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David Ayer
Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jared Leto
Writing Credits:
David Ayer

A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

Box Office:
$175 million.
Opening Weekend
$166,007,347 on 4242 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13 (Theatrical)
Rated NR (Extended)

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio (Theatrical Only)
French Dolby 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Portuguese Dolby 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 123 min. (Theatrical)
134 min, (Extended Edition)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 12/13/2016

• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
• “Task Force X” Featurette
• “Joker and Harley” Featurette
• “Chasing the Real” Featurette
• “Squad Strength and Skills” Featurette
• “Armed to the Teeth” Featurette
• “This Is Gonna Get Loud” Featurette
• “The Squad Declassified” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Suicide Squad [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 5, 2016)

Hot on the heels of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016’s Suicide Squad offers another excursion into the DC Comics universe. Squad picks up soon after the end of Dawn of Justice, as we see a world that struggles to cope with the death of Superman.

In an attempt to fend off potential future challenges, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles a superpowered team. The twist? Waller picks the baddest of the bad, villains who all find themselves incarcerated in the most maximum security facilities known to man.

Led by super-soldier Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), this “Suicide Squad” includes a mix of participants. Waller recruits sniper Floyd “Deadshot” Lawton (Will Smith), insane former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Aussie assassin Digger “Captain Boomerang” Harkness (Jai Courtney), reptilian cannibal Waylon “Killer Croc” Jones (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), pyromaniacal Chato “El Diablo” Santana (Jay Hernandez), grappling expert Christopher “Slipknot” Weiss (Adam Beach), and swordswoman Tatsu “Katana” Yamashiro (Karen Fukuhara).

After Waller brings these misfits together, they soon face a major challenge. An ancient evil force known as Sorceress (Cara Delevingne) threatens worldwide annihilation if the Squad fails to execute their mission. Oh, and we also get occasional mayhem from Harley’s significant other, the Joker (Jared Leto).

Squad acts as the third entry in the “DC Extended Universe”. Essentially their attempt to replicate the success of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, the DCEU started with 2013’s Man of Steel and picked up again with the aforementioned Dawn of Justice. Matters will proceed apace in the future, as it appears the DCEU will produce two films a year through at least 2020, and 2017 brings Wonder Woman and Justice League.

I hope to take some pleasure from those movies, but with each new DCEU offering, my optimism fades. Man of Steel was pretty much awful, and Dawn of Justice came with too many flaws - though the extended “Ultimate Edition” helped rectify a lot of those, it still didn’t became the great film I wanted.

Perhaps the alternate, longer version of Squad also found in this package will improve it – I wrote this review based solely on a screening of the theatrical Squad and I’ll discuss the extended edition when I get to the set’s extras. In its big-screen rendition, the film comes with most of the same problems I found in the theatrical Dawn of Justice. Squad feels crammed too tight and without nearly as much impact as it needs.

One major issue comes from the depiction of the characters, as Squad includes an awful lot of mouths to feed – all of whom need their own origin stories. Imagine an Avengers that lacked any existing backstories, a film that threw all its heroes at us for the first time – that would’ve been a mess, as we see via the sloppy, expedited exposition on display in Squad.

Of course, Squad doesn’t attempt to treat all its personalities equally. Within the ensemble confines, Deadshot and Harley act as the dominant roles, and we don’t learn nearly as much about the others.

This makes sense given the movie’s time restraints, but it creates an obvious imbalance, as we lack sufficient knowledge of much of the Squad. These characters remain thinly-sketched and fail to deliver much to allow us to invest in them.

Not that we rarely dig into Deadshot all that much either. Even though he plays the ostensible lead, we find little about his history beyond the fact he loves his daughter Zoe (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon) – oh, and that he’s not really evil.

Perhaps the original comic book character boasts a similar arc, but it feels like Squad tries too hard to soften any rough edges off of Deadshot. Some of that also comes from Smith’s performance, as he just seems unable to play a supposedly amoral, cold character. He displays too much of his patented nice guy charm and can’t bring the hardness Deadshot needs.

