Sunday, December 11, 2016

Video review: "Suicide Squad"

People seem to want to have an instant relationship with movies these days. Large swaths of the moviegoing public had judged the “Ghostbusters” reboot long before it came to theaters. Folks fell in love with the new “Stars Wars” sequel in a similar fashion, seeing it as the antidote to the unfairly maligned prequels.

After the Sturm und Drang of the lackluster “Batman v Superman,” I think many were not willing to judge its follow-up, “Suicide Squad,” with an open heart. And while the movie’s certainly got some problems, especially in the first half, it’s actually a notable variation on the gradually tiring superhero genre.

Instead of all-powerful do-gooders racked with guilt over their abilities, we are given a half-dozen flawed villains who are given a chance to get out of prison to work for the government. It seems there’s some sort of energy vortex in the middle of the city that could destroy the world, so our gang of creeps is sent in to take care of it.

The A-listers are Will Smith and Margot Robbie as Deadshot and Harley Quinn, respectively. He’s an ace assassin who never misses, while she’s a former psychiatrist who turned into a deranged go-go girl under the influence of her even crazier boyfriend, the Joker (Jared Leto). Alas, if you’ve watched the trailers for “Suicide Squad” you’ve already seen a good chunk of Leto’s entire role. The Joker’s not the main bad guy, just a colorful backgrounder here.

I’m not even going to list the others, because there’s too many of them, plus other secondary figures. Suffice to say they’re a pleasing multicultural mix of killers and psychopaths.

Things take too long in the first half, with quick riffs on each character to introduce them. But it all builds up nicely to a carefully choreographed orgy of mayhem and CGI special effects.

“Suicide Squad” may not be a great super hero/villain flick, but it’s more entertaining and fun than snap judgments might suggest. Sometimes you have to just wait a little bit and let the movie come to you.

The lynchpin of the bonus features is an extended cut that adds 13 minutes of previously unseen footage. You can also watched synchronized pop-up content related to each scene using the VUDU app.

Other extras include seven making-of featurettes and a gag reel.