FILM REVIEW: SUICIDE SQUAD (15)

This is one of my favourite movies to have been critically mauled – because it’s actually a lot better than the online backlash would have you believe.


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Fortunately some of the ‘meddling’ in question – primarily the addition of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Ezra Miller’s Flash among other quickly cut sequences – actually work on a ‘fanboy’ level, and are not as drastic as some are making out.

Yes, Jared Leto’s (Oscar winner for Dallas Buyers Club) Joker – who whets your appetite for more to come with an interesting take on the legend – seems to have suffered the most with some of his scenes being axed (maybe they were too dark for worried execs?), and Margot Robbie’s (The Legend of Tarzan) crazy henchwoman Harley Quinn – arguably the best thing in the movie – simply needed to be in it even more.

But if you brush these points aside, there’s a genuinely entertaining actioner to be had here, with Joel Kinnaman’s (Robocop) Suicide Squad field leader Rick Flag, Jai Courtney’s (Terminator: Genisys) anarchic Captain Boomerang and the always-reliable Will Smith as deadly marksman Deadshot, all playing their part in saving the film’s weak points.

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In the aftermath of Superman’s death, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (The Help’s Oscar nominee Viola Davis) assembles a team of dangerous individuals led by Colonel Flag – including Deadshot, Quinn, Boomerang, El Diablo (Hostel’s Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Lost’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Katana (newcomer Karen Fukuhara), Slipknot (Flags of our Fathers’ Adam Beach) and Enchantress (Paper Town’s Cara Delevingne) – to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government, each with a small bomb implanted in their neck designed to detonate should any member try to escape.

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But unfortunately original member Enchantress’ inner evil demon takes control of her body and before long the sorceress besieges Midway City with hordes of monsters, creates a weapon of mass destruction and summons her brother Incubus to assist her – which is all predictably generic and uninspiring stuff.

So enter the Suicide Squad – with Flag being Enchantress’ alter ego Dr June Moone’s love interest to complicate issues – to try and save the day within hours of being assembled.

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And as an intriguing side dish, The Joker is always lurking to try and rescue his girlfriend Quinn from the clutches of the Squad or prison to make himself ‘complete’ again and continue his potential future plans to rule Gotham.

But despite the predictable central protagonists, the shoddy editing, and sometimes wooden scripting, this entertains more than it falters – and the humour element is the best yet in this new DC Universe.

It’s fair to say after the superb start Marvel made, DC aren’t doing themselves any favours – but this is one time the naysayers are being a bit too harsh.

It’s well worth seeing for Quinn, Joker, Deadshot, Flag and Boomerang alone – so here’s hoping this squad isn’t dead on arrival.

Gavin Miller

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Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Scott Eastwood, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, Common, David Harbour, Ezra Miller & Ben Affleck

Running Time: 2 Hrs 3 Mins

Director: David Ayer

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