Suicide Squad – The DVDfever Cinema Review

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad gets right what Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice got so wrong.

Warner Bros thought the way to go was to be all mean and moody and growly for the three weeks it took to sit through that very average film (well, it wasn’t quite that bad but it could’ve been a whole lot better, and I understand the extended version is an improvement, but why couldn’t I see THAT in 1.44:1 70mm IMAX after I’d paid a small fortune to my local Odeon?)

Beginning at the Black Site prison, in Louisana, this is where we pick up our two lead baddies-who-are-goodies, namely Will Smith on fine wisecracking form) as Deadshot – who’s rather handy with a gun, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn – the character referred to by one as “a whole lotta pretty, and a whole lotta crazy”, the studio criticised for digitally-altering her hotpants for the trailers and promotional material, to make them more family-friendly (is that possible??), and the actress criticised by fanbois and fangirls who don’t like how she looks.

Well, as someone who doesn’t read comic books and only knows of the varieties of her outfits from various pictures online, it seems like they have to picture her in one form and they’re not going to please all of the people all of the time. Hell, I didn’t even know, until a few years ago, that there were many variations on the look of The Joker, but Jared Leto‘s appearance is decidedly different to my other cinematic points of reference – Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson, so no doubt some people will be up in arms about that, but for me, Mr Leto’s Joker is entertaining and very engaging – something Heath Ledger wasn’t. I found him a huge disappointment in that role, in The Dark Knight, and thought Hollywood only gave him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar because he died and was beaten to the Best Lead Actor award in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won it for Capote. The awards ceremonies rarely reflect public opinion – it’s just “Who’s turn is it?” and, in that case, “Well, he’ll never get another turn.”

And Jared’s Joker laugh gets a bit ‘Vincent Price’ at times. You know, they did plan to make a third Dr Phibes film back in the ’70s, Phibes Resurrectus, but rumours of it never happening range from there never been a script that was ready to film, to Price simply not wanting to do it, so asked for too much for the role and thus ‘price’-ing himself out of it.


Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn).

As for the plot? Suicide Squad is one of those films where they’re sending a load of baddies to take down another load of baddies. This time, they’re Task Force X. What are Task Force X? That’s on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Well, in short, of all the characters allowed out into the real world (well, Gotham City), one (Enchantress) goes rogue and – as I mention I’m someone who doesn’t read comic books and liked Deadshot’s summation of her method of taking over the world as having a “Swirly ring of trash in the sky” – to me, it was reminiscent of X-Men Apocalypse when the titular baddie wanted to… take over the world, and enlisted others to help keep… well…. a swirling ring of trash stay up in the sky. In both cases, I couldn’t see how that translates to taking over the world, but it doesn’t really matter – it’s a superhero movies with a lot of crash/bang/wallop, and… is it a lot of fun? Yes. Nuff said. Oh, and meanwhile, The Joker (since he’s in a relationship with Harley Quinn) is trying to rescue her from this situation and take her away.

A lot of it goes in one eye and out the other, and I need to see it again to take it all in, but it’s a good, fun action romp that doesn’t outstay its welcome, and it doesn’t try to be at all serious like Batman V Superman. There’s a lot more wisecracks and humour to this one than BvS. I could detail much of these but that would reduce the impact you have of seeing them read out in full in the film, so I’ll just repeat one, where all the Squad are about to set off on their mission, and because a lot of them are quite tetchy and want to rage against the machine of authority, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman, thankfully making you forget about his godawful Robocop reboot) – underling to Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) who had the idea of bringing this lot together – introduces, to them, the efficient Katana (the stunning Karen Fukuhara) who’ll keep them in check whilst also providing backup, with the words “I’d advise not to get killed by her – her sword traps the souls of her victims”.


The stunning Karen Fukuhara as Katana

It’s not overly violent a la Deadpool, but – by superhero movie standards (where a lot more people can get bashed on the head because they’re aliens/comic book characters and not real people) – it has just enough to tip over the 12-cert rating. Despite this, the MPAA gave it a PG-13 in the US, but then they don’t mind comic book violence so much – it’s sex scenes they have an issue with.

Oh, and it also shows that 15-cert films DO GET A HUGE AUDIENCE! Deadpool was No.1 in the UK for three weeks running! There was a lot of people in the 11am screening I saw this film at, and already the evening showing was on its way to being sold out, so if you’re watching at night time, get it booked!

There’s an abundance of characters crammed into two hours, so while some get more to do than others, no-one ever feels left out, and the 123-minute running time keeps it tight – other superhero films take note. Thankfully, the usually terrible Jai Courtney isn’t so terrible here, even if he does usually pick duff films like the Divergent series and Terminator Genisys. Will Smith clearly made the right choice to bail from the Independence Day sequel (which wasn’t a bad film, but wasn’t brilliant) – even though it was reportedly so he could commit to a trilogy of After Earth movies (which stopped after the first one flopped), and when his character is estranged from his daughter and wants to see her, the film brings a family element into the proceedings without being too cloying.

I’m also not a fan of Cara Delevingne. Like Jai Courtney, I really don’t understand the point of her. However, in this film, she does a marvellous job of portraying a character who does a lot of standing up. At one point, she also lies down. Another time, she sits on a chair. And possibly, a couch. I forget.

