Action Adventure

'Suicide Squad: Extended Cut' Blu-ray Review: DC team-up gives the villains their due

December 13, 2016Ben MK

Every good superhero movie deserves a worthy supervillain (or two). However, in the case of the DC Cinematic Universe's hotly-anticipated followup to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's the hero — the Dark Knight himself — who takes a backseat to his adversaries, a motley crew of bad guys assembled to embark on a mission that will almost certainly get them killed.

That's the basic setup for Suicide Squad, a super-powered team-up that plays less like Marvel's The Avengers and more like The Expendables. That is, if you replaced the Expendables' roster of aging action stars with characters from Batman's Rogues Gallery — Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) — throw in Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Slipknot (Adam Beach), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), and put them all under the command of the hard-nosed Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman).

Brought together by a government heavy named Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) — who would sooner explode their heads using the tiny explosives implanted into each of their necks than admit to the American public that she's enlisted the help of a group of sociopaths — the titular squad find themselves thrust into the middle of a city under siege, where they must defeat hordes of zombified ex-citizens, as well as do battle with the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an ancient, supernatural entity whose nightmarish powers threaten to rip our world apart.

As for Jared Leto's much-hyped turn as Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime, it ends up being one of the movie's key strengths, as well as one of its greatest weaknesses. For not only does Leto deliver the creepiest screen rendition of the Joker to date, but his performance also serves to highlight just how few and far between the movie's flashes of brilliance really are. Make no mistake, Suicide Squad is a more-than-competent piece of action filmmaking. But for all its colorful swagger, its ability to leave its mark on viewers begins to fade as soon as the credits start to roll.

Suicide Squad makes the leap from the big screen to Blu-ray with an impressive looking 1080p transfer, although the image manages to fall just short of reference quality. That being said, there's still much to admire about this 1080p presentation, such as the clarity that bring out such things as the prosthetic makeup effects on Killer Croc. And while the color palette is for the most part dark and dour, there are a number of notable exceptions, such as the Joker's bright green hair, the glowing red light of Deadshot's monacle and the fiery orange of Diablo's flames. Turning to the audio, the film comes equipped with a Dolby Atmos sound mix — full of tunes from the likes of The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Eminem and Queen — that's the perfect accompaniment for watching the superheroic chaos unfold, whether it's the sound of wall-to-wall gunfire, massive explosions, Enchantress' magical spells or Katana's soul sword swiping through her enemies.

Warner's three-disc Extended Cut Blu-ray release includes the Theatrical Cut on a separate Blu-ray disc, an UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Task Force X: One Team, One Mission (23:08) - A look at the comic book history of the Suicide Squad, the concept of using villains as heroes, the camaraderie among the cast, and the characters of Amanda Waller, Rick Flag, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Boomerang, Diablo and Katana.
  • Chasing the Real (9:37) - A piece about the film's gritty authenticity, with a focus on the rehearsal process and the contributions of Production Designer Oliver Scholl, Costume Designer Kate Hawley, tattoo design artist Rob Coutts, Visual Effects Producer Ed Ulbrich and Military Advisor Kevin Vance.
  • Joker & Harley: "It" Couple of the Underworld (14:29) - The cast and filmmakers talk about Leto's total immersion in the role and Robbie talks about getting into her character, with a look at their on-screen relationship as well.
  • Squad Strengths and Skills (9:00) - A look at the physical training the cast underwent for the film, as well as the stunts, the fight choreography, and the military and weapons training.
  • Armed to the Teeth (11:48) - Property Master Dan Sissons talks about his work creating Deadshot's wrist-mounted magnums and monacle, Katana's soultaker sword, Captain Boomerang's boomerangs and Harley Quinn's bat and revolver, and Military Consultant Tyler Grey talks about Rick Flag's military hardware.
  • This is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles of Suicide Squad (10:54) - The cast and filmmakers talk about the stunts, special effects and visual effects that went into the creation of the film's three major action set-pieces.
  • The Squad Declassified (4:19) - A profile of the lethal weapons wielded by Squad members Katana, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang and Deadshot, as well as their unearthly opponents.
  • Gag Reel (2:04) - Goofs and flubs from the set.

Suicide Squad is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of December 13th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 2 Hrs. 15 Mins. (Extended Cut) and 2 Hrs. 3 Mins. (Theatrical Cut).

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on August 4th, 2016.

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