Suicide Squad just had its opening weekend and has managed to gross a killer USD$267 million worldwide. However reading reviews of Suicide Squad, you’d think it’s the worst thing since Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Which honestly was not as bad as the critics made it out to be.
Now, months later, it comes as no surprise that lo and behold, the same is true for Suicide Squad. Both of these films—which are part of the budding DC Cinematic Universe—are currently rocking a disastrous 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
1. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Margot Robbie is not just there for eye-candy (but gurl does she do that well). She’s just a joy to watch on screen. Harley Quinn is just a hyperactive, constant bundle of crazy energy and wicked glee. Watching her interact with just about any other character is terrific fun. Especially in her relationships with Will Smith as Deadshot and Jared Leto as The Joker.
Deadshot and Harley form an almost sibling-like relationship throughout the film. Deadshot becomes almost a protective older brother to the wild Quinn. Indeed, Smith’s Deadshot forms the crux of the film’s humanity, the cornerstone of all its softer, more emotional moments (or most of them, anyways).
2. The Relationship Between and Harley and J
Margot Robbie and Jared Leto have some great chemistry and definitely the most fun in the show. Let’s put aside the whole Leto will never be as good as Heath Ledger thing. They’re not meant to be the same character. Instead, think of Leto’s Joker as a gloss to Harley Quinn’s character. He’s in love but he knows full well he’s insane but he shows it in the only way The Joker can. It’s both sweet, tragic and strangely compelling.
3. Honour Amongst Thieves
The rest of the Suicide Squad get smaller portions of screen time, compared to J, Harley, and Deadshot but each is solid enough to care about (minus Slipknot).
Diablo played by Jay Hernandez is a meta-human born with a demon inside him. He can spew huge gusts of flame from his hands, and has powers beyond that as well. He also has a really tragic backstory that gets even the most villainous bad guys teary-eyed.
Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang is pitch-perfect as well. The movie would have been pretty funny without him—Harley Quinn carries much of the film’s comedy—but Boomerang adds a great deal. Not so much as a super villain but being a badass with a boomerang just doesn’t do it for me. As comic relief, however, he’s great. The pink fluffy unicorn was a nice touch.
There’s a lot of critics complaining about the lack of story or about the lack of the supervillain nature. I don’t think that was the point of the movie. We’re looking at each character’s decision or choices that have led them down the path to where they are. Society names them that but there’s “Honour Amongst Thieves”. Which is more than I can say for the next item on my list.
4. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
The true villain as it so happens in the movie is our very own government agent aka The Wall. Amanda Waller is a cold hard badass. She’s the good guy, right? Taking on the Lex Luthor mentality of defending the nation against other metahumans. But the way it’s done is without conscience. She literally stabs into Enchantress’ beating heart to get her to do what she wants. It doesn’t get more badass than that.
5. The Soundtrack
It’s fairly uncommon these days for a movie soundtrack to generate massive excitement, let alone sales. With occasional exceptions like Frozen, the days of platinum-selling soundtrack albums like Saturday Night Fever, Purple Rain, and The Bodyguard” are largely a thing of the past.
Suicide Squad features an eclectic mix of artists including Skrillex, Rick Ross, Kehlani, Lil Wayne, Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots — was released and quickly became the bestselling album on iTunes, a rare cinematic one-two punch of simultaneous chart-topping box-office and album sales.
Stuffed with music from start to finish, Suicide Squad mixes hard-hitting hip-hop, moody indie rock and classic rock songs like the Animals’ House of the Rising Sun to reinforce the film’s blend of action, anti-hero angst and dark comedy.
Suicide Squad can be something of a jumbled mess at times, but it’s got plenty of charm, a great cast of villains, and a fun if somewhat silly plot. I had a good time from beginning to end, and the audience seemed to as well. There was some clapping, some hooting and hollering, and generally a sense of enjoyment throughout the fully packed theater.
All told, I think this is a good big screen movie. Plenty of fan service for comic book readers, and plenty for non-readers as well. Not everyone will like it, obviously, but I think you’ll agree that this deserves much more than the 27% it’s getting on Rotten Tomatoes. After all, the audience score there is at 74%, which feels like a much more reasonable assessment of the movie.