DC Comics gives the collective storyline route a go with a chaotic bunch of misfits known as the Suicide Squad
DC Comics is trying to play a bit of catch-up to the monster that’s Marvel Studios. Instead of starting with a bunch of individual backstory films, they’re firing on all cylinders with a fully-cast film of some of DC’s finest/worst. The primary cast includes: Deadshot (Will Smith), Joker (Jared Leto), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Together this bunch of ‘meta-humans’ or ‘uniquely-skilled’ individuals are forced to work together to save the Earth from an impending doom! The problem is, the majority of the squad are currently imprisoned and highly dangerous to society and themselves. It’s not until Amanda Walker gets the approval from the higher-ups that she can recruit this ensemble of disregarded characters. They don’t get the recognition of say Superman or Batman, but they do reside within the same DC Universe. Thus, this bunch of hooligans must be given some attention. But how good are they? And why would they want to assist a world that has forsaken them? That’s the $175 million-dollar question DC Comics and Atlas Entertainment are hoping to answer with this blockbuster.
Marvel and DC Comics have done a great job casting A-list actors in their films. The bunch that make up the Suicide Squad is no different. Having a solid cast like this can go one of two ways. It can be an epic collection of talent, or a horrendous failure due to too many egos on one screen. The ego trips can be seen in this film, but this doesn’t completely drive it one way or the other. The editing is choppy, the script is questionable, and the use of the Joker is confusing when including the massive threat that’s an ancient brother-sister duo. In short, it’s a bit of a mess that leaves more questions than answers. It’s also dark and rather muted when compared to the original comic book design. The goal was to add a bit of realism to the characters in the film, which seems to appeal to modern audiences. This realistic approach can be seen in most superhero films over the past decade or so. It’s not completely dark, though, and some of the dialog is pretty funny and light-hearted. Nevertheless, this bunch of bad guys doing good things for their own well-being is both interesting and confusing. All we know is that they must learn to work together if they want the Earth to survive another day. There’s also the impending threat that Rick Flag or Amanda Waller can blow their heads off at any given time if they try to split.
Think this wild bunch will find a way to work together and defeat the galactic duo that threatens the entire human race before it’s too late? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…Let’s take a look at what all this 4K release has to offer.
The menu consists of a snapshot of all the major characters looking up at the viewer. The Joker stands along in the top left corner. The menu options are listed along the bottom of the screen, and include: Play Movie, Scene Selections, Audio, Subtitles. The ‘Scene Selections’ option displays up to five chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. The ‘Audio’ option includes: English, English Descriptive Audio (US), English Descriptive Audio (UK), French, Italian, Spanish (Castellano), Spanish (Latino), Portuguese, Cesky, and Polski. The ‘Subtitles’ option includes the same languages as the audio tracks, as well as, nine additional languages.
Now let’s take a look at the bonus features included with this 4K Blu-ray Combo. It’s worth noting that all of the special effects are included on the standard 1080p HD Blu-ray.
– Task Force X: One Team, One Mission (23:08 HD): This is a great clip that takes a closer look at where the Suicide Squad came from, and why they were willing to take on missions that were deemed detrimental. For this film, the creators wanted to be respectful to the original characters as best they could. Next, they break down each member of the squad. This gives viewers and fans a better insight on the characters in the film, which is very helpful for those who didn’t follow the comics. The actors get a few moments to discuss their characters as well. This is a really solid bonus feature.
– Casting the Real (9:37 HD): As crazy and out-of-this-world a lot of these comic book films are; the Director/Writer wanted to make the film as real as possible. To do this, he worked with the actors to try and make them authentic and unique. Their costumes needed to be something they made themselves, and not like the over-the-top, perfectly dressed superheroes from other comic book films. The actors even gave each other tattoos! Make sure to check this feature out.
– Joker & Harley: “It” Couple of the Underworld (14:29 HD): One of the interesting backstories within this film is the twisted relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn. This feature explores that relationship, and how it affected the outcome of this story. The beginning of this feature is all about Jared Leto, and his interpretation of the Joker. He was excited and terrified to take on the role, due to the wealth of talent who’ve portrayed the Joker in the past. The other actors discuss what they saw as Jared became the iconic villain. In short…he went ‘full-Joker!’ There’s also a smooth transition to the Harley Quinn character. Margot Robbie fell in love with Quinn, and wanted to give the fans an awesome portrayal of her on screen. The result of her costume and the way she carried the character was awesome. Viewers will have a hard time not focusing on her every time she’s on the screen. When discussing the relationship of the two; the creators explain what they were attempting to accomplish with their twisted love story. Apparently they didn’t rehearse their interactions beforehand, and decided to go with the flow on camera. This way, no one knew exactly what would happen once the cameras were rolling.
