Directed by: David Ayer – Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne
I have to say that I was astonished at the amount of vitriol being aimed at this movie at the beginning of the week. Some less than glowing reviews were published following the initial screenings, and these weren’t just bad – they were almost spiteful in their prose. However, I decided not to let them influence me and judge it on its own merits, and I’m glad I did.
Unless you’ve been living in the wilds, chances are you’ll have seen and heard a great deal about this movie already, as Warner Bros continue to expand their DC Comics Universe with this ensemble super-villain picture. Well, I say super-villain, but they are more anti –heroes, as they are fighting to save the earth from an ancient demon called Enchantress (Delevigne).
Recruited by Intelligence Operative, Amanda Waller (Davis) they are released from their jail cells in order to destroy the entity. As an incentive, they are all injected with an explosive device in their necks that will be activated should they try to escape. This rag tag band of bad guys include Will Smith’s Deadshot, and the Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn (Robbie), a psychotic criminal who is extremely good at being bad.
There is a lot of focus on these two characters, and they are the first ones we are introduced to. Robbie is fantastic here as the unhinged Harley, while Smith plays Deadshot as a hitman with a heart – at least when it comes to his daughter.
The rest of the team may not get as much screen time, or have as developed back-stories, but they all seem to relish their roles. The one downside is Delevigne as Enchantress. Not a strong actress at the best of times, she never truly appears menacing, even with the help of voice distortion and effects, which does diminish the movie somewhat. It reduces the stakes when the ‘bad guy’ doesn’t seem suitably threatening.
Having started out extremely well and fast-paced, this does dip somewhat in the second half – partly due to the issue I mentioned above. However, that doesn’t mean the action lets up, and indeed pretty much all the big set pieces and action scenes are contained here. As you would expect with a movie of this genre and budget, they are truly spectacular and designed to leave you open-mouthed in awe. The cinematography is effective and the soundtrack is fantastic, with a great mix of classic tracks throughout.
This is not as wise-cracking or tongue in cheek as many other comic book offerings. Dark is the order of the day, and indeed half the film is set at night lest we forget this. That’s not to say there is no humour in it. It is just used sporadically, rather than constantly bombarding the audience. A barrel of laughs this ain’t.
It is hard to make an audience care about the bad guys – after all they are saving the world for their own agenda and not out of a love for their fellow man – but in the case of Deadshot and Harley, you really do. The other characters aren’t really given a chance to make the same sort of impression on us, but you do feel some empathy with them also.
Although not quite as good as the hype would have you believe, this is still a wonderfully entertaining couple of hours. It certainly doesn’t deserve the hate that has been aimed at it, and I can’t see anyone walking out of this saying that they didn’t enjoy it.
A solid and stylish flick that will leave you wanting to know more about the characters, this should satisfy not just fans of comic books, but anybody who just likes a good old-fashioned roller-coaster ride of a movie.
In Cinemas Now!