What The Suicide Squad gets right is that it understands it’s source material so well.
2016’s Suicide Squad was a divisive movie that split both fans and critics. The potential was there, but the overall execution was messy and boring. When it was revealed that James Gunn was doing a soft reboot of The Suicide Squad, hopes were high that he could deliver, and oh boy did he do so. The magic that James used to turn The Guardians of The Galaxy from C-list superheroes into household names is present in The Suicide Squad. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is the definition of great potential on paper and great execution. The movie shines as an example of understanding and respecting the source material while giving a few twists that enhance the story and is currently the best comic book movie of 2021.
WEIRD, CRAZY, AND FUN
The Suicide Squad follows a group of supervillains comprised of well-known characters like Harley Quinn, as well as some deep cuts like Peacemaker, and Ratcatcher 2 as they are assembled into Task Force X and sent on a dangerous mission to Corto Maltese to stop a dictator from using a secret weapon against the world.
The Suicide Squad strikes gold with how it captures its light-hearted tone to a T. By the amazing opening minutes of the movie, it nails the atmosphere and shows you the kind of movie you are getting into. Yes, it can get serious, emotional, satirical, political, and surprisingly relevant with today’s events, but it doesn’t feel heavy-handed. It also doesn’t take itself too seriously and won’t reach brooding levels seen in other DCEU movies. These people are not the Justice League, and the movie knows it. It also doesn’t try too hard to be funny or joking, it feels natural.
The movie is unconventional, but it’s polished. It’s not like most comic book movies you’ve seen of the origin story, giving up and final battle story. It deviates from the formula to offer a unique experience for viewers. Don’t come into this movie thinking you’ll know what you’re getting, The Suicide Squad is unpredictable.
B-LIST VILLAINS YOU WANT TO ROOT FOR
James Gunn digs deep into the pantheon of DC villains to feature some truly weird and wacky characters. For the casual viewer, you most likely won’t know who most of the characters are, but it’s fine. Even if a majority of the main cast play B-list villains, the film gives each character enough time to be fleshed out. Harley Quinn, Rick Flag, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Ratcatcher 2, Polka-Dot Man, and King Shark aren’t just one-dimensional characters. They’re given personalities and have their own baggage to deal with.
Margot Robbie is phenomenal as Harley. She’s a bit more of a side character in this movie, but it’s fine. We’ve seen so much of her already and in The Suicide Squad, she’s more evolved after the events of Birds Of Prey, but still the person who brings the fun and wild chaos to the situation and. Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag was one-note and boring in the 2016 Suicide Squad, but here, he’s livelier and given more to work with. Idris Elba does a great job as Bloodsport as he tries to be the leader of the group while also trying to redeem himself to his daughter. John Cena is such a joy to watch as Peacemaker. His “by all means necessary” approach to achieving peace brings some of the biggest laughs of the movie especially when he tries to one-up Bloodsport.
Daniela Melchoir as Ratcatcher 2 brings heart and warmth to the movie while David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man is a damaged man looking to get away from the shadow of his mother. King Shark, meanwhile, is a riot voiced by a wonderful Sylvester Stallone who brings his awkwardness to life. While Viola Davis is once again a force of nature as Amanda Waller. They work well here and are all given their own time to shine. Despite most of them not being known names, you eventually want to care for each member and hope that they survive the mission. They have depths worth exploring. The fact that you want to care or relate to nearly every character in the movie is an impressive feat.
The R-rating suits the movie well as James Gunn gets to bring out the true powers of each character. Do not underestimate these villains, because they will kick some bloody ass. The violence is straight-up to your face and is satisfyingly gory, darkly comical, and unapologetically profane and crazy. It’s so much fun to see these characters in action. The set pieces are well-made and the action hits in all the right ways and can get brutal. James Gunn isn’t afraid to really use the movie’s name. There’s no plot armor here and some of the deaths are fun, shocking, hilarious, and even emotional. The comedy, wit, and humor to are great with jokes and comedic sequences that land. A special shoutout has to go to Sebastian the rat, who is probably one of the cutest things featured in a DCEU movie.
Where the movie falters though is with its villains. Most of them are quite paper-thin and come off as more like your generic bad guy. Also, while it is expected for some characters to be killed off in a movie called The Suicide Squad, it would have been nice to see some characters given more time to shine and show off their powers. But these cons aren’t big enough to really dampen your enjoyment of the movie.
A BRIGHT STAR IN THE DCEU
James Gunn getting fired by Disney a few years back was honestly a blessing in disguise. He brought the Suicide Squad the glory and movie they deserve. This is how it should have been. The Suicide Squad is a movie these characters need, and we all deserve. The movie understands what the original Suicide Squad comics from John Ostrander were and translated that to the screen. The Suicide Squad has strong direction, a tight plot, and pacing, better characterization. The only thing 2016 Suicide Squad did better was the soundtrack and trailer.
This film is a crazy, flamboyant, colorful, ultraviolent romp with a heart all wrapped into a 2 hour and 10-minute movie. James Gunn delivered not only one of the best DCEU movies of all time, and the best comic book movie of the year so far, but also one of the best movies of the year in general. You’re going to have a good time watching this twisted tribute to some of DC’s lesser-known villains.
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