It’s fair to say that assembling a gang of super villains to use as a weapon in case of an emergency is a terrible idea, but that’s what introduces us to the Suicide Squad. Made up of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the Suicide Squad is a frightening mix of criminals, psychopaths, and people with supernatural powers. Blurring the line between good and evil we find ourselves sympathising with the villains and realising that not everything is black and white, even in Gotham. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the comics we get a brief glance into the back stories of Harley Quinn, El Diablo, and Deadshot, while the other characters act as filler for the rest of the team.
Joining the main team we have Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), the leader of the squad; Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the brains behind the whole operation; Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne), who has been possessed by The Enchantress; and Katana (Karen Fukuhana). There are also appearances by Batman (Ben Affleck) and The Joker (Jared Leto).
We have seen, in recent years, many superheroes team up to fight their collective enemies; including numerous Avengers and X-Men movies. However, generally, these movies often combine characters we are familiar with from their own movies, and I think that’s what Suicide Squad needed. It felt like there were too many unknown characters crammed into one story, and while the back story subplots were interesting, it left the main storyline lacking. This of course is coming from the perspective of someone who isn’t familiar with the comics and is meeting most of these characters for the first time.
There are some great characters, though; Harley Quinn and Deadshot made the movie watchable, in no small part due to the talents of Will Smith and Margot Robbie, who were brilliant as always. The Joker, who is always an exciting character to watch, was well-played by Jared Leto, although unfortunately he’s no Heath Ledger. The ending paved way for a new story revolving around The Joker and Harley Quinn, which should be great judging by the performances in Suicide Squad and the strength of the characters.
As we have come to expect from the recent bombardment of superhero films, regular villains just don’t cut it anymore. They must be bigger, better, and harder to beat. Infused with technology or other-worldly powers, they are unlike The Joker or Magneto but have become something that barely, if at all, resembles a human, as we saw in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It seems that audiences are no longer content to watch a battle of intelligence and pure strength, but want our heroes to beat larger-than-life machines and unnatural forces. Suicide Squad follows this trend with The Enchantress, who has overtaken the body of Dr. June Moone and enlisted her brother to join her in her fight against humanity.
There is a lot of action in this movie, so if you love fight scenes and destruction then you will enjoy this. However if you love the humour often found in our favourite superhero movies and the deep connection with the characters, then you may find it lacking.
Tip: Don’t forget to stay until the credits are over for an extra scene