Suicide Squad

 

starstarstar

 

 

The third instalment of the DC Extended Universe is over-extended and unpleasant but has 

a great soundtrack and a terrific turn from Margot Robbie.

 

Suicide Squad

Bad to the bone: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Margot Robbie  

 

They say that the bad guys are always more fun to play. And to watch. So why not stuff a superhero movie full of bad guys? After all, who would you rather watch? A square-jawed hunk in a red cape and blue tights or a buffed-up, badass Will Smith as Deadshot, “the most wanted hitman in the world”? There’s also Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, “a whole lotta pretty and a whole lotta crazy,” who dispatches witticisms – and adversaries – with child-like glee. And let’s not forget the deadly Captain Boomerang, the fire-throwing El Diablo, the unstoppable, reptilian Killer Croc and the assassin Slipknot. Basically, these guys – all behind bars – are the most dangerous criminals on earth. However, in the wake of Superman’s death, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) reckons that they are mankind’s best bet to stave off any imminent threat. So, when a witch runs amok in the subway of Midway City, each prisoner is implanted with a remotely controlled explosive in their neck and told to go kick ass…

 

Basically a Dirty Dozen (or Savage Sextet) in a parallel universe, Suicide Squad is a big-screen adaptation of the DC Comic and the third instalment in the so-called “DC Extended Universe.” Like many of these multi-charactered fantasy-actioners, the film suffers from a severe case of congestion and at times, particularly in the beginning, it’s hard to know what the hell is going on. The caption that identifies the facility in which Deadshot is imprisoned is in black on a dark background and is impossible to read. Much of what follows is equally unintelligible. Still, there’s much fun to be had amongst the sadistic mayhem, although the film doesn’t quite grace the comedic heights of this year’s earlier 15-rated fantasy (and unexpected hit) Deadpool.

 

The star turn is unquestionably provided by Margot Robbie, whose combination of ball-breaking, sex appeal and comic timing repeatedly lifts the film out of its bombastic swagger. When introduced to the deadly, unsmiling swordswoman Katana (Karen Fukuhara), she beams, “She seems nice!” And when the explosive mechanism in the squad’s respective necks is revealed, she just marvels, “That’s a killer app!” As it happens, Harley’s boyfriend is the Joker (Jared Leto), who pops up here and there but doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the movie. He’s just one more villainous obstacle for writer-director David Ayer to deal with and he’s a distraction too far.

 

The real villain is Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress, whose CGI-enhanced powers seem a hard act to combat, particularly as she keeps on turning the citizens of Midway City into pebble-headed killers. But for every over-edited fight sequence, there’s a classic rock anthem to paper over the chaos, including a cover of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ no less. So, even as the film blusters and baffles, it also repeatedly delivers.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

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

 

Dir David Ayer, Pro Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, Screenplay David Ayer, Ph Roman Vasyanov, Pro Des Oliver Scholl, Ed John Gilroy and Michael Tronick, Music Steven Price, Costumes Kate Hawley.

 

DC Entertainment/RatPac-Dune Entertainment/Atlas Entertainment-Warner Brothers.

122 mins. USA. 2016. Rel: 5 August 2016. Cert. 15.