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Review: Suicide Squad

suicidesquad2The DC Cinematic Universe takes a big step forward with the addition of its newest film: Suicide Squad. To date  the universe has had problems in their first two movies that Superman and Batman couldn’t fix.

Thankfully, however, Suicide Squad changes the playing field. Suicide Squad does something that most of the others have really attempted to do. Take a well loved comic team, albeit not well-know to the general public, and just start the movie with them. No build up solo movies, no phases to get them together, just start with the whole team together.

For those not familiar with the comic, the Suicide Squad is actually called Task Force X, a government sanctioned team of criminals who are sent into covert missions in exchange for reductions in their sentences. To keep them under control they have bomb chips implanted in their necks. The team is sent on high risk missions to take down threats to America. A simple concept, dating back to The Dirty Dozen in 1967 (which is being remade), but Suicide squad executes it very well. The story is enhanced by the idea that any character could die at any time. No one has plot armor. There are some storylines you can pick out, and figure out some of the survivors, but the beauty is not truly knowing until it’s over.

Suicide Squad as a movie is not without its flaws. The problem with introducing so many new characters in one movie is that a huge chunk of the potential character development gets and the story is this due to time constraints. As a result, the main villains don’t get explored nearly enough. The Joker is underutilized, which may disappoint viewers but it is  out of necessity. The moment he shows up in the main story, he causes the big break in the team’s bond. One of the most fun characters of the team ends up dying, and with that all the potentially interesting storylines go to waste. Finally, there are holes in the film where it is evident they had to cut material for time.

Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Amanda Waller are easily the best characters in the movie. Every scene involving them (which is most of them) ends up leaving you intensely focused, while simultaneously laughing along. You feel the dry humor of Deadshot, you feel the total insanity of Harley Quinn, you feel the cold heart of Waller, and at the end you sit there wondering what new heights they’ll go to next. Overall, Suicide Squad is a win for fans of the comic, less so for people who are not familiar with the source material. What it did give us was an idea of the breadth and depth of what the DC Cinematic Universe can offer and adds a lightheartedness the DCCU desperately needed.

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