12/09/2016 09:26 BST | Updated 11/09/2017 06:12 BST

Suicide Squad

David M. Benett via Getty Images

David Ayer / Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne / Action, Comedy / 2016 / 15 / 123mins

A film entirely about supervillains would leave the best of us brimming with anticipation. But when too many trailers, merchandise and branding play ball about half a year before the film's release, alarm bells start ringing. In that sense, Suicide Squad follows a disappointing trend.

The dramatis personae kisses Captain Stereotype's ass, and then some. Margot Robbie: sexy bubblegum. Will Smith: rugged anti-hero. Jared Leto: hazardous rock'n'roller. Casting perfection, but a breeze for the actors in question.

Though the delirious subplot of Harley Quinn and Joker remains enticing, the core plot is very frail. A strong, visually arresting first half, full of bright lights and flashy colours (a common moth's Eden or an epileptic's nightmare) is genre busting. It is a great opening which usurps Marvel's formulaic doldrum but then fails miserably in the latter.

Montage and flashbacks can only hold a film for so long, and the sketchiness continues till Suicide Squad suddenly runs out of juice and finds comfort in the cushy pillow fort of straightforward blockbusterdom.

The central plot was, essentially, pointless. Amanda Walker (Davis) first captures Enchantress (Delevingne) for Task Force X. Walker controls her heart *cough* *splutter* SPOILERS *cough* so is certain she won't get up to mischief...yet she does (why? JUST COZ). And the point of the film is so the rest of the team she has just bagged can get the situation back under control. We witness a frivolous exercise in 'my bad, guys, help me clean this mess'.

Which begs the question: what was Walker building the squad for? She refers to Superman, so I'm guessing she's predicting, or knows of, an otherworldly force. Now there's a good idea for a film...

Regardless, there's way too much focus on Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the Joker (who, I might add, isn't even in the squad). There's no balance. The backstories they do have are great but what about the other characters? Do I really care? Diablo was only there because he had a backstory that, along with Deadshot, made the supposed 'villains' seem human. Why?? I don't give a shit - they're bad guys, act like it!

Another film about superhe-oh, wait, villains? Shame, I think they're still the heroes. How boring. Suicide Squad was rated 15 - it sure doesn't seem it. Not necessarily failing the target audience, but they will recognise missed potential. Tweens would lap up this straightline shit for breakfast. Soundtrack's decent though.

Film as a film - 2 / Target Audience - 2 / General Audience - 3




Suicide Squad is in cinemas now

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