– Squad Strength and Skills (9:00 HD): Preparing for a role with this much action and intensity takes a lot of training beforehand. This feature takes a look at the hardcore training the cast underwent to prepare for their roles. It’s explained that it’s not about what the trainers thought would look good, but they had to figure out what the actors could do as well. It’s not all physical training, these actors had to learn to overcome their psychological limitations to become the characters they were representing.
– Armed to the Teeth (11:48 HD): There were hundreds of guns in this film. The characters used traditional weapons, and a signature weapon/prop that’s defined their roles in the comic books. It was important to have those props and to make them look as bad ass as possible. There are a lot of details in all of these items, and these can be seen in this feature. Deadshot’s wrist-pistols were fully operational, folks. They could fire an actual bullet and had full-recoil when the trigger was pulled. All of the other character’s items are looked at in this feature as well.
– This is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles of Suicide Squad (10:54 HD): The battle scenes in this film are intense. It’s full of practical effects, which adds a lot of realism to an action scene. They still used green screens a bunch, but there’s a ton of practical action stunts that happened on set. Everyone was on a wire system, so they could do some really cool jumps and flips during these scenes. Wait till you see the rig that holds all the actors. It’s pretty ridiculous. There’s about fifty people on wires at a given time. Add in the constant gun play, the hand-to-hand combat, and massive special effects; you have something CGI can’t replicate. All of the actions sequences were unique, dynamic, and incredibly complex. This is a great behind-the-scenes feature fans will have to check out.
– The Squad Declassified (4:19 HD): This brief clip gives a quick explanation of the members who make up the Suicide Squad, as well as, their advisories. It’s a nice breakdown of what viewers can expect from the characters seen in the film.
– Gag Reel (2:04 HD): Everyone loves a good gag reel, and this quick feature includes all sorts of slips and gags. The cast and crew bonded during the production of this film, and it’s easily seen in this clip. They also made a point to pick on one another when they messed up a line.
– Extended Cut (15:00): This 4K Blu-ray combo includes both the Theatrical and Extended Cut versions of the film. The Extended version is only fifteen minutes longer, but includes a lot more dialog and additional scenes between Harley Quinn and the Joker. Watching both versions will allow viewers to see how the relationship between the two was a bit more complex than seen in the theatrical version. No matter how bad the two are together, they can’t help not loving one another. It’s also worth noting the Extended Cut is only available on the standard 1080p (2K) Blu-ray, and not on the 4K UltraHD disc.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this 4K UltraHD release.
The 2160p 4K UltraHD image comes with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, so there are black bars along the top and bottom of your 4K display. Like many superhero films recently, Suicide Squad has a darker look/style to it. There’s an interesting contrast of special effects that take on a much livelier and vivid appearance at times though. It’s a cool visual style that informs the viewer what’s being shown is a character emotion, special effect, or wall-break that provides a description of the character seen on the screen. The inclusion of High Dynamic Range (HDR) makes these shots really pop. There’s a cool ripple effect used when the Joker goes in and out of his various moods. Even then, viewers may not know what his next move will be. Close-up shots reveal a ton of detail in the actors, their outfits and the immediate surroundings. With the strong use of practical effects and actual set design; the realism is at an all-time high. Even when the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) is blasting the Suicide Squad with an unknown magical force, the Director decided to flood the actors with massive amounts of water to generate a practical reaction to the threat. It was a great idea and difficult process, but the results are stunning. It’s worth nothing this film was captured using 35mm film, so viewers will likely notice the amount of grain, and muddiness now and then. The cinematographic process was also 2K digital intermediate, so the 4K transfer is an upscale. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty good looking film on 4K UltraHD Blu-ray.
This film has a booming soundtrack. Even at low volumes the bass can rumble your viewing space. The Dolby Atmos track does a spectacular job engulfing the viewer as the story unfolds. The rear channels produce all sorts of ambient effects, including creepy laughter, city noises, gunfire, explosions, and so much more. From the very beginning, all of the channels are in use. The battle scenes are some of the best too. Viewers will find themselves caught up in the middle of these actions scenes, and the volume can get intense. There’s a lot of bass in this film, and it’ll easily shake the walls around you.
Overall, Suicide Squad isn’t the film fans wanted. The actors did a good job portraying their roles (especially Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn), but the story left more to be desired. The Extended Cut included with this set does reveal more of the complex relationship between the Joker and Harley, but it still doesn’t make this film much better. But…if you are looking for a new twist on the traditional comic-book-to-big-screen experience; you may want to give this one a viewing. The Extended Cut has fifteen minutes of additional scenes and dialog between Harley and the Joker, so fans may want to check it out to see those. Just keep in mind that the Extended Cut is only on the standard 1080p Blu-ray, and not in 4K UltraHD.
If you’re a fan of the Suicide Squad film, this 4K combo will be the best release to go with. It includes the 4K UltraHD disc with High Dynamic Range (HDR), Blu-ray with the Extended Cut, and a Digital HD version. Pick it up on 4K Blu-ray today!