With the latest issue of BATMAN sold out my dad let me buy a comic book guest staring the Caped Crusader. It was an issue of SUICIDE SQUAD. I remember it being not very memorable but what I took away from the book was that the characters really didn't seem like heroes.
As time went on I understood more what Task Force X was about. The government takes super powered villains and sends them on missions too risky for military and or heroic meta-humans. When I started getting serious about comic book collecting I think DC Comics must have canceled the book? I don't remember it seeing on the rack or in the order catalog? If I had, then I would have definitely read it on a regular basis.
Before the review it's time to talk about the elephant in the room, I'm talking about the DC Cinematic Universe. Oops, the DC Extended Universe. They're late to the party no doubt about that but Warner Bros is on the fast track to fixing that mistake with making Geoff Johns the head of creative in the DCEU. He won't be able to make every fan happy but it's a change that will ultimately be for the best. Only time will tell, but judging from the WONDER WOMAN trailer and what I thought of SUICIDE SQUAD, this fan is happy.
SUICIDE SQUAD is a 2016 film written and directed by David Ayer. It is also the third film in the DC Extended Universe, also known as the DCEU.
The film is about Task Force X, a covert black ops team consisting of super-criminals. Organized by Amanda Waller, the purpose of this “Suicide Squad” is to take out threats that could compromise our nation or worse, the entire world. Too nasty for military and probably too political for the Justice League, that's where Task Force X steps in. Completely off the record, the team saves the day only to be rewarded with reduced prison time or death.
For inspiration, the film uses the “New 52” iteration of Task Force X. I am unfamiliar with this era of DC but without looking it up I believe the team consisted of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Boomerang. A quick Wikipedia glance shows other super-criminals on the team but are not in the film.
Here's the DCEU Suicide Squad line-up:
Amanda Waller (Command)
Rick Flag (Team leader)
Katana (Flag's bodyguard)
That's a lot of characters for a film so Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) get the most screen time. And I'm not complaining, both actors knocked it out of the park! I'm want that stand alone Harley Quinn movie as soon as possible!
Amanda Waller gets approval from the government to green light Task Force X after a convincing argument that nothing is stopping a meta-human from attacking Capital Hill or the White House.
At the top of her list of Task Force X candidates is the witch Enchantress. Magic is a dangerous thing in the DCEU, Superman even has a tough time against it (in the comics that is). So what a perfect weapon for Waller to have against meta-humans!
Things go wrong and Enchantress goes rouge. So the teams first mission is to stop her magical havoc and bring the witch back. Simple enough, but things don't go as planed when you've got a group of super-criminals being told what to do. And no secret mission is easy when Joker arrives to save his girlfriend.
As a fan of comic books and comic book movies I highly recommend SUICIDE SQUAD. It's not perfect and has a fair share of pacing issues (studio mandated re-shoots), but the film is loads of fun.
Probably my biggest complaint about the movie is that I never got the feeling that Task Force X was a team of super-criminals. Degenerates yes, but not villains. Maybe I would have thought differently if the studio didn't demand that the director go back and give his film a lighter tone.
I find it kinda ironic that we got a “R-rated” BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE on home video, but SUICIDE SQUAD according to the director is going to remain PG-13 because there is no alternate cut? Hopefully we'll get a ton of deleted scenes if anything. Come on, why did the Killer Croc and Batman scene get cut?
And that's it as far as complaints go.
Here's a condensed version of what I liked in the film.
Will Smith. I loved every second of him on screen! I geeked out way too much for a 39 year old when Deadshot and a very popular character tussled on camera for a bit.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is a revelation, I can't see anybody else in the role but her. I'm happy for all the fans of the character, this is really your movie and I'm glad you finally got it!
The Joker! Now there is already a division of fans that love or hate Jared Leto's take on the character. I think it is way way too early to pass judgment seeing that we only get a taste of things to come. I thought that Joker was great in the movie. I love that it's a less anarchist and more modern day gangster approach.
The thing that caught my attention the most was Enchantress. The action climax of SUICIDE SQUAD is something we've seen a million times, but the magic element really captured my suspension of disbelief. And it made me wonder if magic is going to play an important role in future DCEU? I'm probably getting my hopes up, but instead of some CGI nonsense I actually saw potential.