Print

E-Mail Story

Comment

News Letter Sign up


Screen Cap: 'Suicide Squad' squanders its potential


August 09, 2016

1 Image

     Characters with a loose grasp on ethics and principles seem to be a trademark trend for David Ayer (Training Day, Fury), director and screenwriter of Suicide Squad, the third installment in the DC Extended Universe. On paper, letting an auteur director with Ayer’s reputation helm this project makes perfect sense. Suicide Squad, like other earlier entries in Ayer’s filmography, flirts with the idea of grey vs. black, the necessity of using bad to defeat evil, and the distinction between amoral and unmoral. Unfortunately, the summer blockbuster frequently jerks and jolts, poorly charting its protagonists’ journey from opportunist villains to reluctant heroes.
     When the brutally pragmatic government official, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), loses her grip on a leashed Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), a powerful witch who wastes no time in creating citywide havoc after freeing herself, Waller ensembles a gang of homicidal assassins, clinically insane psychopaths and dangerous metahumans to serve under spec ops solider Rick Flag (Joel Kinnerman). It’s a simple exchange: They help save the world, and in return, they’ll be rewarded with lighter prison sentences.
     Our ensemble of villain protagonists is made up of the murderous marksman Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the Joker’s (Jared Leto) devoted lover and partner in crime; sleazebag Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney); and the metahumans El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).
     These characters are all introduced individually in a 20-minute montage at the beginning of the movie; it’ll take an additional 20 minutes along with an extra montage or two before this array of crooks and convicts finally meet and enter the same scene. From that point forward, we’re clumsily and hastily introduced to two more members of the squad, Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot (Adam Beach), before they finally fly off in a helicopter to stop Enchantress and her army of deformed creatures.
     Smith brings a previously unseen and untapped menace to his role as Deadshot, expertly tip-toeing the line between villain and anti-hero. Robbie, a standout in the film by a large margin, also delivers a scene-stealing, mesmerizing performance as the deranged and unpredictable Harley Quinn. It’s just a shame Robbie is stuck with a slightly altered backstory that’s arguably more deplorable than the comics; she also can’t seem to escape the movie’s many male-gaze oriented shots.
     The 20-minute montage does a decent job at introducing its characters; unfortunately, excluding Waller, Flag, Deadshot and Harley Quinn, the rest of the movie’s runtime fails to provide any additional and substantial characterization for the remainder of its killer crew. Captain Boomerang, Croc, Katana and El Diablo continue to be one-note characters, making some of their later decisions unclear and borderline baffling. There are payoffs with little buildup, unearned emotional moments and a squad comradery at the end that seems insincere.
     Suicide Squad
is an editing catastrophe: Along with its poor pacing, flat jokes and misguided love of montages, it’s plagued by a flood of momentum-breaking flashbacks and cluttered with an unrelenting stream of musical cues (both contemporary pop/rap songs and classic rock tracks). The film’s action sequences are also largely hidden under dim darkness, pouring rain and ashy grime, making the choreography dull and incoherent. Few of the climatic fight scenes frantic firefights and villain-vs.-villain showdowns show a wide sense of scope or space, just a lot of disjointed zoom-ins and choppy close-ups on individual characters. 
     David Ayer’s comic book flick has the blueprint of a good film, but it’s heavily burdened with multiple missteps and fatal flaws. Suicide Squad’s dismal plot and chaotic pacing drags the film down, but the strong performances of its cast pulls and tugs it upward, leaving the film in constant conflict with itself.


Print

E-Mail Story

News Letter Sign up

Bookmark and Share
« Previous Story | Next Story »
 

COMMENTS

http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ encourages readers to interact with one another. We will not edit your comments, but we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate responses. To report offensive or inappropriate comments, contact our editor. The comments below are from readers of http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ and do not necessarily represent the views of Publication or Morris Multimedia.

You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]



You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]