Friday, 5 August 2016

Film Review: "Suicide Squad" (2016).

"Worst. Heroes. Ever."
Which is what the Suicide Squad is. This superhero film written and directed by David Ayer, based on the antihero team of the same name published by DC Comics. The film is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined and assembles a secretly convened group of the world's most dangerous, disparate, despicable and incarcerated individuals, with next to nothing to lose, at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

In February 2009, a Suicide Squad film was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. In September 2014, Ayer signed on to write and direct, Ayer described the film as a "comic-book version of The Dirty Dozen (1967)." By April 2015, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne and Karen Fukuhara were cast. Principal photography began in April and concluded in August 2015, locations included Toronto, Ontario, Canada with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois. To achieve the camaraderie that Ayer wanted for the squad, the cast spent time together on-and-off set. Even going so far as to every one of them getting the tattoo "SKWAD" in honor of the film. During shooting, Leto got so immersed in playing The Joker that he wouldn't break out of character. He even sent his fellow cast members "Joker-like" presents: a live rat to Margot Robbie and bullets to Will Smith, a soiled Playboy magazine to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and a dead hog, anal beads and used condoms for the whole crew. Scott Eastwood, commented that Leto frightened him at times with his behavior, and Smith mentioned that he actually never met the real Leto. It was suggested that because of the dark and tormenting nature of the film, an on-set therapist was hired to keep the cast grounded.

The film stars an ensemble cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne and Karen Fukuhara. The cast their best despite little to no characterisation to work off of. The ones to benefit the most were Smith, Robbie, Kinnaman and Davis. It was unfortunate however for Courtney, Hernandez, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Delevingne, Fukuhara and Leto. With Leto being the most unfortunate as he was criminally underused when he brought a stand-out performance.

Suicide Squad is far more underwhelming than its genius marketing campaign had suggested, with the film being on the same level as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice rather than surpassing it. However, what redeems the film, to some extent, is Ayer's gritty but fun vision. As he understands and has a passion for these characters to make a film where having super villains saving the world is unlike any other comic-book movie.

Simon says Suicide Squad receives:

Also, see my review for Fury and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.