Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay Blu-ray Review
Embracing their name, and finally expendable, this is closer to the Suicide Squad you wanted.
DC Animated gets down and dirty with Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, a violent actioner much more adult than it's live action counterpart.The live action Suicide Squad movie was about as bad as you would expect from DC, wasting a great cast and some colourful characters on a senseless, self-defeating story. Will Smith's Deadshot and, in particular - notwithstanding the fact that she really didn't have any skills that warranted her being on the squad - Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn still stand out, but it's a big mess, falling into the same trap that the Expendables films did when it comes to features that seem to forget the fate of the Dirty Dozen that inspired them all. Hell to Pay certainly ups the bodycount and, in a great little intro, immediately redresses this imbalance, setting things up nicely for the main event, leaving you thinking these guys may actually be expendable after all. The refreshingly straightforward and coherent plot has the new team tasked with another impossible mission: to retrieve a mystical card that grants the holder the power to escape hell when they die.Packed to the brim with violent action (we're talking not only headshots but actually brains splattered across the screen), swearing and even some slightly contrived nudity (it feels pointed to make side characters lesbians when), this is distinctly adult territory, R-rated stateside and an easy 15 here; possibly the most violent of all the DC Animated outings. Whilst Christian Slater's an odd choice to voice Deadshot (who is animated to look like Tony Stark), the voice actors do strong work, and the characters are well rounded for once, given just enough backdrop to make their deaths - or the threat of their deaths - actually mean something (the film also ties in superbly to the excellent Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated movie). Sure, Suicide Squad fans might prefer Assault on Arkham, but that standalone piece wasn't technically part of the DC Animated continuity, and this is certainly one of the better DC movies released of late - live action outings included.
Picture QualityWarner serve up Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay on Region Free UK Blu-ray complete with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
One of the best looking DC Animated Universe adaptations
Although fitting the style of previous DC adaptations, this latest entry still has an edge, afforded richly nuanced backdrops, strong line detail and finer flourishes bringing ruined buildings, penthouse suites, crack houses and military helicopters sweeping across the landscape all to life with excellent observation. The colour scheme is striking, with some rich reds and yellows, deep greens and strong black levels. Decent shading and shadow detail rounds out one of the best looking DC Animated Universe adaptations.
Sound QualityA great accompaniment which makes the most of the colourful comic-book material
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a bombastic effort, thrumming along with a punchy score offering background to the energetic firefights and explosive confrontations which populate this action-packed entry in the DC Animated Universe. Whether blades, bullets or body blows, the action comes thick and fast, hitting with decent LFE impact, and afforded some degree of separation across the array. Dialogue remains clearly and coherently delivered across the frontal array, taking precedence where necessary, and a backseat normally when the action kicks off. It's a great little accompaniment which makes the most of the colourful comic-book material.
ExtrasA fair few extra features
There are a fair few extra features that come with this package headlined by an Audio Commentary and also including a Sneak Peak look at the upcoming project, The Death of Superman (a more extensive remake of the earlier Superman/Doomsday title, and the DC Animated Universe's first remake), and Featurettes on the character of Boomerang and Deadshot, the importance of a decent plot MacGuffin. There are also a number of additional Sneak Peaks for earlier DC-related material, including a look at the first Suicide Squad animated outing, albeit not fitting the same timeline: Assault on Arkham, an episode of the abortive Beware The Batman series and one from the excellent Young Justice series.
Blu-ray VerdictOne of the better DC movies released of late - live action outings included
Warner's Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is a fun and distinctly adult entry in the DCEU, offering more coherent and compelling storytelling, and more brutal hard-R violence than its disappointingly muddled live action counterpart, and afforded excellent video and audio as well as a strong selection of extra features. It comes recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99
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