By Jake Darragh (Queensland, Australia)


One of 2016’s most anticipated film of the year, Suicide Squad, has been released and DC fans are excited. Or so they would have been. Although it is not a terrible film, Suicide Squad is incredibly underwhelming. However most films that are adapted from a comic book series tend to have a mixture of substantially good qualities and absolute awful qualities. Suicide Squad is a perfect representation of how the awful qualities outweigh the good.

In regards to the characters the writers have done well with the selection of villains from the DC universe and the portrayal by the actors and actresses is satisfying. Having said that the audience was only shown the real back story of three members of the squad. Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Diablo. An argument can be made that Captain Boomerang was slightly developed but only enough to show his skillset and basic desires. Deadshot was the man in charge but it was clear that the focus of the film was Harley Quinn, played by the terrifyingly beautiful Margot Robbie.

Robbie has done an excellent job in portraying the whimsical side of Harley Quinn without letting the psychotic nature of the character to become too overbearing. Harley Quinn was the one character most of the audience can relate to as her back story was easy to engage with. Love is what most people crave and the character of Harley Quinn is no exception. Her love for the psychopath known as The Joker is what lead her down the path to destruction beyond the point of no return and she would do anything for her ‘puddin’. But I digress.

Yes this character has an understandable back story, however like the other characters she seemed under developed. This is to be expected due to the time constraints of the film. Running at two hours and ten minutes the writers had to cram in character development, plot development, conflict and resolution as well as tightly choreographed action scenes all into a reasonable time frame. With that being said important personality traits are lost on the characters and only the diehard DC comics fans would understand them or perhaps on the other end of the spectrum they would be aggravated that these villains were not portrayed as accurately as they should.

The story revolves around the government losing control of an entity known as Enchantress. The development of this character had so much potential but was wasted because the writers shifted their focus to the squad itself. The audience had to piece together what was actually happening with this villain and the plot became somewhat confusing. With the resurrection of Enchantresses’ brother ‘The Incubus’ the writers took another leap into the DC canon and pulled out this character from the depths of the DC lore. But how is the audience supposed to know that without the writers explicitly revealing who he is.

The writers expect too much of the audience assuming that the majority have read the comics and understand the plotline of this DC universe. At best they can expect people to leave the theatre and research what they have just viewed which not a good thing. People shouldn’t have to leave a theatre confused as to what they had just seen.

There is fine balance that writers and directors have to maintain when it comes to producing a film and David Ayer (Writer and Director) has missed it completely. Albeit the portrayal of the characters was mostly satisfying the entire film had an underdeveloped feeling. The pacing of the film was disorganized and the lead up to the final battle between the Squad and the Enchantress/Incubus duo was long and arduous. Diablo’s transformation was hardly a surprise and the monster vs monster fight was cliché. Diablo’s resistance to fight throughout the film was an obvious sign that he had serious hidden power.

In regards to the Joker, Jared Leto’s portrayal was wonderful, contrary to popular belief. Most people hold onto the opinion that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight was masterful, which it is. But that Joker was different. Heath Ledger’s Joker was a psychotic maniac with no principals. Leto’s Joker is psychotic but has a main principal of loyalty. He clearly loves Harley Quinn and that love is reciprocated. He is mentally deranged which is what The Joker is and this trait is only seen partially throughout the film. The film is called Suicide Squad so naturally the Joker would not play a massive role but this character was oversold.

From the trailers people were expecting a lot more of this character but were left disappointed at how little of an impact the Joker left. He was introduced early in the film and made short appearances throughout which gave the audience just a taste of something to come perhaps. Although nothing has been confirmed people are speculating that Jared Leto’s Joker may play an important role in the upcoming Justice League film which is currently in production in London.

Suicide Squad was a mediocre film let down by its poor plot development. The characters Deadshot and Harley Quinn are portrayed in excellent fashion, however it is unfortunate that the other members of Task Force X don’t leave such an impact. The editing and visual effects were on point and suffice to say that even though the pacing of the film was sub-par I would give it a 6/10. With better direction and pacing it could have been a great film.



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