BLURB: “Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous imprisoned super criminals, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them to defeat an enigmatic, unstoppable enemy. U.S. Intelligence offier Amanda Waller has gathered a group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose. Once they figure out they were chosen to fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die beating the odds, or decide its every man for himself?”
REVIEW: I am sure many of you will be fully aware of the plot of the DC Comics film ‘Suicide Squad’, which was released earlier this year, and which was not only hugely popular worldwide but undoubtedly my favourite film of the year (and that’s a big deal, because ‘Finding Dory’ also came out this year and I am the biggest Disney nerd on the planet). Because of this, I am not going to spend time in this review outlining the intricate details of the plot of this novel, which is an adaptation of the film itself and, as such, was both written after the film and was read by me after I had already seen the film (I went on opening night, oops). I have always been a bit uncertain about movie novelizations; I am generally always of the opinion that books are better than their film counterparts, although sometimes I will concede that a film adaptation could be just as good as its book predecessor, just in the form of a different medium with different considerations and audiences. This is something that I rarely find with movie novelizations, which tend to be written blandly, simply and in a somewhat clunky fashion. This was precisely my problem with Marv Wolfman’s adaptation of the ‘Suicide Squad’ film into a chunky but dull paperback. Wolfman’s writing simply failed to capture the fast pace, violence, black humour and peculiar charm of the film. My main problem, however, was with his characterisation. The characters in this film, like their comic book predeccessors, are vibrant and leap from the screen, filling each moment with insanity, violence and humour. This simply is not the case within the movie novelization. My favourite character, Harley Quinn, delivered her lines in the movie with brilliant comic timing and, often, a deep emotional sincerity that hinted at the depths of her – on the surface – bubbly airhead of a character. In the novel, however, the humour of Harley’s words is not carried off in a way that makes the reader laugh aloud; her words merely seemed rush, crammed in between lengthy and frequently boring descriptions of fighting and tactics. Whilst in the film we come to feel a level of sympathy for all of the Squad, in their turn, I don’t feel that this really came across in the novel for any character other than Deadshot; even Diablo’s story was told with such little feeling that it became just another paragraph in the book. I found this novel a real let down after the vivid and exciting impression that the film had made on me; perhaps if I had read the movie novelization first it would have been better, as it would have provided a foundation to the story which the film might then have expanded and brought to life rather than overshadowed. For any fans of ‘Suicide Squad’, I would recommend turning instead to the comics, which offer a portrayal of the characters much like that that was depicted in the film.