SUICIDE SQUAD [PG-13] D
Cue up a pop-heavy (and way too on-the-nose) soundtrack, haphazardly splash the screen with eye-popping neon effects, and set a ragtag collection of would-be antiheroes on the path towards redemption, and you’ve got a winner, right? DC Comics bet the bank on this formula, which worked well for the team behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the glorious bow of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Sadly, a real critical dilemma plagues David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad,” because for all the crazy hijinks and Technicolor tricks on display, what’s missing is a grounding in character beyond basic iconography. What made Deadshot (Will Smith) such a ticking time bomb? What was Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) like before she fell under the sway of the Joker (Jared Leto), and what’s going on underneath all of the lunatic fringe grandstanding of this iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime? It doesn’t bode well that you walk away from the movie asking these kinds of questions about characters that the narrative actually spends time and shorthand effort attempting to spotlight.