‘Suicide Squad’ just escapes falling flat

By Tyler Movsessian

(‘Suicide Squad’ Official Facebook Page)

“Suicide Squad” did not meet expectations. Although writer-director David Ayer had an interesting idea and great potential, uneven character development and plot holes drag the latest comic book blockbuster down to mediocrity.

Following the events of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) convinces military officials to form a team of ruthless supervillains to follow out her orders because these missions are too risky for the United States military.

Field commander Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) leads the team that includes Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the Joker (Jared Leto), Deadshot (Will Smith), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot (Adam Beach) on a mission to seek out a supernatural being destroying Midway City, the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) – a task that only a group of people with nothing to lose would dare to attempt.

Although “Suicide Squad” ultimately falls short, Ayer’s film still contains ample action, comedy and mischief.

Steven Price deserves credit for his unbelievable score which matches the mood of this film perfectly. The curated soundtrack, which includes “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “House of the Rising Son” by The Animals and “Without Me” by Eminem, easily sailed to the top of the Billboard 200 Chart.

Roman Vasyanov also does commendable work with cinematography and lighting, pairing the movie’s dark feel with mostly dark shots. Scenes often take place at night and even daytime scenes feature broody weather, which blends well with the soundtrack’s hearty helping of rock music.

It’s unfortunate that “Suicide Squad” pays unequal attention to its motley crew. The film spends a long time exploring Deadshot’s (aka Floyd Lawton) estrangement from his daughter and how Harley Quinn was a psychiatrist for Arkham Asylum patients until her love for one clownish client turns her bad, but it seems like Ayer whisks through the other backstories.

The Joker also feels like an irrelevant background character for most of the movie. I was excited to see him on the big screen for the first time since “The Dark Knight,” but it seemed like he was barely part of the story.

Another aspect that most superhuman movies have that “Suicide Squad” does not have are huge battles. Two forces don’t go against each other like one would normally expect in this type of movie. That lack of a major confrontation leaves some holes in the plot that can occasionally make for a tough watch. When there is a team of villains fighting against another villain for a villainous government agency, figuring out who’s who can be overwhelming.

“Suicide Squad” offers a few fun surprises that keep it from totally falling flat. It’s a middle-of-the-road movie whose soundtrack and style make it at least moderately interesting for audiences to spend a couple hours in its sordid world.

Tyler Movsessian can be reached at [email protected]