The highly anticipated DC Marvel inspired action film “Suicide Squad,” starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaye, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevigne, Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnaman doesn’t only gain power and torque from bold musical choices that should please most Hip Hop Heads, but also from the less than conventional direction of screenwriter and director David Ayer (“Fury,” “Sabotage,” “End Of Watch,” “Training Day”).
Much in the way that the movie doesn’t hold back with strong and highly identifiable musical choices from Rick James, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, AC/DC, Etta James and Queen – to name a few – not to neglect newer tracks featured on the “Suicide Squad” soundtrack such as “Sucker For Pain,” with Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Ty Dolla $ign, Logic and X Ambassadors, director David Ayer had no problem lowering the boom when it came to making sure that the actual Suicide Squad came across as a legit and believable kick ass unit.
In their joint press conference in advance of the August 5, 2016 domestic release of “Suicide Squad” in theaters nationwide, Will Smith, who plays Deadshot tried to be diplomatic about Ayer’s direction practices, labeling them “interesting,” until co-star Joel Kinnaman, who plays soldier Rick Flag insisted that a spade be called a spade, naming it “manipulation.”
“Manipulation, domination, torture, yeah,” amended Smith to much laughter from both the cast and crew, adding: “it’s much more like therapy than it was character creation so we sat and we talked about our lives and we got really close – our triumphs and tribulations and trials and then at the more opportune moment Joel describes it best,” to which Kinnaman quickly added: “He (Ayer) would completely betray us and betray that trust. And he would get a very unique reaction, you know?”
As for Ayer, in the vein of not betraying or divulging his secrets to being one of the best in the business when it comes to directing large A-list ensemble casts involved in gritty subject matter, he ascribed his not for the weak work ethic as a “gymnasium for acting,” that in the past has none other than the likes of Brad Pitt in “Fury.”
“I needed these guys to feel like they are best friends on camera. And when you are with your best friend you share secrets,” stated Ayer, continuing: “I wanted them to have that energy. And the fastest way to have them get there was to have them beat the hell out of each other share their secrets.”
Apparently the steep on the job training wasn’t only limited to actors or purely mental exercises. Ayer was not shy when it came to joining in the physical sparring he assigned to actors. In one particularly telling instance, actress Karen Fukuhara, who plays Kitana in “Suicide Squad” got the physical wake up call of a punch to the face from Ayer in the midst of a full contact sparring session.
Ayer’s keep it simple response after the hit? “He said, ‘you gotta block your face Karen,’ ” remembered Fukuhara. As for her acting take away for Kitana, Fukuhara was quick to “learn” to never let it happen again due to underestimating what might be out there – both real and fantasy made.
In keeping with the do or die methods employed in crafting “Suicide Squad,” love it or hate it, it neglects nothing when it comes to an unapologetically extravagant full on assault on all the senses when it comes to bringing this DC Comics family to cinematic life. All of that considered, whether you ultimately find yourself agreeing with the Rotten Tomatoes critics grade of 26% or siding with that groundswell of angry “Suicide Squad” fans that want to dismantle Rotten Tomatoes for daring to call the Squad anything but fresh, “Suicide Squad” more than deserves it’s day in the theater versus your DVR. The scope of the movie – love it or hate it – is just that big when it comes to cinema as an art.
“Suicide Squad” opens in theaters nationwide on August 5, 2016.