This is one of my favourite movies to have been critically mauled – because it’s actually a lot better than the online backlash would have you believe.
It’s a damn sight better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for kick-off, but it’s actually that movie that has led to unnecessary studio meddling and choppy-editing that gives this exciting superhero ensemble piece the general feeling that it’s actually not ‘completely’ director David Ayer’s (Fury, End of Watch) long-term vision.
Fortunately some of the ‘meddling’ in question – primarily the addition of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Ezra Miller’s Flash among other quickly cut sequences – actually work on a ‘fanboy’ level, and are not as drastic as some are making out.
Yes, Jared Leto’s Joker – who whets your appetite for more to come with an interesting take on the legend – seems to have suffered the most with some of his scenes being axed (maybe they were too dark for worried execs?), and Margot Robbie’s crazy henchwoman Harley Quinn – arguably the best thing in the movie – simply needed to be in it even more.
But if you brush these points aside, there’s a genuinely entertaining actioner to be had here, with Joel Kinnaman’s (Robocop) Suicide Squad field leader Rick Flag, Jai Courtney’s (Terminator: Genisys) anarchic Captain Boomerang and the always-reliable Will Smith’s as deadly marksman Deadshot, all playing their part in saving the film’s weak points.
In the aftermath of Superman’s death, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Oscar nominee Viola Davis) assembles a team of dangerous individuals led by Colonel Flag – to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government, each with a small bomb implanted in their neck designed to detonate should any member try to escape.
Despite the predictable central protagonists, the shoddy editing, and sometimes wooden scripting, this entertains more than it falters – and the humour element is the best yet in this new DC Universe.
It’s fair to say after the superb start Marvel made, DC aren’t doing themselves any favours – but this is one time the naysayers are being a bit too harsh.
Review by Gavin Miller