Suicide Squad (DVD)
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Review of "Suicide Squad (DVD)"
All of my DVD reviews are film only, so do not include pricing information. If you have time, please read and rate my Batman V Superman review.
FILM ONLY REVIEWUS intelligence officer Amanda Waller is given the unenviable task of bringing together a group of the most dangerous super villains, arming them with the most powerful weapons at the government’s disposal and sending them off on a mission to defeat a seemingly unstoppable entity. But when the team of despicable individuals discover that they weren’t picked to succeed, are they more likely to die trying or decide it’s every man for himself?
“Fury” director David Ayer’s name might be above the title of this weird entry into the superhero subgenre, but executive producer Zack Snyder’s grubby fingerprints are all over it. Like all of the other DC movies, this one is so visually dark that it’s often hard to see the characters and so frantically edited that you can barely tell, let alone understand what’s going on. The murky lighting and palette of muddy blues and greys is a far cry from the eye-poppingly colourful film the marketing materials promised. I suspect the ceaselessly choppy camerawork and the rapid editing is meant to give the narrative forward momentum and give the film a manic personality that matches its protagonists. But instead it swiftly becomes irritating and left me on the verge of headache for most of the running-time. In conjunction with the shoddy computer-generated effects and the heavy-handed symbolism (Look! The Joker laying on the floor surrounded by precisely arranged weapons while he laughs - he must be dangerous AND crazy!), it makes the whole production look and feel slapdash. Matters aren’t helped by clumsy flashbacks about the Joker’s relationship with Harley Quinn.The storytelling is weak. The band of misfits brought together to fight for a common cause, which changes how they see the world, before they take on a batch of formidable enemies is about as generic a superhero plot as you’re ever likely to see. The problem is that the filmmakers seem to think they are making something more daring and subversive. But Ayer adheres so determinedly to the genre formula that it can’t help but disappoint. A lack of surprises means a lack of tension and once it became apparent to me (about twenty minutes in) that the film was simply going to play out as a superhero greatest hits montage, I was bored rigid. There is no sense of threat at any point, which might be because the film doesn’t have the courage of its convictions. It might be good to be bad, but when you’re only being bad in the service of good, it’s less fun. The main baddie is utterly toothless because she spends most of her time wearing very little and bogling like she’s listening to an Aswad album only she can hear. Her CGI minions don’t even look like they exist in the same world as the live-action characters. It doesn’t help that there are serious issues with pacing. For every frenetic, over-edited fight scene or laboured, poorly-written quip there is a lot of tedious exposition – at one point during the big finish, one character turns to another to explain a plot point we’ve been watching unfold for the past twenty minutes. There are also a lot of jarring shifts in tone, further hampered by poor timing.
The director has a great cast at his disposal (with a couple of notable exceptions), but he fails to capitalise on them. Where Marvel spend time giving their characters comprehensive backstories, their DC counterparts give us Top Trumps introductions to the players and leave it at that. Even when they delve into the characters’ backgrounds, they only come up with more clichés. As with every over-populated franchise movie there are also players who get left by the wayside. The characters all have their motivations, but there’s no redemptive arc for any of them and no real reason to care about anybody. There isn’t even any palpable chemistry between the leads. They are just meat puppets at the mercy of a terrible script. Unsurprisingly, the hundred-and-twenty-three-minute running-time felt endless to me.Ayer’s screenplay clearly wants to be “The Dirty Dozen” with supervillains but fails because it lacks both a believable redemptive arc for the bad guys and a strong team dynamic. The only concession to team bonding comes when one of the characters decides against killing Rick Flag, but it’s hardly the same as laying down your life for a friend. The central mission bears an uncanny resemblance to John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York”, in which the hero gets dropped in a war zone and has to rescue a VIP from a high tower, or risk having his head blown off by the bomb implanted in his neck. Sure, there might be more gyrating witches and (terrible toys from the 80s) Rock Lords henchmen in this version, but it’s pretty similar. When the group inevitably comes together to take down the biggest, baddest villain, they seem to do so only so the film can end. I really struggled with the subplot about Harley Quinn and The Joker because it romanticises a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. It isn’t enough that she is willing to give up everything for him, she has to prove it by endangering her own life and then undergoing torture at the hands of the man who professes to love her. Even outside the context of this relationship, there’s an awful lot of violence towards women.
