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Suicide Squad movie review

Grade: B

Suicide Squad is a much better movie than I was led to believe. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d say that it’s more good than bad in this third DC Entertainment movie.

suicide_squad_lgWhile most superhero movies are about good-guys trying to do good things, Suicide Squad is about the bad guys forced to do good things. Here, assassin Deadshot (Will Smith), girlfriend of Joker and just as crazy as Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and others are all being held in prison indefinitely for their crimes. But they’re made an offer “they can’t refuse” by government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Go on a suicidal mission into a city possessed by the evil, mystical forces of the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and get big reductions on their sentences or refuse and they stay and rot in jail forever.

First, the good about Suicide Squad. The characters of the movie are actually quite well drawn, interesting and different then one and other. Deadshot is a guy who makes big mistakes but has a daughter who’s the light of his life. Harley Quinn seemingly is the stereotypical “crazy/beautiful” girl yet has such an attachment to the Joker that the one guy who can’t love anything actually loves her back. And even a squad member like Diablo (Jay Hernandez) who has the power to control fire but won’t since this ability has cost him his wife and children.

There are other characters who don’t get as much screen time as the likes of Deadshot or Quinn like Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) or Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) that all come off as complete people and not simple characters.

I also liked how the movie was structured. Essentially, Suicide Squad is Escape from New York the comic book movie, and I mean this in a good way. Here, the squad must make their way across an abandoned and partially destroyed Midway City in order to rescue one very important person trapped in a high-rise. All the squad members have microscopic explosives implanted in their necks that will go off if they start disobeying orders just like Escape from New York too. But Suicide Squad isn’t a copy of that movie, it’s more of an homage that uses Escape from New York as a starting point in creating its own story.

Suicide Squad posterI think it’s this structure that mostly separates Suicide Squad from other superhero movies of late. It does fall into the genera tropes that most superhero movies do these days — if they fail their mission the world as we know it will end and they have to fight the main baddie who’s the strongest of them all and seemingly undefeatable at the end of the movie too. But all of this is pretty standard stuff for a comic book movie and since the characters are so well drawn and when they’re interacting with each other is so good I don’t think this hurts Suicide Squad too much.

What hurts Suicide Squad the most are all the plot-holes.

Even for a superhero movie the holes in the story are gigantic. There are several parts of the movie that could have been skipped entirely if the characters didn’t walk everywhere but instead took helicopters, and it’s not like there’s a lack of helicopters since one always seems zooming in whenever they needed one. But this is just one hole of many that over the course of the movie added up to a story that by the end in many regards didn’t make much sense.

Still, even if the story wasn’t up to snuff the characters really were. And I think fact alone makes me interested in seeing what would happen in a Suicide Squad sequel — even if at the same time I’m hoping that movie will have less holes than this one.