Suicide Squad (2016)
The DCEU (DC Extended Universe) has had a troubled life so far. Man of Steel had stuff that was fantastic and also stuff that was not. Batman v Superman was clumsily assembled but occasionally entertaining. And now we have film number three in the franchise, Suicide Squad, which marks a promising step in the right direction for the franchise, despite its fluffy simplicity.
The story: Following the death of Superman, the government is unsure what to do in the face of a future crisis. One government individual, Amanda Waller, decides to assemble a team comprised of some of the most dangerous criminals around. When the unpredictable Enchantress, whom Amanda held in thrall, manages to escape, it’s up to the team of unhinged criminals to save the day.
I legitimately loved this film, which means that most critics are going to hate it. There were some editing issues here and there, and the plot had a few moments where things happen “because…uh…the plot requires it!” but the fun stems not from it being an especially complex, thought-provoking movie, but from its cast of zany characters.
Though El Diablo does a decent job of capturing the audience’s sympathy, it’s Deadshot and Harley Quinn who steal the show. Will Smith does a fantastic job of giving the character a suitable helping of likability while still letting everyone know that he’s not a very nice person. And Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is completely compelling as both a hilarious and tragic character. She’s brutalized and damaged by the Joker and yet she spends the whole film trying to return to him, her plucky façade hiding the damage within.
It’s colorful and explode-y, but it has a personality to it that has been missing from previous DCEU films, so I’m eager to see how things progress.