Bad guys and bul­lets add up to overkill in DC’S lat­est

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - GO SEE -

MOVIE RE­VIEW

Three “if”s, a “when” and a “but” re­gard­ing the new DC Comics movie “Sui­cide Squad,” star­ring Will Smith, Mar­got Rob­bie, Jared Leto and Vi­ola Davis:

IF you were to make a bet­ter film than the one writer-di­rec­tor David Ayer has made, you’d still hire Smith. He takes top billing as Dead­shot, the world’s most lethal hit man who is go­ing through some cus­tody is­sues with his adorable daugh­ter. Older now, his screen pres­ence in­formed by a re­laxed au­thor­ity, the star’s un­der­play­ing is a re­lief. In this headache of a movie, he pro­vides the as­pirin.

IF you could start this headache over from scratch, you’d still want Mar­got Rob­bie in the show­case role of Har­ley Quinn, for­mer staff psy­chi­a­trist at Arkham Asy­lum, tor­tured into crim­i­nal com­pli­ance and twisted de­vo­tion by the in­mate known as the Joker. Rob­bie is ra­dioac­tively watch­able, swing­ing her base­ball bat this way and that, sell­ing this skeezy male-fan­tasy nutjob with wideeyed en­thu­si­asm. In Ayer’s film, Jared Leto plays the Joker with the voice Heath Ledger cooked up back in “The Dark Knight,” and a grill bor­rowed from Gangstas Anony­mous. He doesn’t get the screen time some of the presold fan­boys ex­pected, which is nei­ther here nor there; “Sui­cide Squad” is sad­dled with a big­ger cast of char­ac­ters than “Around the World in 80 Days.”

Fi­nally: IF, in that al­ter­na­te­u­ni­verse “Sui­cide Squad,” you needed a steely au­thor­ity fig­ure who trans­forms a cadre of hard­ened psy­chos and killers into a black-ops unit de­signed to take on bad guys from var­i­ous di­men­sions, then Vi­ola Davis would be your steely au­thor­ity fig­ure.

So. WHEN that bet­ter movie comes along, be it the al­ready an­nounced se­quel or the promised Har­ley Quinn spinoff ve­hi­cle, maybe we’ll get some­where near a good time.

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