Suicide Squad kicks no goals


Margot Robbie.
Margot Robbie.

POOR DC Comics.

Trying to emerge from Marvel’s expanding shadow is proving to be a difficult task.

While Marvel’s world building certainly has been hit and miss throughout the years (Thor and Hulk being the least successful), it has cornered the market on live action comic book adaptations.

It is almost as if DC did not have a chance.

And yet it did, with ownership of the original adaptation hit Superman, the recent Dark Knight trilogy still floating in audience’s minds and the fresh approach to Suicide Squad.

But something went very wrong somewhere.

With Superman out of the picture after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the question is raised who will protect the world from evil forces.

A secret government agency, run by the joyless Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), gathers a group of imprisoned psychotic and dangerous criminals (some with special powers), including assassin Deadshot (Will Smith), ditzy Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and fireball Diablo (Jay Hernandez), to do the job.

If they complete their mission to stop an out-of-control witch Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), their jail sentence will be reduced; if they try to escape, they will be killed.

The idea of making a crime fighting team out of a group of selfish, violent and dangerous villains to fight for good is the radical concept this superhero/comic book adaptation genre needs – something from out of left field to shake things up.

But after an extended role call introducing all these characters and setting up the story, there is little reason to become emotionally involved.

It all seems so rushed, as if perhaps each character may have required their own origin film before we got to this point.

One scene in a bar with dramatic potential is awkwardly wedged in beyond the midway point, making it too little too late.

Hype surrounding Jared Leto’s version of the Joker seems like a joke already, with the actor allowed minimal movement to create a character with barely 15 minutes of screen time.

These probably are not the squad goals DC Comics was aiming for.

THE ESSENTIALS

Suicide Squad (M)

Directed by: David Ayer

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now