Popcorn Night: Suicide Squad--A Superhero movie...from the Dark Side

After a curious archaeologist wanders into a secret, skull-filled cavern and breaks what seems to be an old artifact, the spirit of a witch named Enchantress enters her body and she ends up being a host to the unwelcome guest. Once this happens, the witch becomes mobile inside of her, seizing her thoughts and actions. The problem escalates when the witch plans to build a machine that would wipe humans from planet earth.  

But instead of sending an armed task force to deal with the situation, the US Army assigns a sergeant along with five newly-recruited, and formerly imprisoned, supervillains to do the job: Deadshot (a notorious hitman, played by Will Smith,) Harley Quinn (a former therapist at a psychiatric ward, played by Margot Robbie, who fell in love with one of her patients and helped as an accomplice in a murder he orchestrated,)  Griggs (a bank robber/jewelry thief, played by Ike Barinholtz,) Diablo (a fire-shooting human being, played by Jay Hernandez, who is a former serial killer charged with murdering his own wife and children,) and Killer Croc (a crocodile-man hybrid, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, which gained a reputation for slaughtering his victims in a crocodile-like fashion.) Together, they are tasked with saving the world in a high-risk, thrill-seeking chase in exchange for minor rewards (e.g. a shortened prison sentence.)

When walking in to see this movie, I had no idea what to expect. I vaguely knew that Suicide Squad was a DC comic book series, so I thought it would attempt to rival Marvel’s Avengers. But after watching it from start to finish, I must say--I was pleasantly surprised. It bore some resemblance to a superhero movie, except for the characters which were disturbingly twisted and psychotic (hence the name.) The most appealing part of Suicide Squad is that all the main characters have superpowers which aren’t necessarily special (when compared to, say, Fantastic 4’s The Thing or Iron Man) but they still manage to use their limited abilities to accomplish the task at hand and do so in a way that makes sense.  This serves to prove a very important point: That movie heroes are made great not by their powers, but by how they use them. Although in this instance, the heroes were replaced with vicious psychopaths being put to good use. Will Smith’s acting was also exceptional, as he managed to shed his normally goofy Fresh Prince of Bel Air persona and accurately represent a father who lives with the guilt of disappointing his daughter.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Suicide Squad, because it was a typical superhero movie....minus the superheroes, superweapons and crusaders for justice. It seems like a more realistic version of a superhero movie, because the characters succeeded at their goals ultimately by using wit over fancy gadgetry and manipulation.  Perhaps this is why the film managed to smash box office records in August.


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