Updated: Aug 7
Film: The Suicide Squad
Starring: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, Joel Kinnamen, Micheal Rooker, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Pete Davidson, Sean Gunn, David Dastmalchian, Sylvester Stallone
Director: James Gunn
Review: Klep Napier
Rating: 3X’s out of 5X’s
If there was ever a film we were least expecting to be excited for this year, it would have to go to Warner Bros second attempt at one of their more mediocre DC comics films, Suicide Squad. But in the wake of Marvel Studios temporarily firing Guardians Of The Galaxy Director James Gunn, amidst social media controversy, Warner Bros seized the opportunity to make things right with fans attaching Gunn to bring a more Marvel-esk reboot sequel dubbed “The Suicide Squad” to their slate.
The Suicide Squad is a direct sequel to the 2016 David Ayer adaptation of the DC Comic of the same name. It stars a slightly different cast of mischievous villains, hired by Amanda Waller [Viola Davis] to complete a mysterious mission in order to save the world. But not all the key players are new. No, Gunn reunites original fan favorites like Harley Quinn [Margot Robbie], Rick Flag [Joel Kinnaman] and Captain Boomerang [Jai Courtney] who Gunn mixes in with some unfamiliar villainous rejects straight from the DC comic book catalog. Most of which you may have NEVER heard of.
No Jokers, Penguins or Cat Women in this one folks. We’re talking bottom of the barrel, back page nobodies who have been given the grand stage of the silver screen for 15 or more minutes of shine like The Peacemaker [John Cena], King Shark [Sylvestor Stallone], Black Guard [Pete Davidson], Ratcatcher [Daniela Melchior] and Polka-Dot Man [David Dastmalchian]. Gunn ultimately makes it all make more sense than it actually should through humor, action and overall style.
Forgive us for any spoilers but we want to make sure you understand what you’re getting when going into this film. So if you would rather watch with a blank slate for yourself, then by all means step away now.
Still here?…Ok, good. First off, let’s go strictly off the visuals you get from all the trailers. They’re merely smoke & mirrors. You’re teased with these band of new misfits which seem over the top, unbelievable and down right obnoxious enough to not want to take anything about this film seriously. Instead what you get is a balls to the wall opening scene set up by Amanda Waller, an over the top plot which uses a B squad as bait in order the introduce your REAL and new Suicide Squad. Who you’re left with are the real key players throughout the rest of the film. We don’t want to spoil everything but let’s just say a lot of new and even old Squad members shockingly die immediately. But also a lot of old and new squad members keep on through the story. But I’ll get back to that.
The initial journey follows Bloodsport [Idris Elba] a merc who’s a villain famously known for putting Superman in the ICU with a Kryptonite bullet. [Yes there are tons of connected DC tissue throughout the story] Bloodsport plays as YOU, the audience, who’s fully aware of how wacky this situation truly is. At every moment wins you over with grounded seriousness.
But Gunn doesn’t rely on just one person or thing in this film. Beyond amazing music and stunningly stylish shots, this movie is completely self aware and laughing at itself any chance it gets. He allows unestablished characters to shine around those the fans are already familiar with and even allowing them to win you over by the time you get to the second act. But it’s also the writing of the storytelling that makes this world feasible. Gunn also uses the underlying mental state of each character, to drive the dramatic tone in their story arcs. There are tear jerk-able moments.
We know, you want to go into this feeling like it’s not for you, but I feel as though you will walk out the same way a lot of us left Guardians Of The Galaxy the first time we saw it. Don’t be surprised if the new phrase in Hollywood goes something like, “When your franchise is failing it’s time to bring in the big Gunn” because James literally breathed new life into this thing leaving windows open for potential sequels as well as the already green lit HBOMax series spinoff for one of the films main characters.
But of course no thing can ever be perfect right? Remember when we said we’d get back to the all those dead characters? Well our main gripe with this film is although there’s a ton of good shock value there is also a ton of bad shock value. This deals directly with Gunn’s obsession of wiping the slate clean of Characters. It works shockingly well in the first act but there’s a particular moment when you start to believe that no one is safe. Even characters you’ve grown to love throughout. Not going to lie this was a bit upsetting considering you spent two whole hours establishing a character no one ever expected to take seriously in the first place. What a total waste in our opinions.
Overall, The Suicide Squad is an uniquely executed film. Comic Booky, wacky and extremely action packed. However I do need to be honest, if you’re just a casual fan and not familiar with the quirky characters and traits this universe has to offer, then the film may feel like nothing more but a slapstick action comedy that’s trying to be a comic book film. But if you are aware of the deep cuts and character traits you will champion this movie as serious fan service to the genre directed by a man who fully understands the fan base.
There are two post credit scenes so stick around til the end.