Disclaimer: I went to see Suicide Squad with a good friend. We read the movie start time wrong. As a result, we showed up about 15 minutes into the movie.
“Suicide Squad. A movie about villains. Whoop di doo.” Those were my initial thoughts when Suicide Squad previews began circulating the web. I’ve never been a fan of villains as main characters in a story. A movie centering around Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Croc, etc..? No interest at all in seeing it. Give me more Superman, Batman, Flash, Thor, and Captain America any day of the week. I want to cheer for heroes, not villains. But as luck would have it, my friend had an extra ticket and invited me along. “Why not?” I thought. If nothing else, it would be something fun to do together.
The initial reviews were already out on the movie. They panned it. Strangely, that gave me hope. For those of you who read my previous post on Entertainability, I am usually at odds with the “professional movie critics.” They blast it? I like it. They love it? I hate it. Forearmed, I steeled myself for a solid B or C rating.
I was not disappointed.
Is Suicide Squad Oscars worthy? No. Does it measure up to Gladiator, the first Avengers movie, or Guardians of the Galaxy? Nope. But wow was that an entertaining movie.
Avoiding spoilers, let’s touch on a few of the topics:
Will Smith’s Deadshot
Will Smith has long been on my list of actors that I’ll take a chance on and go see his movie. I’ve rarely been let down with his character portrayals. Deadshot continues that tradition. As a person who needs someone to root for, Smith did an excellent job of tugging at the heart strings with his character’s motivation for why he does what he does. You see it every time he is given any opportunity to establish what he wants. One thing…one person…is at the top of his “must have” list every single time. That person isn’t an afterthought. They aren’t an “Oh yeah, this too…” Nope, you see early and often why Deadshot does what he does, and I loved it.
It helps that his character is relatively kick ass. In one particular scene, you see him win over the others who have consistently doubted him. He doesn’t do it through words. He doesn’t do it by accident. He sees a need and stands in the gap for those around him. He singlehandedly turns the tide, saves the day (at least temporarily), and sets himself up as the de facto leader for the rest of the movie.
Jay Hernandez’s Diablo
I knew nothing about this character going into the movie. I expected “typical fire guy” and was prepared to be bored by the portrayal.
Hernandez did a great job of running completely counter to my expectations. He managed to evoke the only true emotional moment of the entire movie, serving as a fantastic counterpoint to Smith’s Deadshot at the same time. I won’t go into any more detail here, as anything else would rapidly stray into spoiler territory. Suffice to say, Diablo es muy bien.
Jared Leto’s Joker
Leto had the unfortunate opportunity to follow after one of the single best villain portrayals of all time. Heath Ledger’s Joker is in the “Top Three Best Villains Of All Time” list. Leto’s Joker simply doesn’t compare. They aren’t in the same country, let along the same state or neighborhood. Of all the characters in Suicide Squad, this is the only one that let me down. Ledger’s shoes were just too much to fill…anything less than a masterpiece was doomed before the beginning to failure.
Going off the A/B/C/F scale mentioned in the previous Movies in General post, I’d give Suicide Squad a solid B. Nowhere near as entertaining as Gladiator, The Avengers, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Shawshank Redemption, Princess Bride, Man of Steel, or Serenity. Much better than Iron Man 3, all of the Tobey Maguire Spiderman’s, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Superman Returns. It fits in comfortably with Iron Man (1), Avengers 2, Captain America, Interstellar, Ant Man, Star Trek: Beyond, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Batman vs. Superman. While I’m not likely to go see it again in the theater, we will probably end up owning the DVD/Blu-ray.