Director David Ayer‘s 2016 film, Suicide Squad plays like a graphic novel brought to life. It’s a fun action romp with some great turns from a bunch of actors who are clearly having a blast. It’s far from perfect (although better than Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy) but it really hits the mark on delivering some fun comic book thrills, whilst helping to introduce some new characters to the big screen.
Viola Davis is Amanda Waller, a tough-as-nails government agent who selects a group of dangerous criminals for ‘Taskforce X’, a team designed to counter any ‘metahuman’ attacks now that Superman is dead. Waller, with the help of Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) brings together Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Slipknot (Adam Beach) and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). However, things go awry when Enchantress escapes and the team must infiltrate Midway City to try and save the world. On the periphery of these events is Jared Leto’s Joker, a crazed criminal eager to use the catastrophe as a way of helping Harley Quinn escape.
Will Smith and Margot Robbie are the stand-outs in the film. Smith brings a certain sparkle to his role that’s been missing in many of his performances of late, while Robbie’s loose-wire Harley Quinn adds comedy and sex appeal to the movie, showing that she really is a star on the rise. She shares some great screen-time with Jared Leto’s Joker and you could happily watch a whole movie with dastardly duo. The Joker isn’t an integral part of the story, but Leto gives the DCU a viable foil for Batman and it will be good to see how his role expands in the future. Speaking of Batman, Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight gets some nice screen time during the film’s opening.
Admittedly, Suicide Squad isn’t flawless. It gets off to a rocky start in bringing the group together (not everyone gets the introduction they deserve), there are a few repetitive pieces of plot exposition and Cara Delevingne’s villainess isn’t particularly great. However, it gets more right than it gets wrong and it brings to life some fascinating and fresh DC Comic characters.
Despite poor reviews, Suicide Squad grossed $325 million at the US box office and over $746.8 million globally in 2016. A sequel, The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn and starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman is out now.