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Suicide Squad' Offers Charm and Fun, but Ultimately Falls Short

"Suicide Squad" has been the subject of some debate this week due to low critical ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. So are the critics right about it?

**The following is an in-depth review of “Suicide Squad” and does contain spoilers.**

"Suicide Squad" is the latest installment in the DC Comics Extended Universe series of films, which began with 2013's "Man of Steel." It was directed by David Ayer and stars Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie.

"Suicide Squad" tells the story of a band of supervillains recruited by the U.S. government to deal with threats normal superheroes might be unwilling to do because of their moral code. They also help to provide the government with plausible deniability should a particular operation go sideways. It's a lot easier to throw Deadshot or Harley Quinn under the bus than it would be Superman or Batman.

The leader of the team - and the man tasked with keeping the villains in line - is a special operations soldier named Rick Flag. To facilitate the task of keeping some of the most dangerous criminals in the DC universe under control, Flag has the squad implanted with small explosives in their necks. If they get out of line, try to escape or refuse to follow orders, Flag will detonate the explosive and blow up their heads.

Parallel to all of this is Jared Leto's Joker, who really is just a tertiary element in the film. It's a shame that David Ayer didn't choose to make the Joker the main protagonist. Not only because Leto did an amazing job - especially following the Oscar-winning performance Heath Ledger gave as the character - but also because it would have given the film's plot much more legitimacy.

One of the biggest problems with "Suicide Squad" is the choice of Entrantress as the main villain. Enchantress as a character wasn't bad at all. She was scary and menacing, she just didn't fit in this movie. Enchantress would have been better suited as the villain for a "Constantine" or "Justice League Dark" sort of film, where the occult is an ever-present element.

The Joker would have been a much better fit as antagonist because he would have given the film a reason to recruit villains to take down the threat. There is no reason Superman - although he is dead at the beginning of the film - Batman or Wonder Woman couldn't have just as easily taken care of Enchantress, without the added hassle of having to keep dangerous criminals under control. Sending the Squad up against the Joker would also have given the film a need for Harley Quinn, who has intimate knowledge of the Joker.

With one of the biggest criticisms of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" being that the film was too heavy and devoid of fun, "Suicide Squad" is an incredibly fun and charming movie. In many ways, "Suicide Squad" almost feels like it was Marvelized. Much like many of the movies that comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the plot of "Suicide Squad" is very simple and Enchantress is a very one-dimensional villain.

The most disappointing part of this film is that it was written and directed by David Ayer. Ayer is a cinematic genius and has been responsible for some of the best crime and police movies ever made. He wrote "Training Day" and "Dark Blue," as well as writing/directing "End of Watch." Ayer is an extremely talented filmmaker and in many ways this movie seems not up to his own standards.

"Suicide Squad" is by no means a waste of time nor is it necessarily a bad movie, and it's certainly better than the 26 percent rating it currently holds on Rotten Tomatoes. It's enjoyable, very funny when it's supposed to be, and the entire cast fits their respective roles perfectly. It just isn't anything special and fails to have the substance offered by its predecessors.

"Suicide Squad" has earned $230 million its opening weekend - setting a box office record for a movie released in the month of August - and is on track to become the third highest grossing film of the year.

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