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Suicide Squad disappoints DC Comics fans’ expectations

Will+Smith+%28Deadshot%29+and+Margot+Robbie+%28Harley+Quinn%29+in+%22Suicide+Squad.%22+%28Clay+Enos%2FDC+Comics%2FWarner+Bros.%29
Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) in

Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) in "Suicide Squad." (Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros.)

Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) in "Suicide Squad." (Clay Enos/DC Comics/Warner Bros.)

DANIEL ANDERSON | Evergreen life columnist

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One of the key factors that makes a story a beloved classic is the complexity of the villain. A hero is only as good as their dark counterpart. So, a movie all about the complicated villains from the shelves of DC Comics should be a hit. Unfortunately, this squad failed in their mission to exceed expectations.

United States government operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) wishes to assemble a team of the vilest villains currently locked away to complete surreptitiously sanctioned missions. She implores her supervisors to hear out the merits of her plan by convincing them that she has absolute control over the criminal rogues by shaving time off their sentences and implanting a bomb in their neck should they disobey.

We then cue up a musical pop montage with neon colored font for each team member. The film seemed to want to copy the success and vibes from Guardians of the Galaxy, another movie about questionable underdogs forming an unlikely team to do some good, all set to a killer playlist.

This mentality didn’t pay off for DC because their execution of the movie seemed deceitful. It was as if they wanted to trick audiences into thinking it is like Guardians and toss in a couple Batman cameos and that should be enough for a solid film.

Director and writer David Ayer, best known for action dramas like Fury and Sabotage, apparently thought a sensible plot was unnecessary. The Suicide Squad are meant to do black op illicit missions, but instead they were up against magic and the supernatural.

Cara Delevingne is horribly miscast as a Doogie Howser – type archeologist that stupidly shatters an artifact releasing an evil 6000-year-old witch that takes control of her. Her character of Enchantress is anything but enchanting. She stumbles around and tries to convince the audience she is a believable love interest for the leader of the squad and hardened military colonel, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman).

Enchantress casts a curse on a potentially fun movie, transforming it into delirium with her baffling motivations, generic faceless army of black goo monsters and an unexplained magic sky beam weapon that seems to be the go-to trope for superhero movies with a non-existent third act.

While Enchantress never spellbound, other characters like Will Smith’s mercenary marksman, Deadshot, was right on target. It shouldn’t come as a surprise because Smith is too good of an actor for the mediocre dialogue he was given to work with.

DC was clearly intent on investing all their resources into the A-list actors they hired even if the plot didn’t really call for it. Deadshot and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) were given the most screen time with fleshed-out origin stories and stellar performances to boot.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character cemented her as the breakout star of the movie. Harley Quinn, or Harleen Quinzel, was once the psychiatrist for the Joker before falling madly in love with him. Robbie fully embraces the chaos and color that it takes to be the Joker’s girlfriend. She is given a handful of the film’s quirky and funny bits, and utilizes them to utter perfection.

Her significant other, however, is insignificant. To be fair, it is a hefty challenge to follow up the performance of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Jared Leto’s version was peculiar for me. And not just because he is quite possibly the most insane character ever created.

Leto was never truly menacing or unpredictable. He was expertly used in flashbacks to help illustrate Quinn’s story as he was the one that essentially created her, but his present day actions only detracted from the already terribly contrived plot.

The source material of Suicide Squad from the comics has many complex and wonderful characters to play around with and I appreciated the fact the movie never swayed too much from their respective origins. That is all I can really say about a majority of the characters, however. Many were barely given any lines and were reduced to the racial stereotypes the audience had no choice but to remember them by.

One of the movie’s stronger moments was the honest and candid interactions of the team mending some trust rifts post a poorly-shot wonky battle. There was a lot of untapped potential with the depths of the other characters that I wish we could have seen.

You just may need a bomb strapped to your neck to get through this entire movie.

Grade: C

Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes

Rating: PG 13

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Suicide Squad disappoints DC Comics fans’ expectations