Director: David Ayer
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie
Release Date: December 13, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?
The third entry in the ongoing DC Comics Feature Film Universe brings viewers into the world as seen through the villains. ‘Suicide Squad’ introduces us to a collection of lovable baddies who are forced to do the bidding of the government or else pay with their lives. Collecting a group of the worst supervillains the universe has to offer and led by the nation’s most impressive soldier, the newly assembled Task Force X is set in motion when a pair of two dangerous and ancient creatures begins forging a machine that has the ability to transform any normal person into a faithful and bulletproof killing machine. Now the fate of mankind rests in the hands of the worst murderers, thieves and outright nut jobs available; the world is in capable hands.
Written and directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury) who does a highly capable job guiding ‘Suicide Squad’ from his own script and reflecting the madness and erratic behavior of the characters with the surroundings and coloring often on prominent display. The film also owes a great deal of credit to the powerhouse cast which truly makes the film work and includes Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Ike Barinholtz, Common, and more, nearly all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles, particularly Smith, Robbie and Courtney who often manage to effortlessly steal the majority of scenes in which they occupy.
‘Suicide Squad’ is certainly a change of pace (and largely in tone) from the previous entries in the ongoing DC Comics Film Universe, opting for not taking itself nearly as seriously and delivering an enjoyable, action packed, and at times somewhat goofy exploration of the darker side of some DC’s more unbalanced characters. While many surely don’t understand my love for the previous DC films (particularly Batman v Superman which I thought was outstanding; for those that missed it, you can read my review here), my appreciation (or outright love) of the DC Comics world(s) and its characters is definitely no secret, therefore it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I enjoyed ‘Suicide Squad’ quite a bit, even if not quite as much as the last two DC films. The film’s tone and style largely reflects the insanity and erratic behavior of its characters, and Director David Ayer does a pretty great job guiding the mayhem along, although the film does drag in a few instances during the second half following a powerful kickoff. The film certainly has a few flaws, but its strengths largely outweigh the faults and the capable guidance of Ayer complimented by the star studded cast all come together quite well for the most part; odds are that most fellow DC fans along with many casual fans should have quite a bit of fun with it. If you’re a fan of the DC Film Universe or interested in ‘Suicide Squad’ in particular whatsoever, I would definitely urge you to give it a shot, it should easily be well worth the cost of a rental at the very least for those hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase.
As many are surely aware at this point, ‘Suicide Squad’ arrives home on Blu-ray with two cuts of the film in tow, the ‘Theatrical Version’ (available in 3D and 2D) and an ‘Extended Cut’ (only available in 2D). Unlike the Ultimate Cut of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, the Extended Cut of ‘Suicide Squad’ is by no means a drastically different film. Reintegrating approximately 11 minutes of additional never before seen footage back into the film, the Extended Cut allows fans some more time with our antiheroes and the random interaction between the various members throughout their mission. Likely the most notable addition is some additional and extended sequences with Joker and Harley which contribute some interesting back story to the two and allow fans a somewhat better glimpse of Leto’s performance which was fairly minimal to begin with. Oddly enough, with the Extended Cut of ‘Suicide Squad’ the added material seems to both harm and contribute to the film in many instances; the added exploration of Joker and Harley’s relationship is the most beneficial aspect (even if I’m not quite sold on this iteration of Joker just yet), while a lot of the added interaction between the team members may be a nice addition in its own right, but also causes the tamer moments to begin noticeably dragging in many scenes. As a whole, the ‘Suicide Squad: Extended Cut’ isn’t necessarily a superior or inferior version of the film, but more of a nice bonus to compliment the theatrical cut. I’m at least quite confident it won’t drastically alter the general opinion of the film for most folks.
Overall, ‘Suicide Squad’ is a fun, action packed and humorous look at the darker side of DC, allowing us a chance to become familiar with some of its most credible supervillains. As a whole it’s well done and a notable change from the previous DC films within the universe, although not entirely for the better in my opinion, a statement many would surely argue. Ayer capably guides his own script, the majority of the talented cast delivers fantastic performances and the visually stunning action certainly isn’t in short supply. The film drags somewhat in a few instances, but still holds up quite well overall. The ‘Suicide Squad: Extended Cut’ doesn’t offer a drastically different film by any means, but it does provide some more insight into many of the characters and definitely makes a nice bonus. I would highly recommend the fellow DC fans and anyone who enjoys the universe and/or its unique characters make a point of checking this one out when you have the chance.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Suicide Squad’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation of the Theatrical Version utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks pretty great and delivers an immersive and enjoyable 3D experience. The film clearly wasn’t shot with 3D in mind, but the addition still works quite well and offers plenty of depth and notable pop out activity in a few moments, such as the enclosure of Diablo within the pipe, snowflakes drifting in front of your face, plus tentacles, bits of debris and other artifacts that appear to expand well beyond the screen. It holds up admirably even during the numerous fast paced and darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty solid 3D high definition video presentation that while perhaps not one of the best we’ve seen this year, still delivers a thoroughly immersive and enjoyable 3D presentation.
The standard Blu-ray discs (included with both the 3D and Standard Blu-ray Combo Pack releases) feature a full 1080p High Definition AVC encoded presentation of the Theatrical Version on one disc and the Extended Cut on another, both also utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 2D video presentation (specifically the Extended Cut as I viewed the Theatrical cut in 3D) also looks fantastic and delivers a gorgeous, detailed and often quite colorful presentation from start to finish. While I was personally quite fond of the film’s 3D presentation unlike some, I must admit the 2D edition allows for some more of the film elements (which I believe it was at least largely shot with) to become more noticeable and some minute details also appear to be a bit more distinctive in 2D surprisingly. Overall, it’s a wonderful high definition video presentation that holds up beautifully throughout and never suffers any notable faults along the way.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack on all of the included versions; 3D Theatrical, 2D Theatrical & 2D Extended. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation(s). This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a consistently crisp, clean and incredibly aggressive audio presentation. It constantly utilizes all seven available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the music, in addition to sending a plethora of bullets, debris, tentacles and a great deal more zipping throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a phenomenal Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack that contributes a great deal of fun in itself and should easily thrill the masses.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Suicide Squad’ includes a number of noteworthy extras. The entirety of included supplemental material can be found on either of the 2D Blu-ray discs; no extras are included on the 3D disc. Included on the release are a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Task Force X: One Team, One Mission’ (running approximately 23 minutes in length), ‘Chasing The Real’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Joker and Harley: “It” couple of the Underworld’ (approximately 14 minutes), ‘Squad Strengths and Skills’ (9 minutes), ‘Armed to the Teeth’ (12 minutes), ‘This Is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles of Suicide Squad’ (11 minutes), and ‘The Squad Declassified’ (4 minutes). A ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 2 minutes) is also included.