By Jordan Jaisingh (Enfield, London, UK)
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A string of great performances, colourfully written characters and a soundtrack ranging from Kanye to Queen aren’t enough to save this messy blockbuster. A twisted concoction of Guardians of the Galaxy with DC’s villainous roster sounds like a potent mix of mayhem and fun. Suicide Squad just forgot to include a plot. Something so easily forgotten when Warner Bros is desperate to establish its own shared universe. It cannot be forgiven however for doing this at the expense of having a coherent story. With the disaster of Batman vs Superman still fresh in my mind, I so wanted to love this. Yet a film without a plot, isn’t really a film at all, is it?

I’ll give you an overview of things before the incoherence became too overwhelming. Following the death of Superman, a government official played by an excellent Viola Davies, wants to form a team of convicted criminals to fight off the next big supernatural threat. As ludicrous as it sounds, the film works at this point. Once it descends into inexplicable save the world nonsense, is when it becomes an issue.

That’s not to say the film can’t be enjoyed, especially in the turn your brain off and accept this is nonsensical kind of way. Will Smith delivers his best action movie Will Smith impression in years as Deadshot. The impossibly deadly assassin, sits at the core of this ensemble cast. It’s certainly been a while since we’ve seen him swagger on to our screens, wisecracking and kicking butt in the way he does here. Yet the excitement he delivers on screen isn’t a testament to the strength of the script. It’s just Smith being Smith, but you’ll love him all the same.

Another miracle worker who saves the picture from complete oblivion, is Margot Robbie’s psychotic turn as Harley Quinn. The ex-psychiatric Doctor who was subjected to shock therapy by the Joker indeed appears to be off the rails crazy. Robbie’s performance is often seductive and hilarious in her confliction between her obsession with ‘Mr. J’ and her new found comrades. However the film’s early description of her being more insane than the Joker is never fully realised.

Naming the rest of the squad without Google would be problematic, but they consist of; a man who can manipulate fire, a human-croc hybrid and someone who fights with boomerangs.

Oh, yes, how could we forget, the star of the show who was given such promotional and media attention in the lead up to this film. The Joker is here. Truth be told, he isn’t given an awful lot to do. Jared Leto’s new brand of crazy certainly has potential and is thankfully on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Ledger’s portrayal. Unfortunately, he sort of waltzes in and out of the picture at random moments to interact with Harley. He is never given a significant set piece that has a lasting impact and this is likely not Leto’s fault. Brief flashbacks of his relationship with Harley serve as frustrating teases for a film I’d of rather watched. It will be interesting to see where they take his character in the future, but a missed opportunity nonetheless.

Without spoiling who it is, the film completely drops the ball with the antagonist our antihero’s face off against. Unclear origins, muddled motivations and no idea what this individuals masters plan to destroy the world actually involved. Not to mention the villain’s brother who resembled the main villain from TMNT (2007). For those of you who don’t know, that is an animated film starring turtles.

At least the film will have great action sequences right? The second half of the film boils down to what feels like an endless series of uninspired mayhem. The direction here does nothing to differentiate it from the usual, super-humans taking out cannon fodder type nonsense we have seen for many years. Never a moment of true peril for anyone, though even if there was, I doubt it would of registered in my mind unless it involved Deadshot or Harley.

Whilst as I sat hammering the film in my mind, I couldn’t help grin during much of the running time. The soundtrack, whilst cheesy in its integration at points, had great hits from many genres. Deadshot and Harley Quinn could even make you forget that the film doesn’t make sense. They are that good. This film had some potential homeruns in its closet, so it’s all the more disappointing that the final product doesn’t amount to the sum of its parts. If you are a DC/comic fanatic you will probably love much of this film. It certainly isn’t the dreary bore that Batman vs Superman was, so it scores some much needed points in that regard.

Bottom Line: Smith and Robbie greatly deliver in their lead anti-hero roles and the fans will undoubtedly be satisfied. I’d be insane to tell you however, that a film without a coherent story to tell, is a good film. It’s quite simply; band of villains thrown together, thrown into a city, uninventive action ensues. The End.

Rating: 2/5

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