Bored of all those goody-two shoes superheroes saving the world in the latest blockbuster extravaganza? Then this movie focusing on DC Comics’ motley crew of super villains, brought together by a secret government organisation to fight the baddest of the bad, tries – but doesn’t completely succeed – to be the anti-hero adventure you’re looking for.
Amanda Waller (Davis) is the brains behind a plan to bring some of society’s worst criminals together to fight even badder people/aliens (her argument being: what would the world have done had Superman flown down and attacked instead of saved the planet?). In a music video montage worthy of 1980s MTV, we meet her specially selected team – assassin Dead Shot (Smith), crazy former psychiatrist and Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn (Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), human fireball Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and scaly-skinned Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Under the watchful eye of soldier Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), they are all coerced into helping (by means of bombs injected into their necks) when a new threat comes to Midway City – the witchy Enchantress (Cara Delevingne).
It’s loud, it’s brash, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Ezra Miller’s The Flash pop up for brief cameos, and there’s the opportunity for the cast and special effects team to run riot when the city is conveniently evacuated of all people/potential victims before the grand finale. But it never quite gels together. Throughout, you get the feeling that director and screenwriter David Ayer was working to an impossible delivery deadline (nowadays it’s not rare for a movie to have a release date even before a single frame has been filmed) so just threw every element he could onto the screen without taking the time to fully flesh out the characters (only Dead Shot, Harley and, to a lesser degree, Diablo, get much of a back story) or come up with a decent foe for them to fight (model Delevingne looks great but is about as threatening as a cuddly kitten).
And while the pre-release posters of Leto’s snarling Joker promised much, he isn’t given much to do either. Like the rest of the group, he snarls about looking for a plot that isn’t there – what little story there is has been stolen from John Carpenter’s Escape From New York – and presumably hopes for a sequel that’s better planned and executed than this flashy but forgettable film.
Is Suicide Squad suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note: This is a 15 certificate film in the UK for sustained threat and moderate violence.
It is a PG-13 in the US for ‘sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behaviour, suggestive content and language’.
Throughout the film, people are punched, characters are tortured in prison, and members of the Suicide Squad are shown to enjoy the pain they inflict. There are lots of violent action sequences (though little blood is shown) and some characters are shot in cold blood. There is also some strong language.
Parents should note that in the UK, children under 15 should not be admitted to 15 certificate films. However, realistically children under that age will probably see the movie by other means and it should be fine (with parental permission) for those over the age of 11 who are not easily scared.