of misfits hit the silver screen.
Suicide Squad is released nationwide on 5th August 2016.
Watch the trailer for Suicide Squad here: