Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is a rated R animated film set in the DCU. You might want to keep the young ones away from this particular film, as there might be some intense adult situations that you might end up having to awkwardly explain. One thing is for sure, the film is loads better than the live-action version from a couple of years ago. The story focuses on the evil villains of the DCU teaming up once again to locate a magic card for Amanda Waller. Little do they all know that many more villains are out to capture this card for themselves. The 4K UHD with HDR10 is decent if not all too similar to the Blu-ray version and the lack of Dolby Atmos is upsetting, although the DTS-HD 5.1 gets the job done just right. There are a ton of extras here that are worth your time as well, leaving this release Recommended!
Critically speaking, the DCU have better luck with their animated films than they do with their live-action movies. Even though the live-action Suicide Squad made around $750 million at the box office, the fans and critics had something far different to say about it which, to say the least, wasn't too kind. That all being said, we now have an animated film called Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, which follows the villain team again, but this time around, the movie is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, and some language.
In the film, we find out that Amanda Waller has cancer and wants her "Task Force X" to team up again to track down this supernatural object called "The Get Out of Hell Free Card", which is supposed to do exactly what it says. The villainous team is put back together again with Deadshot (Christian Slater) taking the lead, along with Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Copperhead, and Harley Quinn. If you were a fan of the live-action film, specifically with Harley Quinn, you'll probably be disappointed here, as she is more of the one-liner comic relief of the movie.
It's all about Deadshot this time around. The team is set out to tack down this object, but as it turns out, they aren't the only team of villains after it, which sets up a big battle and tons of betrayals through the ranks of DCU villains. There is a ton of dark humor throughout, but there are also some endearing moments with each character as we get another small glimpse into their past and what makes them tick on the good or bad side of things.
In addition to this, the filmmakers completely added a grindhouse feel to the film ala Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. They even went as far as to make the title screens of the film to mimic that of their Grindhouse double feature from a few years ago, along with very similar music, saxophones and all. With a swift 86 minute run-time, things are kept quick and on point with some good violence and animated blood and guts that literally burst on screen. The foul language isn't a big deal as there are no F-bombs, but there is some slight nudity in a couple of scenes that are definitely more on the silly/funny side than anything really sexual in nature.
As far as DC animated movies go, this has a lot of good things going for it, despite some cheesiness here and there, along with a sub-par animated style. It's far better than the live-action film though and I can only hope the future live-action and even animated DCU projects can take their cues from Hell to Pay.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay comes with a dual-layered UHD66 Disc and a Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for a Digital copy along with an insert for DCU promotions. The discs are housed in an eco-friendly, hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay comes with a 4K UHD Disc with an HVEC H.265 encode and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 2160p UHD. HDR10 is included here as well for those televisions that are equipped. When comparing to this 4K UHD image to that of the Blu-ray image, there really isn't a big noticeable difference between the two films, because this is 2D animation on the Warner Bros. side of things, which usually means that it's less than stellar when compared to Disney or Pixar. The animated movie as a whole has a darker color scheme throughout, so this 4K UHD image doesn't really pop at any moment.
What it does though, as far as upgrades in visual quality is enhance some of the small textures in background buildings and characters from time to time. Other than that, it's a very similar image to the Blu-ray. The animation lines are clear and smooth with full range of motion. Nothing was ever choppy, even in the lower lit scenes full of action. Everything looked crisp and clear. Colors are somewhat subdued most of the time, due to the stylistic dark tone of most of DC's film and this one is no different. Sure, there are a few bright scenes with neon lighting that showcase some real color, but be prepared for a darker version of what you're used to from the Marvel side of things.
The 4K UHD image with HDR10 does enhance some of the nuanced black levels in darker shadows, along with some of the colored costumes, but it's not a huge uptick from the 1080p version. There seems to be a filmic aspect to this image as well, which is quite cool, because it gives the ambience of an older animated film without the full-on glossy look like we see with so many animated shows today. Don't expect a bright colorful film here, but it is issue free of banding, aliasing, and video noise.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD M1 5.1 mix. There is no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X option available here, which is unfortunate. Still, this is a good sound mix, although at times, it could have been a bit louder. Sound effects are robust and well-balanced throughout. Gunshots and general kung-fu chops and kicks can be heard easily, but can be on the silly side, as well as sounding a bit soft here and there. Explosions pack the most punch with some great dynamics and a decent low end with rumbling bass that never crosses into rocky or unstable territory.
Ambient noises of distant shouting, people talking, or other gunshots sound off through the surround speakers with ease and force. The quieter moments are always engaging and come with the natural echo and reverb when in larger rooms. I just think the sound design wasn't as loud as it could have been here. The song list and score always add to the entertainment value here, which can be funny at times, but it never drowns out any other sound aspect. The dialogue also is clear and easy to follow along with. Lastly, there were no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills here.
There are no extras included on the 4K UHD version. Everything is placed on the Blu-ray.
Audio Commentary - Producers Alan Burnett and James Tucker deliver a worthwhile commentary track, where they discuss the R rating of the film, the characters, story, their motives, and influences from other films they used here. It's a good commentary track if you love the DC Universe.
Nice Shot, Floyd! The Greatest Marksman in the DCU (HD, 6 Mins.) - This covers Floyd Lawton or Deadshot from the DCU. Interviews discuss his role in the films and comic book origins here and why he is one of the more popular characters in the group.
Outback Rogue: Captain Boomerang (HD, 5 Mins.) - Like Deadshot's supplement above, this covers Boomerang, as his character is discussed from the comic book and movies.
The Power of Plot Devices, MacGuffins and Red Herrings (HD, 11 Mins.) - Here, the creators talk about the main focuses, plot lines, and twists of the film, and why they are so important in storytelling and in comics.
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie: The Death of Superman (HD, 7 Mins.) - Here is a closer look at the next upcoming DCU film, which is the Death of Superman. This goes into its story, production, comic book panels and how big this story was when it actually happened all those years ago.
A Sneak Peek at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (HD, 8 Mins.) - Another look at an upcoming DCU movie from the Public Enemies film, complete with comic book panels and more.
From the DC Comics Vault: Beware the Batman, Instinct (HD, 22 Mins.) - An awesome Batman animated film is here.
From the DC Comics Vault: Young Justice, Terrors (HD, 23 Mins.) - Yet another DCU film is here for your enjoyment.
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay is quite possibly one of the better films out of the whole DCU franchise so far. It's certainly far better than the live-action Suicide Squad film. The characters are all fleshed out in both endearing and comical ways, and the action and violence are at an all-time high here with the R rating. (Keep the younglings away from this one, folks!) The 4K UHD image isn't a huge uptick from the Blu-ray version, but it does look good, as well as the 5.1 mix that sounds good. There are some fairly great extras as well. This one comes Recommended for sure!