As for Harley, Squad features her far more than any other character – even Deadshot takes a clear backseat to Quinn. A lot of this comes from the inclusion of Joker, a choice that doesn’t work.

I get the impression Squad features Joker solely to boost box office. I understand that Harley’s comic book career ties her to Joker, but as depicted in Squad, Mr. J’s appearances usually become gratuitous and superfluous.

Joker never integrates with the rest of the plot. He pops up occasionally in his attempt to rescue Harley, but none of these scenes goes much of anywhere, and I fully believe the movie could excise all of them with no loss. If Squad completely removed all threads related to Joker beyond Harley’s origin story, I suspect it would work just as well.

Though I also suspect the movie would still be a dud, as even without the Joker elements, the film’s story lacks zing. The Squad plods along as they work their way toward a confrontation with Enchantress. This plays like a superhero Lord of the Rings with an ending lifted from the original Ghostbusters.

Despite the simplicity of the basic plot, the progression feels like a mess. There’s precious little clarity, and the action scenes come across with little excitement. The movie crams in over-amped score and rock/rap songs in an attempt to liven up the proceedings, but it all seems desperate.

In the end, Suicide Squad just doesn’t work. It lacks a compelling narrative and the action/adventure side fails to coalesce. I really wanted to like this movie but the final product never becomes especially entertaining.

Footnote: a teaser sequence that points toward Justice League shows up partway into the end credits. Nothing pops up at the very end of the credits, though.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Suicide Squad appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a satisfying presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. A few interiors seemed a smidgen soft, but not to a substantial degree. Instead, the majority of the flick offered solid delineation. No moiré effects or jaggies appeared, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

The palette of Squad emphasized a dull teal impression. A bit of orange and occasional other hues also materialized, but the blue-green dominated. Though the colors never seemed impressive, they worked given the movie’s production design.

Blacks seemed appropriately dark and dense, and shadows were positive. Much of the movie took place at night and during a variety of low-light situations, and the image displayed these dim sequences in an accurate manner. In the end, the image worked well.

Even better, I felt impressed by the dynamic Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Squad. Because I don’t have an Atmos-equipped system yet, this played back as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix, and it delivered an exciting presentation.

With nearly wall-to-wall action, the movie came with a slew of chances to open up the soundscape, and it took good advantage of these. Vehicles, gunfire, explosions and other forms of mayhem occupied the various channels and blended together in an exciting fashion. These elements gave the movie kick and involvement.

Audio quality also satisfied. Music was bold and bright, and speech appeared natural and concise, with no intelligibility issues. Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with real punch when necessary. These factors turned this into a top-notch soundtrack.

In this package, we get two versions of Squad. Disc One provides the movie’s Theatrical Cut (2:02:53) while Disc Two includes an Extended Edition (2:14:32). How do the two differ?

Most of the added 12 minutes or so comes from short tidbits. By my count, we get brief extensions to eight scenes, and none of these come across as anything significant. I guess a segment in which Flag bargains with Deadshot adds a little merit, but otherwise, the additions lack substance.

The notable exception comes from a ninth alteration, a sequence that goes from 1:05:09 to 1:09:56. In this segment, Harley flashes back to earlier experiences with Joker, and she also taunts/interacts with other Squad members.

At almost five minutes, this easily becomes the longest new scene. Does it add anything useful to the film? No – and I think it compounds one of the Theatrical Cut’s problems.

As I mentioned in the body of the review, I feel Squad emphasizes Harley too much, so the addition of more Harley and Joker just intensifies the issue.

The extended cut lacks a scene I thought it would – and should – include: a formal introduction to Slipknot. While every other member of the Squad gets backstory, Slipknot just appears out of nowhere, without explanation. How does this make sense to the filmmakers?

