Amanda Waller forcibly recruits a squad of convicted supervillains to stop
a foreign government from using a psychic alien to take over the world.
The Suicide Squad (2021)
Written and Directed by James Gunn
Starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis,
Joel Kinnaman, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian,
Sylvester Stallone, Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Michael Rooker,
Pete Davidson, Jai Courtney, Nathan Fillion, Flula Borg
Reboot of 2016's Suicide Squad
Based on characters from DC Comics
2016's Suicide Squad is one of the most disappointing superhero movies of all time. With that cast and an accomplished director like David Ayer, it should've been a slam dunk. But Warner Bros' consistent interference in DC's projects caused it to be doomed from the start. We may never know what Ayer's original vision entailed. However, after a brief firing from Disney (and subsequent groveling from Disney), DC snatched up James Gunn to set things right. And this time, Warner Bros. seemed to realize they were the problem and kept their uncreative mitts off the movie. What we got was a pure, unadulterated James Gunn vision. A little Slither. A little Super. A little Guardians of the Galaxy. Add in a handful of DC's most D-list bad guys, and you've got the best film in the DCEU by a mile.
The trailers don't even come close to explaining this fantastic acid trip of a superhero movie. I don't want to spoil anything if I can help it, but understand that the beginning of the film sets the tone for batshit crazy. As far as standouts, it's hard to say. Everyone was so damn good. Gunn understands character development and interaction better than most filmmakers, as we saw with Guardians. He brings that A-game to The Suicide Squad, providing characters like Ratcatcher (Melchior), Polka Dot Man (Dastmalchian), and Peacemaker (Cena) their time to shine. Margot Robbie was great in her third outing as Harley Quinn, and Idris Elba killed it as expert assassin Bloodsport. And our villain was Starro the fucking Conqueror, a character I never in a million years thought I'd see on the big screen.
I was also surprised at how damn funny the movie is, and mostly from actors who aren't known for comedy like Elba and Joel Kinnaman, the latter of whom got more development as an antihero in this film than he ever did in the 2016 film. It just goes to show that with the right dedicated filmmakers and less interference from the studio, the DCEU can work. I say, at this point, take the reins away from Zack Snyder and give them to James Gunn. He clearly knows what he's doing and enjoys it. I can't wait to see what this does for future DC projects.
As many know, director James Gunn was unceremoniously fired by Disney after decades old tweets resurfaced, and the House of Mouse didn’t exactly agree with them. Even though Gunn would go on to apologize and try to make things right, they weren’t having none of it. Well, this action would ultimately cause comic book fans to truly win. First, DC was quick to take advantage of the situation and hire Gunn with complete carte blanche. This would lead ultimately to the film I will be talking about in this review, The Suicide Squad. Or, as most would agree, one of the most absurd, fun, and just outrageous superhero films we’ve gotten in recent memory. As for the second part of the fanboys win. This move, along with overwhelming backlash form the community, would cause Disney to rehire Gunn for both Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and the holiday special. The world has never felt more right.
Gunn smartly sets things right by making this a film which is a sequel but doesn’t require prior knowledge to both understand and enjoy the shenanigans of this installment. He pulls this off with the most commonly praised element of his work, the characters. Specifically, by retaining the more popular ones from the first film and mixing them in with the new ones. Not only does it make for a good transition between the two films but makes the fan favorites shine alongside the newcomers. It’s not just Harley Quinn stealing the show from everyone. This time, we also get great moments with the entire time. From the leader, Bloodsport, to the most ridiculous member, Polka Dot Man, everyone has a chance to shine and standout. It’s not all just brilliant character work, though. Gunn’s trademark humor is very intact here, with several laugh out loud hilarious scenes. Finally, for those who like their superhero films to be a bit more violent, Gunn doesn’t disappoint here, either. This film is filled with numerous outstanding moments of gore and violence.
This is a film I could go on about. Gunn is finally given the ability to do whatever he wants with a big studio backing him up. And it couldn’t have paid off more than it does here. The Suicide Squad is what we should have received the first time around. This is a film filled with heart, humor, great characters, gore, and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun.