Plot: What’s it about?
In 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (henceforth referred to as MCU) was created. The movie was Iron Man and we don’t need to rehash how it did or the long-lasting impact that Tony Stark and his suit of metal did. From there, the films branched out featuring other heroes like Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk. It wasn’t too much later that we were treated to the grand daddy of them all – The Avengers. And with the overwhelming success (both critical and commercial) of these films, it’s no wonder that the DC universe wants a piece of the action. We’ve long been treated to Batman and Superman films, but there’s an entire world of superheroes and villains out there as well. And Suicide Squad was supposed to kick things off. Or maybe it was Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. One of them. Both were considered to be flops in the summer of 2016, but it likely won’t stop Warner and DC from trying to make this happen. We’ve got a different breed of “hero” here, is it worth it or should we keep putting our faith in the MCU?
We meet amada Waller (Viola Davis), a government official who tends to worry about “the next Sueprman” coming to Earth and not being so gentle. Looking at the resources she has, she decides to put together a group of “meta humans” to thwart this potential attack. They’re essentially given an offer they can’t refuse as it knocks time off their prison sentences. And so we meet the rag tag group which includes (with musical interludes, no less) Deadshot (Will Smith), former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerrang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adele Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and finally Katana (Karen Fukuhara). Of course, attention is only paid to the first two, but that’s another story. Their mission, should they choose to accept it (and they do), is to stop an ancient witch – The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) who seemingly wants to rule the world. And, lest we forget, Jared Leto plays the iconic Joker, but don’t expect to see too much of him. Is the Earth doomed or will these criminals end up saving the day?
Well what do you think?
Admittedly Suicide Squad isn’t a total waste of time as there are some good moments in there. My problem (and from what I’ve read, most everyone’s problem with it) was that it was all over the map. Unlike the MCU, we don’t have a lot of backstory on the stars of the film aside from their 2 minute intos in this movie. When watching The Avengers, we know Hawkeye, Thor, Captain America and so forth. That’s just not the case here. Now there are a few familiar faces that do pop up in this movie, but I won’t ruin the surprise if you don’t know who they are. But perhaps the forthcoming Justice League will get it right where this one got it wrong. At least with that one we know who Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman (and a few others) actually are. I guess you can’t blame DC for trying, but this was a missed opportunity for sure. And it only shows how much better movies in the MCU are done. Watch at your own risk.
Video: How’s it look?
I’ve never quite understood why studios do this, but this Ultra HD/4K set comes equipped with a Blu-ray as well. But, here’s the rub, the extended edition is only available on the Blu-ray while the theatrical cut is on the 4K version. So if you’re looking for that extended cut (which most are) and you’ve ponied up the extra cash for the 4K version – you’re going to be stuck watching the Blu-ray. That being said, I did watch both versions and the Ultra HD version does offer better color (HDR) than the Blu-ray. This was to be expected. Then again, this is a pretty dark movie in tone. Yes, we might see a bit more “rose” in Harley Quinn’s cheeks on the 4K version, but it’s all for not if it slows down the pace of the story. As expected the detail, contrast and color range on the 4K version do give this an edge over the Blu-ray, but honestly either way you go – it looks pretty darn good. Oh, there’s also a 3D version out there, but I guess you’ve got to buy a different version to get that as it wasn’t included in this 4K set.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Say what you will about the film, and I have, but the included Dolby Atmos track on both the Blu-ray and the Ultra HD disc simply rock. We’ve got a pretty good soundtrack with some old favorites like “Fortunate Son” and “Sympathy for the Devil” which sound as good as they ever have. Vocals are pure and rich. Killer Croc’s voice fires up the LFE and it’s quite the experience. As you might imagine, when there’s a group of folks trying to save the world, there’ll be some destruction. And there is. Things blow up, as do people. But it’s how it all sounds that really makes it worthwhile. This is one of those that you turn up the volume and sit back and enjoy the ride. Well, this is assuming that the ride is enjoyable. Suffice it to say, the Atmos (or down sampled TrueHD) track will earn its keep and viewers won’t be disappoinited.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Task Force X: One Team, One Mission – Face off with DC’s worst as we reveal the rich legacy behind Deadshot, Joker, Harley Quinn, Rick Flag and the rest of Task Force X.
- Chasing the Real – Writer/Director David Ayer brings a heightened sense of reality to Suicide Squad’s brilliantly imagined cinematic world, focusing on authentic street-level grittiness and emphasizing each character’s unique style and abilities.
- Joker & Harley: “It” Couple of the Underworld – She’s rotten. He’s damaged. And when these two come together – true love becomes treacherous! Discover why hearts pound for th disturbing and dangerous power couple of pain.
- Squad Strength and Skills – Before they could become the Worst. Heroes. Ever. – cast members had to shape up! Get the inside story straight from the Squad as hardcore trainers mold their minds, amp their skills and whip their bodies into peak condition.
- Armed to the Teeth – No Super Villain would be caught dead without their weapon. Check out Deadshot’s wrist-mounted magnums, Katena’s soul-sucking sword, Captain Boomerang’s badass boomerangs and Harley’s beloved bat and revolver.
- This is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles of Suicide Squad – You know the fight is real when it feels freak. See how hard-hitting physical plus high-tech CGI enhancements create explosive action that grabs you by get throat and won’t let go.
- The Squad Declassified – The killer instincts, skills and firepower of the world’s most dangerous Super Villains are put to the test in the battle for Midway City. See how Task Force X measure up against their unearthly, lethal opponents in this searing blow-by-blow.
- Gag Reel – Shenanigans on the set.
The Bottom Line
There’s a little more to creating an entire universe centered around super heroes. It’s more than just putting a bunch of costumed freaks in a movie and expecting it to work. While not a total waste of time, the DC universe has a long way to go to catch up to its Marvel counterpart. Technical merits are up there, but that matters not if the source material is a letdown.