the suicide squad
director: james gunn (guardians of the galaxy)
starring: margot robbie, idris elba, john cena and Daniela Melchior
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
It’s been a long time between drinks. Five long years have passed between 2016’s Suicide Squad and this Covid delayed sequel come franchise reboot but it was more than worth the wait. In The Suicide Squad James Gunn masterfully delivers what audiences long for in a comic book, superhero film with a little bit of added freshness and spice thrown in for good measure. It’s bold, brutal, bizarre at times with a whole lot of heart and a hell of a lot of fun making for the best superhero flick to hit the big screen since Endgame.
The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world - Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, Harley Quinn and others - to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave.
James Gunn gets it. From 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy followed by its 2017 sequel, we have seen a director who is not only on top of his game when it comes to filmmaking but in his reverence for and his ability to play and bring his own fresh take to his comic book subject we see that this guy knows how to make great comic book films.
The narrative structure is unconventional, creative and serves the purpose of not only entertaining the audience but of telling the story damn well. There are fresh little flares of creativity from title fonts all the way to perspective changes that let us as the audience be sucked into the narrative.
Gunn also manages, with a massive cast of characters, to give this film such heart that you can’t help but care about these characters as they face escalating predicament after predicament. New characters Bloodshot, Peacemaker, Ratcatcher 2, King Shark and Polka Dot Man are all massive highlights but man - we’ve gotta have more of Weasel. Gunn deftly develops these characters while creating moment after moment of irreverent humour. Also this is the best that we’ve seen Robbie’s Harley Quinn. In limited screen time due to the ensemble nature of this film, we still see more agency and the uniqueness of Quinn’s character than we have in other films.
The Suicide Squad is brutally violent but not in a Saving Private Ryan kinda way. The violence feels comic, often played for laughs, which keeps the comic book tone quite nicely. As with Gunn’s Guardian films, The Suicide Squad has a cracking soundtrack with one of the highlights being Quinn unleashing unadultered bloody chaos accompanied by the Louis Prima classic ‘Just a Gigolo.’
In The Suicide Squad James Gunn masterfully delivers what audiences long for in a comic book, superhero film with a little bit of added freshness and spice thrown in for good measure. It’s bold, brutal, bizarre at times with a whole lot of heart and a hell of a lot of fun making for the best superhero flick to hit the big screen since Endgame.