Suicide Squad is not a super-hero film. There are some super-heroes in the film, and it deals with characters with super-powers. But this is a much more twisted and complicated story, about twisted and complicated people.
The movie has been hyped so much that I am sure everyone knows basically what it is about, but to recap: in the wake of Superman's death Amanda Waller puts together a team of criminals with powers and skills that the US government can use when required. The members of the Squad are not volunteers. They have bombs implanted in their necks to ensure their cooperation.
The actors do exceptional jobs throughout. Viola Davis is absolutely perfect in the role of Amanda Waller, and it is written to really capture the character the way she appears in the comics. Margot Robbie and Jared Leto almost steal the show as Harley Quinn and the Joker, but the movie is balanced enough to give all the characters a chance to shine.
It is also very respectful to the original series, written by John Ostrander, who winds up with his name on an important location in the film. The team is made up of liars, thieves and psychotics. No one can be trusted. The characters are all drawn in shades of grey, and there are surprising moments of nobility in the worst of them, and dark secrets from the best of them.
It seems to me that the devotion to getting it all correct actually wound up creating the biggest detriment to the film.
The pacing is off. Scenes tend to slow down at inopportune moments. And yet I could always see the reasoning behind it, the degree to which they felt the characterization and background was necessary for the movie. This is an action film, but it really doesn't play like one.
I should also point out that while it captures much of the spirit of the Ostrander series, it does not tell any tale from his, or later, runs on the book. There is one scene, between Captain Boomerang and Slipknot, that is taken directly from his series, but otherwise this is a new story all the way. And that is not such a bad thing. With so many unstable and duplicitous characters, the plot does not go where one thinks it will go, and the many twists are part of what makes it fun.
Much of the film is dark and gritty, but not all of it. There are some beautiful scenes as well, and a shot of the Joker dancing with Harley Quinn that perfectly captures an Alex Ross cover from the 90s.
I also have to commend the use of music in the film. Great songs, cleverly chosen, and used to full effect.
I saw the movie in IMAX 3D, and while I definitely would recommend the IMAX screen, the 3D is not quite up to par. Best to stick to normal IMAX. I know I will when I go see it a second time.