When I watched the elongated version of Batman v. Superman, I thought the new/longer scenes significantly improved the film. Those changes made a frustrating movie more coherent and much more enjoyable.

I hoped to say the same for the extended Squad, but I can’t. The additions do nothing to fix the movie’s problems – and they just make some of them worse. Fans who thought the longer Squad would improve it will find disappointment.

Discs One and Two provide the same extras, almost all of which revolve around featurettes. Task Force X: One Team, One Mission runs 23 minutes, eight seconds and involves writer/director David Ayer, comics writers John Ostrander and Jai Nitz, executive producer Geoff Johns, co-producer Andy Horwitz, producers Richard Suckle and Charles Roven, and actors Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, and Karen Fukuhara.

“Mission” looks at the comic book history of the Suicide Squad and their adaptation to the big screen, cast and characters. This becomes a nice overview of the different roles, and I especially like the text info about the comic roots of all the parts.

Next comes Chasing the Real, a nine-minute, 37-second piece with Ayer, Davis, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Suckle, Roven, Robbie, Hernandez, Kinnaman, Johns, Smith, production designer Oliver Scholl, costume designer Kate Hawley, tattoo makeup designer Rob Coutts, military advisor Kevin Vance, and visual effects producer Ed Ulbrich. The show discusses set/costume/character design, the movie’s attempts at realism, action and various effects. Despite a short running time, “Chasing” includes a solid take on its topics.

During the 14-minute, 29-second Joker and Harley, we hear from Robbie, Roven, Ayer, Suckle, Hernandez, Howitz, Hawley, Johns, and actors Jared Leto and Cara Delevingne, As implied by the title, this piece looks at the design and execution of the Joker and Harley characters. Though it tends toward praise a little too often, it still offers a good view of the appropriate elements.

By the way, does anyone else think Leto’s Joker stole his voice from Jim Carrey in The Mask?

After this we get Squad Strength and Skills. It goes for nine minutes, three seconds and features Ayer, Smith, Robbie, Delevingne, Courtney, Suckle, Horwitz, Roven, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Courtney, Fukuhara, Hernandez, Kinnaman, Vance, stunt/fight choreographer Richard Norton, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Guy Norris, stunt coordinator Glenn Suter, stuntman Kirk Krack, martial arts trainer Richard Mesquita, and physical trainer Pieter Vodden. “Skills” views actor training and stunts/action. Like its predecessors, it brings us a nice investigation of its domains.

With Armed to the Teeth, we discover an 11-minute, 48-second reel with Ayer, Smith, Roven, Suckle, Leto, Kinnaman, Vance, Johns, Fukuhara, Courtney, Robbie, property master Dan Sissons, lead designer/fabricator Taku Dazai, FX costumer Adam Smith, and military consultant Tyler Gray. “Armed” looks at props, with an emphasis on weapons. It presents another satisfying featurette.

This Is Gonna Get Loud goes for 10 minutes, 54 seconds and gives us notes from Ayer, Smith, Courtney, Robbie, Kinnaman, Norris, Suter, Ulbrich, Scholl, Hernandez, visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen and special effects coordinator Scott R. Fisher. “Loud” covers various effects and the creation of action sequences. “Loud” becomes more praise-filled than the others, but it still delivers a reasonable amount of material.

Finally, The Squad Declassified fills four minutes, 19 seconds. It gives us basic about participants in the film’s battles. The show serves as a decent little tutorial, with some fun details along the way.

A Gag Reel spans two minutes, four seconds. It shows us a fairly standard collection of goofs and giggles, so don’t expect anything memorable.

Disc One opens with ads for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman. No trailer for Squad appears here.

An extension of the DC superhero universe, Suicide Squad presents a decidedly lackluster adventure. Even with a slew of interesting characters, the movie proceeds in a sluggish way and fails to deliver real excitement. The Blu-ray brings us strong picture and audio as well as a pretty good mix of bonus materials. Squad winds up as a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.1666 Stars Number of Votes: 18
5 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main