Is Suicide Squad DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy?

“Suicide Squad,” the direct sequel to “Batman V Superman,” has been open for a while now and appears to meet modest box office returns further paving the way for DC to build its own cinematic universe. Critics weren’t kind to the film, but fans think otherwise. Despite scathing reviews, people continue to pour in perhaps out of curiosity, and its promising box office has already secured a sequel. A sequel to Man of Steel has also been green-lighted. For this author, DC has managed to introduce to the general public and give personalities to some very obscure comic book characters. Well, at least most of them.

The film was okay in general but like Batman v Superman might benefit more if the film didn’t go through the cutting room. There’s plenty of action. Plenty of time was also used to introduce each of the players. Much exposure was given to the characters Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Joker (Jared Leto), Enchantress (Cara Delavingne), Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). The rest of the cast were mostly secondary but were still notable in their roles. The common denominator given by critics was a thin plot. There’s really not much to expect as their mission is simply a run and gun extraction culminating in a boss battle. It’s how the characters interact and how the mission proceeds are what matters. This film is definitely lighter in mood than Batman v Superman with sprinkles of humor throughout the film courtesy of Smith and Robbie.

Whether intentional or not, Suicide Squad takes cues from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in the motley crew of misfits department.

  • Selling Non-Mainstream Characters – Like Guardians of the Galaxy, DC also decided to gamble on a set of comic book characters who are relatively unknown except for Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn has appeared in several animated series, comics and even games. The other characters like Deadshot, Enchantress, El Diablo, Slipknot except maybe for Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang have not appeared in other mediums outside of comics. The Joker? He’s just there to support Harley and not really part of the crew.
  • Motley Crew of Misfits to Family – much like in Guardians of the Galaxy, this band of misfits gradually become closer and surprisingly during battles work as a team and not get in each other’s way. They become family and begin to care for each other well into the film.
  • Intense Soundtrack – popular songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s grace this film giving it a light tone and making it more enjoyable. This is similar to Guardians of the Galaxy, except in Guardians, the music is also a major part of the main character’s personality and not just as background.
  • Popularized Character – the character Deadshot should become more popular now that Will Smith has played him. Much like GOTG’s Peter Quill or StarLord who was an unknown even to those who collect Marvel Comics. Harley Quinn should now be more popular than ever since Margot Robbie nailed the role.
  • Humor – Unlike DC’s first two offerings, Marvel’s films have generally been light with touches of humor spread throughout the films, except maybe for that really dramatic climax to Captain America: Civil War. DC has made it a point to announce that Suicide Squad, despite its villainous characters will have plenty of humor to go around. Guardians of the Galaxy was practically a comedy with some space action and adventure.

Suicide Squad is a fairly enjoyable movie. If you’re not a comic book fan, don’t expect too much in order to enjoy it and consider the cast as new heroes instead of trying to rack your brains on where they’re supposed to be in the greater DC landscape. If you haven’t watched it yet, there’s still time to catch it.

Film Review: ‘Suicide Squad’

Reviewed on July 27, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 123 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A Warner Bros. Pictures release and presentation, in association with Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, of an Atlas Entertainment production. Producers: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle. Executive producers: Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson, Geoff Johns, Steven Mnuchin.

CREW: Director, writer: David Ayer, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Camera (color, widescreen): Roman Vasyanov. Editor: John Gilroy.

WITH: Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara, Aidan Devine, David Harbour, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller.