Is The Suicide Squad better than Suicide Squad? Oh hell yes. Confused? Here’s your review of The Suicide Squad!
Back in 2016, the DCEU was on the ropes. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was just as unwieldy as its title, confusing and disappointing audiences everywhere. That same year, later in the summer was the long-awaited debut of Suicide Squad complete with new Joker and Margot Robbie’s turn as Harley Quinn.
It was, shall we say, less than successful. A mess of a movie with internal logic problems, unlikable characters, and Robbie being the only bright spot in an otherwise complete mess.
Time to start over. Jame Gunn, the man who gave us the Guardians Of The Galaxy and (in my opinion) the far superior Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2 was fired by Disney thanks to very old tweets joking about bad things. It was stupid and silly. I applauded it not because I really wanted anyone other but James Gunn taking on Vol 3, but he was another loudmouth cheering for cancellations of others.
But really, eye for an eye means everyone ends up blind, as they say. Truth is, Gunn is really talented at bringing together misfit teams of superheroes (or villains as the case may be) and putting together something damn entertaining.
The self-seriousness evident in the disjointed 2016 outing is gone in favor of an aesthetic I like to call “f*** it, let’s do it.”
Should we kill most of the Suicide Squad in the beginning, including a lot of a top-billed stars and members from the last movie? F*** it, let’s do it.
Should we add a giant man shark that’s cute when he’s eating people? F*** it, let’s do it.
Should we make the final showdown against a giant starfish that’s equal parts horrifying and ridiculous? F*** it, let’s do it.
You gotta love Gunn’s ability to put this insanity together in a coherent form that makes you actually care for the characters. Wisely keeping Harley Quinn a member but not a protagonist, the rest of the team is led by Bloodsport, Idris Elba’s thinly disguised Deadshot as I guess Will Smith has better things to do.
They are joined by John Cena’s Peacemaker, a man who will kill everyone for peace; Ratcatcher II, a young girl who can control rats; Quinn; Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag; Polkadot Man, a power so stupid it could only work here; and King Shark, a shark with legs and only slightly more of a vocabulary than Groot.
Still, there is a bit of messiness to it all. Character motivations and backstories are shoehorned in inorganically. Ratcatcher retelling her story nearly grinds the movie to a halt and Bloodsport’s motivation with his kid is mercifully brief but still smacks of trying to do what was done with Deadshot.
What keeps you going is the very fun interactions between the members and their ability to get the job done. Battles are hilariously bloody and over the top. The attempt to rescue Harley (which was shown in the trailers) works much better here than I expected because we still got to see Harley rescuing herself.
Also, we get to see that insufferable prig Pete Davidson get most of his head blown to pieces so that automatically rates a star.
Overall I really enjoyed The Suicide Squad but I think it doesn’t quite come to the lightning in a bottle he achieved with GOTG. Some of that may be due to the actors involved, there is some chemistry missing that those other movies had. Don’t get me wrong, they all do a great job and there are some great moments in it, but it doesn’t quite get to the summit.
I’d still give it a try. There’s nothing in it that’s insulting or stupid, it can be damn clever at times. And hey, watching a man-shark trying to eat a giant one-eyed starfish? Well, that’s just good entertainment, I don’t care what ya say.