Jared Leto’s abysmal Joker can’t diminish Margot Robbie’s entertaining Harley Quinn portrayal, but Suicide Squad struggles from the get go. It’s rushed to capitalize on Marvel’s success, and patchwork comedy clashes with the darker tone. Suicide Squad isn’t even logical when absorbed in its premise, sending highly commercialized, power-less characters into the fray to battle near invincible aliens. Low on character, thin on antagonists, and dry in action, DC’s internal struggles end up on screen.
Awful, awful black levels. If there’s any memory of Suicide Squad’s Blu-ray in a few weeks, it’s the pasty, dull, and brown hue which permeates throughout. Mediocre depth hinders the action, primarily shown at night. Depth goes to Suicide Squad to die.
All of the flashy colors on the posters and logos doesn’t translate. Muted hues and dry primaries define the look, taking flesh tones into garish territory. If the studio had time to fix the rumored content problems, there wasn’t enough to patch in some genuine color.
That all aside, the sharp blockbuster look remains via firm detail. City exteriors offer excellent sharpness, as do close-ups. Fidelity remains consistent. Even with the moody darkness, fine detail prevails. Warner’s encode doesn’t cause problems.
Add in 3D for almost no real results. Depth comes and goes. One shot appears stunning, the next so flat it’s a wonder where the 3D effects went or a time to check if the glasses still work. In the best moments, Suicide Squad tosses tentacles toward the camera, a pleasing, fast effect. Certain shots play to the needed compositions too. Well considered foreground or height do accentuate the imagery.
Anywhere else, even in big action scenes, 3D isn’t a factor. Good luck seeing anything during the smokey, hazy finale. Before, the slew of gunfights fall drab, ill-composed to use the format while the darkness introduces trace amounts of cross talk. Any fall-in effects come together sparingly (looking down then up a winding staircase) while minuscule pop-out registers briefly.
Almost in tandem with the 3D, Warner’s TrueHD/Atmos mix both excites and disappoints. For excitement, the final battle nicely captures the nuance, from swirling magic to clanging swords. Superior channel separation provides what’s needed to elevate the scene. Also superb is ambiance, registering rain, helicopters flying around the military base, music, and more. In this regard, it’s wonderfully accurate and precise. Not enough can be said for the music either, hitting the low-end and swelling into the full soundfield.
For the lows, flip to the office building shoot-outs. Despite a visible presence of activity, rear channels seems subdued and lacking in force. An earlier (and similar) street level battle does plenty to use the stereos and rears. Once indoors, the track dies off. It’s not a severe loss, but the prominence of positional activity drops off.
An extended cut is included, although not in 3D. Task Force X begins the bonuses, 23-minutes long, discussing the origin of these characters and the film translation. Chasing the Real details efforts in trying to make the film seem real, rather odd for a movie with mushroom people. Next comes Joker & Harley, bringing in both Leto and Robbie to discuss the characters. Stuntwork, weapons, and choreography each earn their own featurettes, around 10 minutes each. A gag reel and promotional piece come in last.
Margot Robbie and Will Smith almost make Suicide Squad worth watching, but it’s still a struggle to reach the end of this tired comic action flick.
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