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"Suicide Squad" is NO "War Wagon" - CinemaDave

Oct. 21st, 2016 09:59 pm "Suicide Squad" is NO "War Wagon"

After screening Suicide Squad in the afternoon, I happened to catch an old favorite, The War Wagon with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, who lead a team of renegades in this heist/Western hybrid. The War Wagon was a typical movie released (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen) at the time. It featured a disparate group of individuals who seek to solve a violent problem. There are many similarities between these 1960 classics and Suicide Squad.

Once king of motion picture box office comic book movies, DC Comics has taken second fiddle to Marvel Comics for the past decade. With the Spring release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC is trying to follow Marvel’s lead by creating a series of movies based on their ensemble universe. Instead of focusing on the heroes of DC Comics, Suicide Squad focuses on the Rogue Gallery often found in the Arkham Asylum.

After the chaos caused by the Batman/Superman battle, Secret Security Administrator Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) recruits a gang of criminals to combat potential interstellar terrorists. These bad guys have individual skills and talents with one common denominator; they do not play well with others.

Deadshot (Will Smith) is a single father who is a paid assassin who can hit any target that he aims at. Boomerang (Jai Courtney) is an expert at throwing things and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ) has a leathery skin condition and dines on raw flesh. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is a circus pixie with a baseball bat. She was once a prominent psychiatrist who treated a patient that seduced her. Her patient was the notorious Joker (Jared Leto).

Anyway, something supernatural happens in a city. Waller presses a button and unleashes her Suicide Squad upon an ancient evil. There is a lot of shooting with automatic rifles, explosions and many special effects.

Much like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is an interesting movie until the action sequences begin. Even with 3-D glasses, one loses interest in the blurry visuals. Besides the character introductions in the beginning of the film, the best part of the film is a scene in the bar. This quiet scene is one in which these extreme characters share their twisted dreams of personal redemption.

This film will not be remembered as a classic like The War Wagon or The Dirty Dozen, yet Suicide Squad features some fine ensemble performances. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn steals the spotlight. With charming unpredictability, Quinn should get her own movie someday, minus the computer-enhanced special effects.

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