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Suicide Squad (2016)

But the trailer looked so much fun...

Suicide Squad

A team of career criminals are assembled by the government to take down the threat of mysterious new villain: The Enchantress... You know. The Dirty Dozen, basically.

Sigh. Where to start? (Edit - this is a review of the cinematic release, not the extended cut)

Okay, I was suckered by the trailers. Hats off to the people in charge of marketing this movie. It promised fun. Humor. Action. A step away from the tonal problems of BvS. It lied. Blatantly. Look at the poster. Look at it. Doesn't that look like a fun film? Well it's not. It's so bitter in places, you'd think you were watching a Godfather movie. Tonally it's all over the place.

Right. Got that off my chest. Let me explain.

Firstly, the plot is pretty solid, but the screenplay is a mess. I have heard that this is a post-production hatchet job, so I don't know who to blame. The film is convoluted in places to the point of being unfathomable.

And one notable reason is the amount of film they tried to stuff into a two hour running time. Again, likely the hatchet job.

The squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot) all get a backstory of varying length. Split over the running time of the movie, I'd estimate that at between 20 and 30 minutes. The answer to the question of why they all appeared in this movie eludes me. It's clearly DC rushing to get their EU off the ground. Surely Quinn / Joker deserved more than a half-assed eight minute preview of years of backstory (although I wouldn't put it past DC to retread it time and again)? Deadshot Vs Batman was a shoe in for a movie if ever there was one.

Then they have to introduce the Governmental Dept. staff, led by Amanda Waller, Rick Flagg, and Katana, put the team together, introduce Enchantress, give her a backstory, her brother, mobilize the team, and then, fuck me, the film can start.

No wonder it's a mess.

And I haven't mentioned the side story of the Joker trying to rescue Harley throughout the whole movie, yet.

This, and the jarring tonal imbalances are major problems.

Some of this is PITCH BLACK dark.

The tonal imbalances come thick and fast. One major flaw is in the back story of El Diablo. Hernandez plays the character with extreme restraint. So much so, that sometimes his acting could perhaps be mistaken for mumbling. But that's an aside. Without delving too deeply into backstories myself, Diablo's is harsh. It involves the death of his whole family at his own hands. And I find it all so...unnecessary for what is at it's heart, a comic book movie.

But there is some good, too.

Firstly there are some standout performances. I mean, I have to apologize. Apparently Jai Courtney can act. It's just that up until now, he hasn't. He's excellent. Margo Robbie and Will Smith of course, taking center stage, and being very good too.

Amanda Waller is a strong character, played well by Viola Davis.

The action scenes are good, if a little too chopped up in editing, and the special effects stand out.

Jai Courtney / Captain Boomerang

The ending of the movie satisfies, barely, and heavily baits sequel. I don't know if we're going to get it. The more DC movies come out, the further they stray from longevity of story telling. It's too much too soon.

There was so much potential...

All in all, I fear this suffered the same as Batman V Superman. Being chopped up in post to make it a more sellable film has resulted in a mish-mash hotch-potch of a movie. I look forward to some redemption in the extended cut. But for now...

I know, I know... what did I think of Leto?

He was...okay. I'll say more when I've seen more.

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