The Suicide Squad, a soft reboot to the 2016 failure of the same name, but this time from director James Gunn, delivers a highly entertaining film bursting with creativity and ultra-violence. James Gunn once again shakes up the superhero formula with a slick style in supreme fashion by delivering a film that is miles ahead of the 2016 rendition.
The film is full of gore. It’s cartoonish violence, or what some might call an adult superhero movie. You would probably guess that not everyone makes it in the end, so deaths are to be expected, but how certain characters are so unexpectedly gruesome and brutal, it will take you by surprise each time. The marketing for the film was right by telling you to not get too attached. James Gunn had complete creative control over the film, and he doesn’t hold back what he wrote and showed on the screen.
All the cast members have an ample amount of time to shine, and these supervillains work this time around as each character had wonderful chemistry with each other. John Cena plays Peacemaker, an extreme patriot who will do the most horrific things for liberty. Cena excels with his line delivery for comedic effect, but surprisingly enough, worked well in the serious moments as well. The only problem with the character towards the end is when he turns without any buildup. Of course, we know he fights for peace but stories are better at showing who a character is and not telling it. He’s suddenly Amanda’s Plan B but there is no build-up. Build up doesn’t always mean that a twist should be predicted by the audience but it can also be something that the audience can turn to later and say that “that’s why it happened!”.
Margot Robbie once again nails the role of the chaotic but colorful Harley Quinn. While the character isn’t front and center this time around, more of a side character, but whenever she is on screen, it’s instantly memorable. Again, just like Peacemaker, there is a slight hiccup with Harley as well. In between the story, she gets kidnapped by the self-proclaimed president of this fictional country but then she temporarily falls in love with him. That is until she kills him. The whole point of that scene was to show that Harley now sees red flags in relationships. That’s it. The way she escapes the place is cool but a little over the top.
Idris Elba plays Bloodsport and he completely shines in that role. He is charismatic and provides a strong leading presence. Polka Dot Man, played by David Dastmalchian, a socially awkward, weird, and lame sounding character that has some serious mother issues. Because of Gunn’s writing and Dastmalchian’s performance, the character is more than just a joke, but also carries a unique and appealing touch with him.
Ratcatcher 2, played wonderfully by Daniela Melchior, brings so much warmth and heart to the film. Gunn ties in her tragic backstory into the finale very well. And let’s not forget the king himself, King Shark, voiced by Sylvester Stallone. He stole every scene he was in, because he’s so adorable and has such kind eyes, but when he’s hungry, he can be a killing machine. Weasel was in it for only a couple of minutes but he stole the show as well.
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Along its merry, mutilating way, the film has a lot to say about US foreign policy and military ethics, though you could be forgiven for missing it amid all the explosions and monstrosities. There is a scene where these guys just storm through the jungle killing everyone in their path for fun. They later find out that they were the good guys. The leader of the group doses say a line about Americans storming other countries killing without even seeing who they’re shooting at but its followed by jokes. It was a big deal since those guys gave up everything for her cause but she does move on. I thought she would betray these guys in the end but it never happened. A missed chance. Maybe we shouldn’t take these seriously because they are literally the bad guys!
Overall, its fun, while still action packed, very gruesome all while still being enjoyable. Every character gets their fair share of screen time and no one is quite overlooked. This film knows not to take itself too seriously, and delivers an amazing ride. Watch the pages come to life as it embraces its ridiculous source material in the best way possible, driving real sentiment and moral learning through a delicate balance of comic tragedy. A huge win for DC. Extend Gunn’s contract, please!
K- Score: 85%
STW: 25/30, D: 23/25, C: 6/8, E: 4/5, PVD: 9/12, A: 10/10, S: 8/10