Length: 123 minutes / 2.05 hours
Perhaps the most controversial film of this summer, Suicide Squad (2016) tells a story that is necessary to highlight the eventual superhero team of the Justice League (2017). While I am aware of the real-life drama surrounding the film, including Jared Leto’s method acting, director David Ayer’s uncouth comments, and the fandom’s revulsion of its negative critical reception, I will try and give an unbiased review here. After all, sometimes the greatest art can stand apart from the artists who create it. Decades from now, most will have forgotten the controversy, resorting to Wikipedia for a reminder.
In the realm of superhero films, the motif has always been a dichotomy of extremes. Good vs. evil. In reality, things aren’t nearly as clear-cut as this. Sure, there are those who do wrong and those who do right, but each side will have their own motivations. What Suicide Squad does is break down the stereotype of the villain. No longer are they purely the psychotic mayhem-inducing individuals who seek world domination. Through this film, we see that the driving force behind these villains is plain and simple. Human, even. It’s love. Love drives Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) to endure the Joker’s abusive relationship. Love motivates Deadshot (Will Smith) to do whatever it takes to see his daughter. They are human, flaws and all.
Now, I do agree that the plot was confusing at times and the objectives of the team didn’t usually make sense, but perhaps the biggest weakness of this film was due to the number of characters. With a two-hour runtime, it’s difficult to get into the full backstory of everyone in the Squad. It’s clear that Deadshot and Harley Quinn are the stars of the show, but there are a few surprises, especially with El Diablo (Jay Hernandez). In an Avengers-esque film like this one, it would have been nice to give each villain their own standalone film before bringing them together, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait for any sequels to flesh out the other characters instead.
A good balance to hero-centric films like The Avengers and Justice League, I give Suicide Squad 3.0 stars out of 5.