Will Smith Margot Robbie Viola Davis Jared Leto Joel Kinnaman Jay Hernandez Jai Courtney
Robin Akins Downes Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Karen Fukuhara Cara Delevingne Adam Beach Common
Writer/Director David Ayer has effectively turned a comic book into a fairly good motion picture—something not so easily accomplished. Colorful, entertaining characters—most of whom are bad guys—comic antics, and a dastard plot will keep you engaged for the full two hours (and ten minutes) if your expectations are not too high. Some of these are more than cardboard characters; for instance, one has turned to yoga/meditation to try to overcome his past behavior; one has a daughter begging him to give up his kill-for-hire service, one is a psychiatrist brought under the spell of a criminal she was supposed to be counseling, and so on. We get the back-stories on almost all in a rapid flash, which will be fine for those familiar with the DC Comics and movies, but a little too fast for people like me. Even though Amanda Waller’s (Davis) character is a re-tread of Will Smith’s previous role, I would have liked to hear much more about her and how it is as a government agent she dreams up a cockeyed plan to recruit incarcerated criminals in a black-ops assignment to fight a war against invading aliens in exchange for reducing their sentences. (Note this is not a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”)
Oh, by the way, Batman (Ben Affleck) does make an appearance.
Appearing as the main characters are Deadshot (Smith), Harley Quinn (Robbie), Boomerang (Courtney), The Joker (Leto), El Diablo (Hernandez), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaju) and Slipknot (Beach). They all have their special skills/powers, and deliver a swaggering, action-packed drama with plenty of hi-jinks and bravado. But to have a PG-13 rating, the drama is pretty tame. It’s very unclear how “suicide” got into the title.
Suicide Squad is like many action movies, loaded with CGI and battles that go on interminably, always ending in car chases and hand-to-hand combat. If that’s your thing, go for it.
A squad of hardened criminals out to save the world.
Grade: C By Donna R. Copeland