Though Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was largely considered a disappointment by both its studio, which is restructuring its DC Movieverse in the wake of lower-than-expected box office numbers and savage reviews, and audiences, which branded the pic with a B CinemaScore (the same one given to Catwoman and Green Lantern), there’s reason to be hopeful for Suicide Squad.
For one, the cast is terrific – Margot Robbie seems to have a real handle on the leering lunacy of Harley Quinn, and Will Smith seems to be doing typically strong work as Deadshot. Add in a transformed Jared Leto doing his best to reinvent the public’s perception of the Joker, and a packed roster of actors like Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Viola Davis, and (yes) Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, and you’ve got one of the strongest ensembles on screen in a comic-book movie this year.
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And for another, director David Ayer is no Zack Snyder – he’s known for making lean, thrilling, sometimes very dark movies, and it will be interesting to see how his influence manifests itself in the finished product. The impression that the above TV spot is giving off is that Warner Bros. really wants to emphasize the more comedic, kooky elements of the pic and sell it as a lighthearted piece of popcorn entertainment. Whether that’s the case or not remains to be seen (the tone of the marketing campaign has changed significantly in the aftermath of Batman V Superman), but whatever Ayer has pulled together should at least make for an engaging watch.
Suicide Squad opens August 5.
It feels good to be bad…Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?