Starring: Christian Slater, Vanessa Williams, Billy Brown, Kristen Bauer van Straten, Tara Strong, Liam McIntyre, Gideon Emery, C. Thomas Howell
Written By: Alan Burnett
Directed By: Sam Liu
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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The squad is back together…this time for a mission that might just be a little bit out of their league. Deadshot leads a slightly different roster of misfits and miscreants in this animated adventure from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that continues on the long-running animated universe continuity with a story that has a surprise tie-in to one of the past animated movies.
Picking up from the popularity of the “Suicide Squad” live action release a couple of years ago, “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” follows a revamped roster that consists of Copperhead, Harley Quinn, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Bronze Tiger (!) and is led by Deadshot. Amanda Waller needs something that can help her redeem herself upon her death. That something just happens to be a mystical relic known as a “Get Out of Hell Free” card…a card that whoever has it on their possession upon death will be able to bypass hell and go straight to heaven. Saying that Task Force X is out of their league for this one is an understatement.
The group is tasked with tracking down a man known as Steel Maxum, who is the last man that may know the whereabouts of the card. But Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad aren’t the only ones in search of the card. A group of villains known and Blockbuster and Silver Banshee are looking for the card for their own reasons and will stop at nothing to gain possession of the mysterious relic.
As the group goes through betrayal after betrayal between one another, the true villain behind the story shows his face…the once-thought-dead Professor Zoom, who last we saw had a giant hole in his head thanks to the Thomas Wayne Batman in “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”. This sets up a very exciting and entertaining ending to “Hell To Pay” and also adds a final exclamation point to the ending of “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” tying together this movie with the one that kickstarted the DC Animated Universe.
The animation for “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” is on par with the American comic book/anime style that has appeared over the course of most of the recent DC animated movies but it looks absolutely stunning in 4K. While most of the scenes have a muted color palette, even the dark and subdued background elements and settings popped out with crisp clarity and deep bright colors.
While the nature of the Suicide Squad is ultra-violence and no regard to life in general, at times it felt like the movie was just introducing someone new just to find a way to kill them off in an extreme act of violence. There were plenty of notable DC characters that we’ve seen briefly or for the first time in the DC Animated Universe in this movie but that were almost instantly killed off just for kicks. It was the most disappointing aspect of the film for me and with as many times as it happened throughout the movie, started feeling more like a running gag than anything to be taken seriously.
I was never much of a fan of the Suicide Squad in the comics and the live action movie was only likeable in some aspects, but “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” made things much more interesting by tying into the history of the DC Animated Universe, by pitting the group against other villains much more powerful than themselves and by adding a dash of magic into the mix. While most of the characters are still unlikable in my opinion, it did a good job of adding some humanity to Deadshot and by including a noble and just character into the mix with Bronze Tiger. Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang still have no redeeming qualities to them but it was interesting to see a modern version of Copperhead appearing in something new since his days on “Batman: The Animated Series”.
“Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” comes up short for me when compared to the recent lineup of animated movies. Most of this stems from my lack of interest and investment in the characters but that’s not to say that the movie lacks entertainment value. It has some great action sequences and fight things and, a major plus is that it doesn’t try to mimic the live action movie by recycling the same lineup or plot points. It fits in perfectly with the more mature direction that the animated movies are going in and opens up another side of the DC universe which hasn’t been touched upon. I have a feeling that Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad are going to have an important role to play in the future of the DC Animated Universe for years to come.
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•Nice Shot, Floyd! The Greatest Marksman in the DCU
•The Power of Plot Devices, MacGuffins and Red Herrings
•A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: The Death of Superman and More!
DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
4K UHD Main Feature: 2160 Ultra High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Blu-Ray Main Feature: 1080p High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Bottom Line: With some ties to past DC animated movies, “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” adds its own chapter to the DC Animated Universe but the overuse of violence and carnage in regards to established DC characters makes it somewhat laughable and cheap.
Running Time: 86 Mins