Suicide Squad hits theaters today and unless you’ve been buried deep inside of a hole in the bowels of Belle Reve, you might have heard the film has found itself amidst a bit of controversy. Between the lashing it has received from the critics and the heated debates among die-hard keyboard warriors, ‘Suicide Squad’ is primed to slip right in behind ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ as the most talked about DC/Warner Bros. venture since Ryan Reynolds slapped on a CGI mask. But I’m not here to talk about who is right or wrong. I’m simply here to report back on my experience. And yes, one could argue that I slip in under the role of dutiful DC fanboy here to suck on the perky tit of anything brandishing Zack Snyder’s name in the credits. So take this review with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of “move it along” if you are looking for a fight.
‘Suicide Squad’ is everything the trailers promised it would be (a fun, action packed roller coaster ride) and then some (flick’s got some heart, folks)! The film opens with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) looking to assemble a task force of the most hardened criminals and meta-humans to act as a deterrent for when the day comes that one of these god-like villains decide to wipe out the human race. One could argue she is Lex Luthor, if Lex spent his years working his way up the Government step ladder to the highest of need to know clearances. The first chunk of the film is a nice “Getting to know the Squad” for the uninitiated. Director David Ayer treats us to many flashbacks to how the members of Task Force X wound up in their current position. The introductions are also nice because the audience is made fully aware of just how bad these bad guys have it. Also…Holy Super Hero cameos, Batman!
The film sits at a modest 2 hours and 3 minutes, but flies by with a nice brisk pace. Before you know it the introductions have been made and shit is hitting the fan quite nicely. Once Task Force X is assembled and paired up with their Good Guy counterparts, Ayer slams the pedal to the floorboard and doesn’t look back. But before we leave Belle Reve, I want to take a second to point out sleazy guard Griggs played by Ike Barinholtz. Ike brings something special to the screen every time he graces it. We all know Ike from the Seth Rogen led ‘Neighbors’ flicks and Hulu’s The Mindy Project, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ike is able to effortlessly deliver a charming asshole performance that one could argue steals the spotlight away from the top billed stars n the few scenes he shares with them.
As for the rest of the cast, Jesus Christ, from top to bottom this cast is loaded with A+ performances. I’m actually surprised to read click bait headlines claiming that Robbie and Smith are the only actors worth a damn in this film. Of course, Margot Robbie deserves all the praise she is receiving. Robbie’s Harley Quinn should prove as a coming out party of sorts. I’ve yet to see her in anything I did not enjoy, but Margot is on another level here, folks. Will Smith is snarky and fun as Deadshot and deserves the praise he has been given as well. Viola Davis is wonderful as mega-bitch Amanda Waller. Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress is superb and she has every right to defend herself and this film. Jai Courtney, admittedly the one cast member I was still unsure of going into the film, was fantastic as Captain Boomerang. Adewale Aknnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc was nothing short of captivating. The list goes on and on. I could sit here and select fun descriptive adjectives for the rest of the month.
Let’s move on to Jared Leto’s Joker, the real wildcard since the infamous “Cholo Joker” still was released early in production. Many feel Heath Ledger could never be replaced. Many felt Nicholson was going to be a hard act to follow. Let’s be honest here, folks, nobody will ever be Mark Hamill good, so the argument is null. But seriously, Leto impressed the proverbial heck out of me. I found myself grinning every time the man came on screen, which (SPOILER ALERT) happens few and far between in the film. You know what? It was never his movie, so it’s okay that he’s not the focal point. The movie is called ‘Suicide Squad,’ and David Ayer is not Tim Burton. After this performance, I am so ready to see a Batman film where he is the heavy. I want to see him ripping Gotham apart in a fit of psychotic rage while Batman attempts to stop him. I’m talking laughing fish and bombs strapped to orphans here, Warner Bros. Make it happen. Geoff Johns, if you’re reading this, and I truly feel that is doubtful, make it happen…also, congrats on your success.
When it is all said and done, ‘Suicide Squad’ is every bit as entertaining as I’d hoped it would be. I can’t say that it was above my expectations, but that is only because I already had such high expectations for the film. I knew it would be a fun, crazy ride and it delivered. There is so much more to talk about, but I don’t want to be the asshole that spoils a film for a reader in the hopes that it will have a couple more hits from a click-bait headline. We’re not that hard up for hits here at Icon Vs. icon. But next weeks episode of Acid Pop Cult, Icon Vs. Icon’s very own podcast will be full of spoiler fun, so you have something to look forward to during your work week.
The Verdict: A film made for a packed house and a tub of popcorn…see it as soon as you can! Also, the soundtrack is fantastic and I urge you to pick it up, too!
Jeremy Morrison – Staff Writer
Co-creator/host of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, film reviewer, screenwriter, Jeremy has more than eight years experience in television and film production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the “Friday the 13th” franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. J-Mo lives by one motto: #wecantallbezacksnyder