The characterisation is incredibly weak. Considering that the film is based on a squad of supervillains, it seems weird that the most time is spent on Harley Quinn and Deadshot, who have no superhuman abilities. Harley Quinn’s superpower seems to be wearing really small spangly hot-pants and talking in glowing terms about a man who has abused her. Meanwhile Deadshot is a hitman we are supposed to feel for because he loves his little girl. It’s as close to character development as we get. The Joker is reimagined as a blinged-up, heavily tattooed gangster, but isn’t integral to the plot. Rick Flag is a two-dimensional all-American hero, who is meant to keep the ragtag bunch of misfits in check. But for someone with such a rigid moral code, he’s surprisingly willing to kill his charges. Amanda Waller is meant to be the mastermind behind the team, but mainly trots out exposition when required. Killer Croc is a guy with an unfortunate dermatological condition, who is forced to live in a sewer. He occasionally punches people. Katana is an under-written goodie who wields a sword that contains the soul of her murdered husband and is mainly there to make up the numbers. Pyrokinetic Diablo hangs around in the background before a belated attempt to give him substance. Captain Boomerang is just an annoying Aussie bloke stereotype. Rope-swinging thief Slipknot barely gets a look-in. Meanwhile Enchantress possesses the body of Flag’s insipid girlfriend and seeks to bring about the apocalypse by resurrecting her brother and writhing around a swirling vortex of rubbish (which seems like an appropriate analogy for the film as a whole)… The dialogue is hackneyed and nowhere near as funny or as smart as the writer seems to believe it is.I loved Joel Kinnaman in “The Killing”, but he gives a one-note, po-faced performance as nominal leader Rick Flag. Once more, Margot Robbie is the best thing in a bad film as Harley Quinn. She’s got real star quality and shows a decent range, in spite of the dreadful script. I hated Jared Leto as The Joker. He might have gone all method actory for the role, but his performance is definitely hammy style over substance, making him completely menace-free. Will Smith is miscast as Deadshot. He seems too nice to convince as a bad guy. But at least he is trying to give the character some depth. I’m no fan of Jai Courtney and found him particularly irritating as Captain Boomerang. I felt sorry for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who has clearly endured hours in the make-up chair for the role of Killer Croc, only to be given nothing to do. Jay Hernandez mainly mopes around in the background under layers of fake tattoos, as if hoping someone will ask about his obvious tragic backstory, as Diablo. The same is true of Karen Fukuhara as the masked Katana. Viola Davis struggles womanfully to bring a bit of gravitas to the role of Amanda Waller, but her subtler attempts at acting are drowned out by the noise of her hammier cast mates. Cara Delevingne is stupendously awful in the dual role of June Moone/Enchantress. As the former, she’s utterly wooden and shares zero chemistry with her on-screen love interest. As the latter, she is possibly the least threatening movie baddie I’ve ever seen.
The original music by Steven Price features lots of heavy, strutting strings, burring brass and soaring choral arrangements that speak to the film this wants to be and not the one it actually is. It also struggles to be hears amongst the other incredibly obvious soundtrack choices, that includes “Sympathy for the Devil”, The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun”, “You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore, “Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”, Rick James’ “Super Freak”, “Purple Lamborghini” by Skrillex (in a scene that actually features said car), AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Cheap”, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Although it hangs together pretty well as a body of work and it was my favourite aspect of the production, the choices are too on-the-nose.I absolutely despised “Suicide Squad”. I thought the direction was slapdash, I found the writing incoherent and the film could not be saved by a couple of decent performances. But for me, the film’s biggest problem wasn’t that it was formulaic or that it was badly written, but that it was boring. It’s amazing that the filmmakers could take such a solid premise and so many intriguing characters and make them so dull. I have come to the conclusion that DC and Warner Brothers should only be allowed to make their superhero properties into trailers. They are really good at that. But when it comes to extending them into something more complex or coherent, they really seem to struggle. By the end of the movie, I felt like I’d had two hours of my life stolen, so I wouldn’t recommend it, even to the hardiest of DC super-fans.
Warner Home Video Suicide Squad (Includes Ultraviolet Copy)
It feels good to be badâ¦ Assemble a team of the worldâs most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the g...
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Product Information : Suicide Squad (DVD)
Manufacturer's product description
Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Smith, Will
Director(s): David Ayer
DVD Region: DVD
Classification: 15 years and over
Production Year: 2016
Video Category: Feature Film
Listed on Ciao since: 21/07/2017