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Suicide Squad

suicide squadIf you can consider this more of a prologue than the main text, than Suicide Squad might pleasantly surprise you. The supposed first in a franchise of movies, as well as various spinoffs, this film acts as an introduction to this particular part of the DC universe and its star-studded cast of nefarious characters through a mishmash of gritty adventure and dreamy flashbacks.

Far from the normal super hero vs super villain comic style plot we’ve all come to love, this latest offering pits bad guys against other bad guys, creating characters you simultaneously love and love to hate.

Under the watchful eye of government official Amander Waller (Viola Davis) a motley assortment of convicted and expendable criminals are heavily armed and forced to team up to defeat a supernatural enemy. Their foe takes form in their squad member turned evil, Enchantress (Cara Delevigne), an eons old spirit who takes occasional control of archaeologist June Moone despite the inconvenience this poses for her love life.  Her powers include time travel and matter manipulation, but most heinously of all interpretative dance to summon her evil underlings.

Deadshot (Will Smith) takes the role of squad skipper as “the most wanted hit man in the world” who just wants to get home to his daughter, and is backed up by the crazed Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who is literally love sick for the Joker, El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) whose fire conjuring powers are a curse that killed the ones he loved, Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Slipknot (Adam Beach). With more characters than can be jammed into one movie we only see the foundation laid for most of these characters, but they might still beat out Taylor Swift for best squad of 2016.

From criminal patient and demure doctor to psychotic, high-on-life lovers, it is the Harley Quinn-Joker scenes that are the stand-out of the film. Although a side-line to the main plot the audience is introduced to the pair’s history in what we can only hope will be a necessary background for their larger storyline in the next instalment. Harley Quinn, dressed as a coquettish cheerleader who ran away and joined the circus, is the crazier and more fearless of the power couple, a characterisation that provides promise for a strong female lead in films to come. The costume hides real character complexity with Harley just touching on her powers of mental manipulation, gymnastic prowess, and omnipotent seduction.

Deadshot’s steadfast stoicism in the face of Harley’s life threatening high jinx also reminds us of the chemistry the two showed in their last on screen romp, although as some of the only members of the group with lines it isn’t hard to standout.

Despite the first Suicide Squad member immediately succumbing to her evil roots under pressure, the team goes ahead to fight the bad guys and restore peace to humanity. Suspend your belief for a couple of hours – it’s a comic book, no one ever said it was realistic.

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