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Review by Enrique Varona

The Suicide Squad is one of the coolest concepts in all of comics. An elite group of crooks and convicts forced to the dirty work for the government. It combines the thrills of The Dirty Dozen with the guilty pleasure of focusing on the villains of the DC Universe. David Ayer’s film adaptation had a lot of hype to live up to, both from the comic book community and the summer blockbuster crowd. Luckily, Suicide Squad not only lives up to the hype, it surpasses it in many ways. It is a strong entry in the emerging DC Cinematic Universe and exposes fans new and old to some of the best villains that DC has to offer.

The film opens with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) trying to get approval to run a new initiative called “Task Force X”. Filled with villains and miscreants, they can do the jobs that nobody else can and be the expendable workforce that the government needs. The superhuman wars are coming and America needs to be ready. Cue Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), who show what they’re capable of and why they’re needed. After a series of introductions to many of the film’s kooky characters, Deadshot (Will Smith) dubs them the Suicide Squad. When crisis strikes at Midway City the Squad is sent into action, but will they be able to save the day? Will Task Force X survive or are they truly a Suicide Squad?

The movie is a fast-paced action flick from the word go. Buckle up and get ready, because it won’t stop until the last bullet has been fired. The cast is stellar and you can see that there is an immediate chemistry between everybody involved. They’re having fun and they want you to as well. This isn’t Batman v. Superman, where angry glances cover up inner turmoil. With this crew of characters, if there is a problem it plays out on screen. Not everybody gets along, but that adds an intensity to every scene. Deadshot and Rick Flag are constantly at each other’s throats, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) has her own hidden agenda, and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) really just wants to curl up with a beer and his stuffed unicorn. These character dynamics help guide the film, which relies heavily on how the cast plays off of one another, much more so than it relies on its plot. David Ayer knows that people are watching this movie to watch the Squad themselves, and doesn’t waste time on some crazy in-depth theological battle. The movie is quippy and filled with action. A perfect choice.

Midtown Harley Joker

I’m a huge fan of Harley Quinn, and speaking honestly, I’m not a very big fan of the Joker. I blame a healthy dose of modern Harley Quinn comics and Gotham City Sirens, which often place the two at odds with one another. That being said, I got a huge thrill out of seeing Harley and Joker (Jared Leto) on screen. Their horribly tainted love story is ripped straight out of their early adventures and is an absolute blast. Leto steals the scene whenever he pops up, a truly horrifying man who is just waiting to explode. Whether verbally berating somebody or physically mowing them down, he is absolutely despicable and engaging to watch. Harley is practically perfect. Robbie is able to completely nail the ditzy personality that Harley uses to mask her inner intellect. At a moment’s notice she can completely flip the scene and reveal that she was manipulating things all along. Fans of Harley need not worry, she is done well. Frankly, it could have been two hours of just Harley Quinn and I would have been happy. I cannot wait to see where her story continues from here.

Will Smith’s Deadshot was a huge surprise for me. I’ve followed Deadshot from book to book ever since Gail Simone’s Villains United and Secret Six, so seeing him on screen over a decade later was spectacular. Deadshot has always been a scumbag, but an endearing one. Sure, he’s a career criminal, but you still love the guy. Smith is one of the most lovable actors ever (I dare anybody to challenge me) and he was the perfect choice to bring him to life. He has a few great moments, but when he finally goes all out, unloading clips of bullets in the streets of Midway City, he gets possibly the coolest action scene of the entire movie.

Midtown Deadshot Flag

Of course there are more delights throughout the movie. A few cameos made me squeal with excitement. Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) doesn’t say much, but when he does it’s a riot. Katana (Karen Fukuhara) is possibly the deadliest member of the Squad and her quiet intensity is a perfect reflection of her comic role. Ike Barinholtz from MadTV pops up and that alone makes me happy. And did I mention that Captain Boomerang is in this? I’m sorry, but I have to go back and tell my childhood self that Captain Boomerang is going to star in a major summer movie and watch his face light up with joy. As a lifelong Flash fan, this is as good as it gets.

Overall, Suicide Squad is a fun summer blockbuster. It’s The Expendables starring the villains of the DC Universe. It builds the world beautifully and sets the stage for bigger things to come next year with Justice League. I know that I’ll be seeing this movie again and again, pouring over the details and references galore. As both an accurate adaptation of the source material and an action movie, Suicide Squad succeeds, with plenty of surprises in store. They’re bad guys, it’s what they do.

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The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer, and not Midtown Comics. Additionally, Midtown Comics makes no representations as to the accuracy of any of the information expressed herein.

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