After the poorly reviewed 'Batman VS Superman', all eyes turned to 'Suicide Squad'- the DC Universe's next offering. With the popularity of its first trailer and results of audience testing, the film progressed in a more lighthearted, humoured tone (requiring numerous reshoots), despite the initial vision being that of a much darker tone. In this way, with its all star cast, snappy humour and even the soundtrack, the film is sort of DC's version of Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy', lacking its own originality..
Under the control of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), head of a secret government agency, a group of Super villains are recruited in order to stop any future 'Supermans' who may be hostile to the Human race. Things descend into chaos when one recruit, June Moore (Cara Delevigne) who is possessed by an ancient witch, Enchantress, escapes control and plots to eradicate mankind.
The film's choppy editing and erratic cuts are immediately noticeable from the beginning, and whilst some scenes just required an additional one or two seconds for a smoother transition, others felt brashly inserted, trying to use up as much of the shot footage as possible.
Visually, I had assumed 'Suicide Squad' to take on a more vibrant and colourful palette, much like their promotional material, using neons and acidic tones. Whilst this was done to some effect in certain transitional scenes, the character introductions and the credits, the majority of the movie was the same darkness of BvS.
Admittedly, I was still jetlagged when I saw this and was struggling to stay awake, so may have missed certain elements and not fully enjoyed the movie purely on my state of consciousness. However, the parts that did keep me awake and even made me sit up and focus all featured Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).
What this movie failed to do was to develop its characters into ones the audience loves to root for, apart from Harley Quinn, who has won hearts of audiences from her first appearance in the trailer. Unfortunately, all the other characters are dispensable and we don't care for. Even Viola Davis' Amanda Waller (very much Annaleise from Murder) is a strong character with committed values.
In this way, the assembled 'team' of characters lacked a chemistry- it was the Will Smith and Margot Robbie show, with the rest (Killer Croc, El Diablo and Captain Boomerang) purely adding to the character count. One character that caused a splash in the media was Jared Leto's 'Joker'.
Surprisingly, this character was more of a cameo in this film, though every scene he was featured in was artistically crafted and beautifully presented, physically perhaps scarier than Heath Ledger's portrayal, but persona is yet to be fully recognised.
As the movie reaches its climax and the team face off against an empowered Enchantress, the film turns slightly sci-fi and the resolution is text book, with an open end that basically says 'sequel if box office does well'- and the Joker will be back and most likely the antagonist, with Harley Quinn struggling to choose between the squad of her lover.
Will Smith- Deadshot
Margot Robbie- Harley Quinn
Jared Leto- The Joker
Viola Davis- Amanda Waller
Cara Delevigne- Enchantress
Also stars Jai Courtney, Ezra Miller, Joel Kinnaman, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, Ben Affleck
'Suicide Squad' had the potential to be another original and fun superhero flick joining the likes of 'Guardians' and 'Deadpool' as an alternate and quirky approach. Unfortunately, the confused tone and lack of commitment to either led to creative obstacle and numerous reshoots, the result of which a choppy patchwork of styles and editing.
Despite its strong cast, the lack of character development meant that you didn't care for the 'team' or many of its characters. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn carried the movie, and delivered most of the comedic punches, whilst Jared Leto's Joker is an artistic tease for the likely sequel.
What DC seems to do best above good film making is its development of female characters (Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman). Perhaps they should also fast track a Harley Quinn solo movie?