Suicide Squad / Birds Of Prey

D: David Ayer
Warner Bros/DC Entertainment/Ratpac-Dune/Atlas (Charles Roven & Richard Suckle)
US 2016
123 mins

Science Fiction/Action/Fantasy

W: David Ayer [based on characters from DC comics]
DP: Roman Vasyunov
Ed: John Gilroy
Mus: Steven Price

Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jared Leto (The Joker), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jay Hernandez (EL Diablo), Jai Courteney (Captain Boomerang), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc), Cara Delevingne (June Moone / Enchantress), Karen Fukuhara (Katana)

DC's Suicide Squad is the polar opposite to Marvel's The Avengers, not just because their origins are from rival franchises, nor is it because the latter are an elite of superheroes and this film is about a squad of super villains. The reason is because The Avengers was a well-written and executed action-adventure movie and this is a disappointing mess.
Those who have seen the equally disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice will understand the necessity for an ambitious government official to put a unit of such individuals together, but when one of them, a malevolent spirit goes rogue, they are prematurely put into practice.
Although a comic book movie should be allowed licence to be far-fetched, this shouldn't mean abandoning all logic and unfortunately that's how the story for Suicide Squad unfolds, cramming in an opening act for reasons of exposition and then settling for poorly-handled action scenes, explosions and a choppily edited chronology that wedges in moments of comic relief because the studio thought additional moments of comedy were necessary.
The biggest disappointment is Jared Leto's cameo as The Joker, who brings nothing to the movie and is portrayed merely as a wannabe gangster for his ridiculously short screen time.
Fault can't lie wholly with the performances. It's the screenplay and direction that are weak.
Margot Robbie's memorable portrayal as The Joker's psychotic love interest Harley Quinn brings moments of enjoyment, but even she can't save the crummy script.
The only real suicide here is most likely that of DC's movie franchise, left trailing in the wake of Marvel's superiority.

Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad


D: Cathy Yan

Warner Bros/DC/Luckychap/Clubhouse (Margot Robbie, Bryan Unkeless & Sue Kroll)

US 🇺🇸 2020

109 mins

Science Fiction/Action/Fantasy

W: Christina Hodson [based on characters created by DC comics]

DP: Matthew Libatique

Ed: Jay Cassidy & Evan Schmidt

Mus: Daniel Pemberton

Margot Robbie (Harleen Quinzell / Harley Quinn), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Helena Bertinelli / The Huntress), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Dinah Lance / Black Canary), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya), Chris Messina (Victor Zsasz), Ewan McGregor (Roman Sionis / Black Mask)

Although I thought Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn was the most entertaining aspect of 2016’s Suicide Squad, I don’t really think it was good enough to warrant its own spinoff movie. Hollywood studios thought different however, and are still trying to rush through female-led action-adventure movies on a production conveyor belt rather than take their time and make them any good.

This isn’t really an origin story or a sequel to Suicide Squad, as it doesn’t reference that film at all and instead focuses on what Harley Quinn gets up to after she breaks up with the Joker, leading a female group of mercenaries to take on a narcissistic crime lord.

Unfortunately, the plot is incomprehensible and just seems intent on forcing a girl power feminist message down the viewers throats as the characters take on “toxic masculinity”. 

I really don’t care about identity politics and I’m sick of seeing them crammed into movies so blatantly. Just make the movie good, and if it happens to have an honourable social message within the subtext, so be it.

I’ve not been overly impressed with DC comics attempts to compete with Marvel studios cinematic output thus far, and this film certainly hasn’t changed my mind.

Makeup and visual effects aside, it’s a complete waste of time.

You’ll probably know if you’ll enjoy it or not from the original title alone.


Margot Robbie in Birds Of Prey
Margot Robbie in Birds Of Prey