Suicide Squad Parent Review
Over-the-top visuals and action are to be expected in this genre, but "Suicide Squad" is too much of too much.
Meta humans have become an increasing problem in the post Superman era and government officials are running out of options to keep them in check. So what seems more reasonable than assembling a motley crew of criminals, some with questionable mental stability, and making it their job to save humanity? Coerced into participation by Intelligence Officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and super soldier Colonel Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), the likes of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith) and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and a few less-significant others are imposed upon to do their country’s dirty work. After all, what evil force could possibly prevail against this band of anti-heroes?
Yes, here we go again… with yet another plot where the bad guys are the good guys. (See Fast & Furious, XXX: State of the Union, Lock Out…) And that makes this a “Superhero” movie that really doesn’t focus on any superheroes at all… just villains who are the lesser of two evils.
Heavy on action, this production has so many things competing for the audience’s attention that it has difficulty presenting a cohesive plot or honing in on any of the roughly-ten central figures. Moving at an inconsistent pace while abruptly switching between story threads, the script attempts to provide background information on this small army of deviants.
Perhaps the most entertaining to watch is Harley Quinn. The tiny, pigtailed blonde, often scantily clad in super tight t-shirts paired with barely-there booty shorts, is the comic relief in this script that otherwise takes itself too seriously. Formerly a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, the naïve practitioner fancied herself romantically interested in one of the inmates: The Joker (Jared Leto). Yet while treating his psychosis, it is she who gets strapped to a gurney and subjected to torturous electro-shock therapy. It is her patient’s way of transforming her from sane to insane - or insanely in love, depending on how you look at it.
Deadshot is another character that receives generous screen time (although I suspect the motive for this allotment has more to do with exploiting Will Smith’s star power, than it does his mediocre performance). It is challenging to decide how much sympathy the viewer should feel towards this supposedly devoted father, who kills people for money and doesn’t think twice about it. And despite being protective of his young daughter (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon), he shows little respect toward other females, including Harley when he says he’ll knock her out and doesn’t care that she is a girl. (Batman, played by an uncredited Ben Affleck, is actually shown carrying out such a threat.)
In fact, Girl Power and Feminism take a bit of a beating in this film that depicts female cast members far more seductively than the men. For instance, Katana (Karen Fukuhara) wears a midriff bearing shirt (which isn’t how she’s drawn in the comic books) and the camera is often pointed directly at Quinn’s rear end to make the most of that angle. As well, the women portrayed here are subservient to male supervisors. Take for example The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne—also in revealing garb), who can’t truly get her plan in motion without the help of her bigger and “badder” brother (Alain Chanoine), and Amanda Waller who needs permission from the men in charge before she can proceed with her operation.
Even though over-the-top is to be expected in this genre, Suicide Squad is too much of too much. Officer Waller’s idea of taking the “worst of the worst” in order to “do some good” does indeed prove to be a doomed mission.Directed by David Ayer. Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release August 5, 2016. Updated December 12, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Suicide Squad here.
Suicide Squad Parents Guide
Even though most of the main characters in this movie are criminals, they are put in the positions of being the “hero”. Do we see them improve or show an increased level of morals/ethics?
How might our attitudes about the issue of violence against females be affected when we see portrayals of women being physically assaulted in film? How can parents help their children understand what “abuse” is? Is violence ever an acceptable solution to a problem?