By Kat Riddler, Editor-in-Chief
“Suicide Squad” received withering reviews from many critics, but fans of the DC Comics-based adaptation did not let that get in the way of rushing to see the new film. Warner Brothers’ “Suicide Squad” has already surpassed the $500,000 mark worldwide in its first two week, crushing Paramount and MGM’s expensive remake of the movie classic “Ben-Hur.”
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a low 29% review and critics not much better with a 1.5 starts out of five, but reviews are not stopping people from going to see the movie.
So how did a storyline about a band of super villains, most guilty of heinous crimes and psychotic tendencies, end up besting at the box office one of the classic tales of First Century revenge and redemption? They seem to have pulled it off with their own 21st Century tale of revenge, redemption, and second chances.
Anti-heroes have always had a wide appeal for audiences, but DC definitely pushes the envelope with “Suicide Squad.” Yet seemingly the worse someone else is and yet is able to find their way back, perhaps the better we feel about our own choices.
It is hard trying to describe the visual impact of this film. Techno, punk rock, neon, and grunge all come to mind, especially at the end credits. Music like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Heathens” play well in the movie without being too much of a distraction.
The biggest takeaway from this movie is the cast. The casting of the characters was spot on and they play off each other well. It is hard to put together an ensemble of this many characters and not feel that your own favorite is slighted, but somehow Warner Brothers pulled that off pretty well.
Will Smith plays Floyd Lawton, known as Deadshot, to perfection. He is an assassin for hire who never misses a shot, but also a father trying to do right by his young daughter. It would have been easy for Smith to have dominated this film, but he dials it back just enough to make his character believable.
Margot Robbie plays former psychiatrist Harley Quinzel and becomes the beautiful but psychotic and deadly Harley Quinn. She had one of the harder roles to live up to with fan expectations but she did so masterfully.
Jared Leto filled the big shoes left by Heath Ledger as the Joker. He does a believable job of portraying an evil psychopath. The filmmakers wanted to put their own stamp on the character, but I found the costuming makeup a bit flat for such a flamboyant personality. There were also parts with the Joker that felt pushed into the movie. His character was more of a subplot that seemed to be intruding on the main plot and sometimes was disorienting.
Joel Kinnaman has his moments as Colonel Rick Flag, the hard as nails Army Special Forces operative tapped to lead the Suicide Squad. His best moments are in his interactions with his deeply flawed team of misfits. But he falls short as the love interest of June Moon (Enchantress) played by Cara Delevingne.
Moon’s body harbors the soul of the ageless witch known as the Enchantress who can take possession of Moon and transform the demur archaeologist into a near-god-like creature bent on revenge. Costuming and makeup of her witch persona was fantastic and she kept the audience guessing when she would turn.
Jay Hernandez, portraying Chato Santana aka El Diablo, puts in a masterful performance as the accursed master of fire. His power is hard to suppress and has resulted in the death of many people, but he must learn to harness his rage for the greater good. His character is more quiet compared to the more talkative Harley Quinn and his pain and suffering as a “bad guy” seems to be almost too much for the other members of the group, but he too has his part to help the team in its hour of need.
Overall, this movie is enjoyable. While there are some bumps along the way, if you enjoy anti-hero misfits, you will enjoy this movie.