Author: JoAnne Hyde
Date: August 4, 2016, 6PM CT

SYNOPSIS: It feels good to be bad.

Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

David Ayer is directing SUICIDE SQUAD, which stars Jared Leto as The Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Also in the cast are Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Scott Eastwood. - Warner Bros. Pictures

So weird! So quirky! So good! David Ayer’s Suicide Squad delivers a substantial, if slightly flawed, and exciting film.

A spotty plot is overshadowed by a very strong cast. After all, the plots in these kinds of films are largely the same: save the world from the latest super villain threat. Only the twist in Suicide Squad is the saviors are super villains themselves. The bad fighting the worse!

Concerned that the next “superman” might not be a good guy, Intelligence officer Amanda Walker (Viola Davis) comes up with a plan to defend the world from such a malevolent threat by using incarcerated criminals who have nothing to lose – ergo a suicide squad. Only such desperate individuals would be willing to risk their live for some kind of clemency, in her opinion. Actually, she’s as bad as they are. It’s just that her bad actions are government sanctified.

The characters are introduced one at a time from Walker’s files on them. Deadshot (Will Smith) is a hit man who never misses. His only weakness is his love for his daughter Zoe (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon) which is what got him captured in the first place.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is a completely crazy, loose cannon who steals and kills without giving it a second thought. Her skill comes in part from her athletic flexibility and quickness. Her weakness is her love for The Joker (Jared Leto). Margot Robbie brings a wistful vulnerability to her character making her insanity all the more devastating. Jared Leto brings the appropriate amount of psychotic creepiness to The Joker. He’s not really part of the main story because he’s never been caught and so is not incarcerated. He’s there to bring Harley Quinn’s backstory to life and pop up here and there to provide a twisted excitement to the film.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje may be unrecognizable in his prosthetic make up as Killer Croc, but he does a great job of showing this creature’s “humanness” at times. He studied the movements of actual crocodiles to prepare for the role. Jai Courtney plays Boomerang, an Austrailian gun-for-hire type, but he’s always up for any kind of criminal activity. His recklessness gets him caught and separated from his beloved boomerang collection and Pinky – no, I’m not going to tell you about Pinky – you’ll just have to see for yourself!

The review continues after the trailer!

Rounding out the squad is Diablo, touchingly played by Jay Hernandez. His weakness, and the thing that got him captured, is his regret. His power? Throwing fire from his hands that incinerates everything within spitting distance. Hernandez brings poignancy to the story through his enormous guilt and rue. He’s the only one who admits he’s bad, although all of the others identify as bad guys. He’s the only one who’s truly sorry.

In charge of deploying these villains is Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) who works directly for Amanda Walker. She controls him through his love for Dr. June Moon (Cara Delevingne), an unfortunate archeologist whose body has been taken over by a powerful witch from another dimension, Enchantress. Walker keeps the dangerous entity at bay through having cut out her heart and keeping it under lock and key. Enchantress can only be controlled, or killed, with the heart.

Flagg is aided by Lt. GQ Edwards (Scott Eastwood) and a body guard, Katana (Karen Fukuhara) who’s a ninja with a soul-capturing sword. Flagg and Walker control the squad members by implanting explosive tracking devices in their necks. Otherwise, obviously, they’d run away.

Ben Affleck makes an uncredited appearance as The Batman, and after the credits roll you’ll see a lead-in for Justice League if you choose to stay.

There are some “why didn’t they just do ___” moments in the plot that distracted some in the preview audience. I noticed but didn’t really care because, after all, it’s fantasy. There’s just enough realism to keep the film on track. But you didn’t come to see realism. You came to see outrageousness and stunts beyond belief. And you’ll be drawn in by the stand-out performances of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto even though the pace of the film is a little uneven at times. You’ll get your money’s worth, nonetheless, I’m betting! - JoAnne Hyde


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