Hats off also to those who put together the soundtrack. Yes, we get Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, as used brilliantly in the first trailer. Some of these are: Grace You Don’t Own Me, Eminem Without Me and Creedence Clearwater Revival Fortunate Son. There are others I don’t recognise from the title, but know them when I hear them.


The squad’s all here! (well, some of them are)

And, following my previous end-credit adventures, how did this one go? Well, while Jason Bourne left me, thankfully, completely in the dark (despite cleaners coming in), this time it was the opposite. There is a mid-credits scene, but like with X-Men: Apocalypse‘s post-credits scene, this film’s one comes about two minutes into the credits, so really, the lights should’ve stayed off completely. Ghostbusters had a number of small scenes before the ‘end credits proper’ rolled, so they just stayed off completely during that time. As such, due to the lights going up and down at the wrong times (they’re set automatically, so if human error gets it wrong then it’s very offputting and you can’t concentrate on it), I had to look it up later to get the full deal as to what happens, which can read about below.

No cleaners during the credits this time, so no ‘nuclear-blast white’ onscreen this time, although the normal over-bright lights shine on the screen and stop you being able to read the credits properly. I’ve mentioned before about how they’re looking into this, and I’ve given my thoughts, ie. I think it would be fine for the lights to be about the same as the pre-film adverts and trailers – enough to allow people to leave safely (and for those staying to still see the screen properly), but without being too dark to result in falling over and breaking their neck. Also, for any up/down of lights, allowing an extra 10 seconds either side would help to err on the side of caution – same as I do when adding five minutes either side of a TV show recording so I don’t miss the start or end.

About the cleaner, I think the reason he didn’t come in was because (for a change) there were a fair few people left, as they all expected a post-credits scene. Warner/DC Comics don’t tend to do these (Batman V Superman certainly didn’t have one, as Zack Snyder reportedly felt that the ending we all saw, before the credits ran, was enough of an ending. That said, I would have put that final scene AFTER the end credits, just to annoy those who DON’T stay!)

Suicide Squad has been criticised big-time by critics, but then that’s often what they do. As often is the case, they know nothing. Example…

    They all loved Spectre. I thought it was the worst Bond film ever.
    They all hated Independence Day: Resurgence. I thought it was pretty good. Not brilliant, but not terrible.
    The Metro hated X-Men: Apocalypse. I thought it was pretty good, too.
    Some of them loved the new Ghostbusters remake. I thought it blew big chunks.

    Hence, I knew I’d like Suicide Squad.

This film is not a case of “What’s in the trailer is all you get” as you can enjoy what’s in there all over again, such as Harley’s “voices in my head” lines, and it’s also good to see that the trailer didn’t screw around with the film’s content by moving lines around for an alternative effect, since films that do that leave you feeling cheated. That said, I do have a query about the trailer vs the film which I’ll put in the spoiler section below.

And if you liked it too – and word from the fans is all good, you’ll be pleased to know that David Ayer and Will Smith are returning for a sequel. It’ll be shot next year after they finish filming Bright.

Ayer has also said that he wants to make it R-rated, so like Deadpool, it should still be a 15-cert over here, albeit stronger in content. An 18-cert wouldn’t work for a film like this. In addition, the lovely Karen Fukuhara has said that she wants to explore Katana’s backstory in that sequel. YES! More Katana!

Some observations which I’ll throw a spoiler heading around, including the details of the mid-credits scene (so only read when you’ve seen it).

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Suicide Squad is available to pre-order on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, 4K UHD Blu-ray and DVD.

There’s also the Harley Quinn Statue Limited Edition with 3D Blu-ray and the Deadshot Statue Limited Edition with 3D Blu-ray up for pre-order.

In the meantime, you can still buy the Original Motion Picture Score CD and the CD with the music tracks on, and click on the poster for the full-size version.


“You’re lucky we’re getting a sequel…”

Detailed specs:

Running time: 123 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Year: 2016
Format: 2.35:1 (Digital Intermediate (4K), Anamorphic Panavision)
Released: August 5th 2016
Rating: 8/10

Director: David Ayer
Producers: Charles Roven and Richard Suckle
Screenplay: David Ayer (based on the comic book by John Ostrander)
Music: Steven Price

Deadshot: Will Smith
Harley Quinn: Margot Robbie
Amanda Waller: Viola Davis
The Joker: Jared Leto
Rick Flag: Joel Kinnaman
Katana: Karen Fukuhara
June Moone/Enchantress: Cara Delevingne
Monster T: Common
Boomerang: Jai Courtney
Diablo: Jay Hernandez
Killer Croc: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
The Flash: Ezra Miller
Slipknot: Adam Beach
Lieutenant GQ Edwards: Scott Eastwood
Sergeant Ames Bravo 14: Jaime FitzSimons
Admiral Olsen: Ted Whittall
Dexter Tolliver: David Harbour
Angelo: Robin Atkin Downes
Griggs: Ike Barinholtz
Zoe: Shailyn Pierre-Dixon
Panda Man: James McGowan
Frost: Jim Parrack
U.S. Marshal: Robert B Kennedy
Chairman: Aidan Devine
Bruce Wayne/Batman: Ben Affleck (uncredited)
Superman: Henry Cavill (nah, just kidding)