Thursday, 1 September 2016

Film Review No. 12 Suicide Squad (15+)

Strong Points:
Strong acting from all - especially Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Jay Hernandez
Great introduction to the characters, for the most part
Vivid style
Great music choices and sound design
Nice CGI
El Diablo's story was good
Cameos and Easter Eggs of other storylines, past and future, in the DCEU
The text messages between Harley and The Joker

Weak Points:
Between the accents and them speaking quietly, words were lost
Some characters needed development
Very little build-up between introduction and all out war
Some camera angles and editing could've been better
Difficult to understand without prior comic book/film knowledge

Deadshot's dream

Some spoilers ahead:

In-depth Review:
Suicide Squad has a great premise, interesting characters, good action sequences, an uneasy atmosphere and humour to spare, however, it can't seem to transfer these to screen easily and the stitching isn't all there. This is Suicide Squad's greatest weakness - it has all the ingredients but someone seems to have burnt the recipe book so the numbers are all wrong and no-one knows how to mix it together.

Let's start with the characters and their intros, all done to great effect, with style in abundance. All were named and had their backstory laid out in neon flashes, as well as their eventual incarceration by the hands of either The Bat, some other member of The Justice League or themselves. These moments of relative calm were used effectively to tell the backstory of the many characters in the film so that it wasn't completely overwhelming although certain characters were definitely given more time for explanation than others (Deadshot and Harley Quinn compared to Captain Boomerang, and don't get me started on Slipknot). Overall, it meant that while you could certainly get by watching the film without knowing any of the characters, it certainly helped you appreciate them more, especially when the Easter Eggs started coming in.

Easter Eggs such as Batman's and The Flash's appearances were great and really helped tie in the film to the main universe as well as add a couple more laughs to the proceedings. Not that there weren't a few laughs here and there occurring naturally, just because of the absurdity of the situation. Another feeling which was apparent was discomfort, especially when The Joker was on screen.

The fast-paced nature of the film helped add to Jared Leto's take on The Joker, something he succeeds in doing really well, giving originality to the role and just making you feel really, really uncomfortable. We at GamesAppsAndReviews believe that this version of The Joker has gone from sane to insane back to sane and then been broken again and thus has no regard for anything, and, different to Heath Ledgers' Joker who had a plan, does things mostly by instinct. I'm looking forward to this Joker becoming more apparent in the Batfleck solo movies, but I'm not really sure how they're going to cope with a slower style - this Joker doesn't seem to be much for talking.

Someone who was up for talking but not fighting was El Diablo, a gang member turned 'regular guy' who wants to repent for what he has done and who is the focus of one of the many subplots. Slowly finding out just what he has done which was so horrible was really intriguing, as was finding out the extent of his powers. Jay Hernandez played the role really well and he was able to gain a great relationship with the character of Deadshot.

Deadshot, played by Will Smith, was the character bigged up so that the actor could sell tickets. Or at least, that's what it should've been. Instead, we had a well-developed backstory, with good acting and tangible relationships with the other characters, which grew out of necessity for each other, not just placed to make it work. Now, if only his dream sequence (what he most wanted) had been better...

Another actress who did really well was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Creating the insanity that comes with being The Joker's girlfriend with ease, Margot Robbie was one of the best actors on the set at any time, able to create uneasiness or humour whenever and even show a bit of the intelligence the psychiatrist Quinn had had beforehand. Texting The Joker during the action was also a great way of allowing the audience to take stock of the situation before getting thrown back into it all.

The accent, however, along with some of the other characters and the general sound quality, made it difficult to hear some words and as such, you had to sort of just go along with it and hope it got explained later.

Something else which could've used some work was the camera shots and direction, as they sometimes made for hectic and confusing scenes. For example, in the ruined city, Deadshot is on top of the car and showing off just how accurate and dangerous he is with guns. But all we really see is Will Smith on top of a car spraying bullets at people running forward. I get that it was more for us to see the reactions of the soldiers on Deadshot's team but a couple of 'tracking the bullet' shots with slow mo would've made for a great sequence. Another thing which could've used some rethinking was the transition between the first and second act - it just kind of happened and, very quickly at that as well. One minute, we were getting introduced to the 100 or so characters, the next minute everything's blowing up. And why was Waller in the danger zone?

Finally, the music choices were awesome and really fit the nature of the film. Getting introduced to Quinn with You Don't Own Me playing set the scene nicely as did hearing Bohemian Rhapsody (covered by Panic! at the Disco) at the end.

Conclusion: overall, the film had plenty of style, knew what it was, had great characters and acting but just wasn't able to put them all together correctly.

Rating: 68%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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