Suicide Squad movie cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman
Suicide Squad movie director: David Ayer
“We were lucky the Superman shared our values. What if the next superman is a terrorist?” That’s the central idea driving Suicide Squad, that when ‘metahumans’ are sprouting all around, humanity’s only answer is unleashing supervillains. As someone dares question this tactic at a meeting, the boss, a formidable Viola Davis as Amanda Wallace, snarls, “Getting people to act against their self-interest is what I do for national security.”
Even if you try to figure that one out, Suicide Squad, you soon realise, is not one for logic. At the start, it seems like design, as a desperate DC Comics tries to shed the dourness that has engulfed its universe — a lot of it brought upon by the lumpen Batman v Superman recently — with this string of men and women wearing their crazy villainy on their sleeves, faces and Robbie’s unmissable butt. By the second half, as a “witch” reduces “Midcity” to a “swirling load of trash in the sky” (their words), you tend to wonder whether lunacy is just a convenient excuse for a messy plot meandering to nothingness.
Ayer is coming off the well-received Fury, but Suicide Squad bears the unmistakable imprint of the aforementioned Batman v Superman and its unmanageable cast, needing to be steered to some kind of an ending.
The leader of the pack is Smith as Deadshot, the man who never misses. However, in a fact that must be celebrated, the one holding up the rear, also literally, is Robbie as Harley Quinn. As Joker’s love interest, who has been electro-shocked and acid-bathed by him into half-crazy and full-psychedelic mode, Robbie just outshines everyone else in view. With Smith disappointingly tamped down, it is left to her to interject some much-needed levity into the proceedings.
The other members of the Suicide Squad include Captain Boomerang (Courtney), Le Diablo (Hernandez), Croc (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and, fleetingly, Slipknot. They are called Suicide Squad because the government is setting them out for missions that would either leave them dead, or if they survive, land them back in their high-security prisons but with reduced sentences. They also have bombs injected into their skins for officials to keep them on a tight leash. Most of them have incidentally been put in jail by Batman, who pops up a few times.
The bonafide soldier guiding and guarding the Suicide Squad is braveheart Rick Flag (Kinnaman), who has a super guardian of his own, a magical sword-wielding samurai called Katana.
It’s here that the story gets funniest. Flag is in love with an archaeologist, June Moone (Delevingne), who in turn has been possessed by the witch or Enchantress we talked about earlier. This is how it works: Wallace controls the Enchantress’s heart, which in turn allows the US government to control the Enchantress, who in turn is to keep the Suicide Squad in line, while closely watched by her never-questioning but deeply devoted boyfriend Flag.
Rarely has national security rested on such, literally, ephemeral shoulders. And sure enough, the moment the Enchantress gets a chance, she turns her attention on destroying Midcity, her heart be damned. Much, much later, when a lot of water has flown under the bridge and a lot happened over it, Flag notes of the whole plan, “Needless to say, it was a bad idea.”
Watch | Suicide Squad trailer
That is around the time all of them have decided to hop into a bar in the middle of the battle against a witch gone mad — what’s a man to do? — and do some soul-searching and chit-chat.
Wish the Joker could have dropped in. Leto does try hard, real hard, but that villain is a very tough act to follow, and the reds of the lips and the greens of the eyes don’t hide the effort. We must say it, musn’t we: Why so serious?