In Search of a Cure for Evil in Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay
Amanda “The Wall” Waller (Vanessa Williams) puts together Task Force X once more, but this time the mission is off the record. This time, the mission is personal. With plenty of dark/morbid humor, brains, and arterial sprays, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is a fun animated film, but lacks much staying power after a first viewing.
Waller sends the Suicide Squad after a simple card. Its last known location was with a man named Steel Maxum (Greg Grunberg). It turns out, however, that this is no ordinary card, but rather a mystical object. Furthermore, Waller is not the only one after the card. Quickly, the Suicide Squad learns that they are in for a wild ride as twist after twist comes their way.
The story itself is pretty straightforward, which is exactly what a Suicide Squad story should be. Waller puts together the team and then sends them on their way. For this mission, however, she chooses three veterans: Deadshot (Christian Slater), Harley Quinn (Tara Strong), and Captain Boomerang (Liam McIntyre). After the three meet one another again, Waller introduces them to their teammates. Killer Frost (Kirstin Bauer van Straten), Copperhead (Gideon Emery), and Bronze Tiger (Billy Brown) are the three newbies chosen for the job. In return for their time on the job, Waller offers them a year off their prison sentence.
As the story progress, an element of mystery arises as the Squad searches for this enigmatic card that Waller hopes will save her soul. As the Squad learns more about the card’s supernatural ability, they begin to contemplate what it could do for them.
As I mentioned above, the story is rather straightforward, which is good when the story is compelling. However, there is a lot in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay that will bring viewers back for more. It’s a one-trick pony. I was a little bummed out by it because there are quite a few great performances in this film. Tara Strong gives – what I think – is her best performance as Harley Quinn since Batman: Arkham City. Venessa Williams is very convincing as Amanda Waller, Billy Brown is great as Bronze Tiger, and Liam McIntyre is a great Captain Boomerang. However, Christian Slater and Kristin Bauer van Straten’s performances stood out the most to me.
Christian Slater is awesome as Deadshot and I would love for him to return to the role in the future. In my mind, Deadshot is a very complicated character. He’s cold and calculating, but he’s also kind of compassionate. He loves his daughter more than anything in the world. Additionally, in this film at least, he believes that people should not suffer when they die. It should be quick. I think Slater managed to fit all of those aspects into his performance. Straten’s voice embodied the quintessence of Killer Frost. There is a coldness and gruffness to her voice that let’s know that this Killer Frost does not mess around.
The animation in this film is pretty good. Most of the characters look great. They look like they stepped out of a comic book. The animation definitely works for this movie. However, it starts to become rather uninteresting to look at after about an hour. And, when characters are still they are static. However, I do understand that animation is not necessarily cheap. It would be pretty expensive to have each character in frame move every so often during a shot.
I have a few nit-picks with Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay. For example, in the very beginning of the film, Deadshot is on an unrelated suicide mission. He is accompanied by Count Vertigo (Jim Pirri), Jewelee (Julie Nathanson), and Punch (Trevor Devall). That opening sequence was fine, it allowed the audience to know what kind of movie they were about to see. After that mission, Deadshot is back in prison. Waller escorts Harley Quinn to Deadshot and Boomerang’s cell block, Boomerang says something along the lines of, “Not this crazy broad, again!”
Meaning, the trio have been on suicide missions before. After the opening sequence, the audience knows that Deadshot has definitely worked for Waller on the Suicide Squad before. So, why is it that when they are gearing up for the new mission, they have bombs implanted in their brains again? Didn’t Deadshot, Quinn, and Boomerang already have those implanted? Does that mean that the bombs are extracted after every mission? That did not make any sense to me.
Finally, there is the gore. I don’t mind gore in movies, I actually thought that some gore was fitting for this film. However, there comes a time when there is too much gore. Especially if blood, guts, and gore are the centerpiece. It can become tacky. There were several moments when I felt as though the blood took center stage. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay has a few scenes in which brains are prominently on display. Many of those gory scenes seemed as though they were bloody for the sake of being bloody. Therefore, there is not a lot of substance in this film.
The other minor problem that I had with this film is the same problem I had with the DCU Suicide Squad. This film is not really a Suicide Squad film. It is a film about Deadshot. Everyone else is just kind of there. While Deadshot is an interesting character, so is Harley Quinn, Bronze Tiger, Amanda Waller, and even Captain Boomerang. There is a lot that can be explored with these characters, yet the film focuses on Deadshot’s trite storyline.
If you are a Suicide Squad fan like me, you have probably already seen this movie. Or, at the very least, you’ve already planned to see this film. However, if you are expecting another Assault on Arkham, don’t get your hopes up. While I did some problems with Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, I did enjoy it. It is a fun action film that is worth at least one watch.