The Suicide Squad Movie Review
Who knew that adding the word “the” in front of Suicide Squad would make all the difference. After the 2016 tragedy that was David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, a new director and largely new cast has given us The Suicide Squad, an incredibly entertaining and hilariously depraved action-comedy.
James Gunn writes and directs the movie which, similar to his Marvel franchise Guardians of the Galaxy, is about a ragtag crew of misfits and criminals who band together to save the day. Unlike Guardians, and unlike the first Suicide Squad, this sequel/reboot is rated R.
And Gunn takes full advantage.
Full of gore, violence, and ridiculous characters of questionable moral and ethical values, The Suicide Squad relishes in its ability to be crude, inappropriate, and a little deviant. Gunn spends time introducing a cast of weird characters in the opening scenes only to kill most of them off in giddy fashion before the title card flashes across the scene. From Nathan Fillion’s T.D.K. (who has one of the funniest “powers” put to screen) or Weasel, a character so brilliant and strange that Sean Gunn deserves to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Gunn has assembled one of the silliest collections of fourth-rate “heroes”--and no one is safe.
Of course, the main cast is a little less strange. Margot Robbie returns to her role of Harley Quinn for the third time (and gets to deliver one of the more satisfying shocks/twists I’ve seen in a comic book movie in quite some time), while Idris Elba gets to play things straight as the mercenary Bloodsport. John Cena is perfectly cast as the ethically challenged Peacemaker, while Daniela Melchior is surprisingly touching as Ratcatcher 2.
There’s also a walking, ever-hungry and nearly invincible fish named King Shark. He’s pretty strange.
Oh, and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), who shoots cosmic polka dots from his hands, has to puke color twice a day to cleanse himself, and channels his anger by picturing everyone and everything as his mother. He’s pretty strange, too.
The Suicide Squad plays like Guardians of the Galaxy meets Deadpool; it’s a movie that at once doesn’t give a fuck about what the hell is going on, and yet is very intelligently mapped out and calculated. The story itself is surprisingly simple and straightforward, though its “normalness” allows the ridiculous aspects of the film to shine all the brighter. It also allows Gunn to pull off his third act (and the third act villain) without making you blink, and that’s a feat.
The movie doesn’t need to have fantastic action to work, but Gunn delivers some satisfyingly entertaining sequences, even if they work as much for their malicious use of gore and absurdness than they do for the action themselves. In one scene, for example, the squad carefully and delightfully destroys a group of rebels, naively unaware that the rebels are on their side.
I laughed, I cry-laughed, and I reveled in the dark and twisted adventure that Gunn has put to screen. Easily one of the best DC-based comic book movies in recent memories, The Suicide Squad is a fucking blast.
All it took was the word “the.”
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.