Certificate – 15
Directed By – James Gunn
Starring – Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, Joel Kinnaman, David Dastmalchian, Sylvester Stallone (voice), Viola Davis, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Jai Courtney, Nathan Fillion, Mayling Ng, Pete Davidson, Flula Borg, Alice Braga, Steve Agee, Jennifer Holland, Sean Gunn, Juan Diego Botto, Joaquin Cosio.
Running Time – 132 Minutes (2 Hours 12 Minutes)
When James Gunn was announced to be helming The Suicide Squad, I wasn’t excited as I’m not a fan of his stuff and felt before even seeing it knew what he and Warner Bros/DC were going to do. However, things began to change with the BTS featurette from last year’s DC Fandom when one of the producers describing it as a “70s war film”, and both the director and studio would be leaning heavily in the R-rating.
Additionally, I was looking forward to seeing some of the cast from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad appear and new characters like Elba’s Bloodsport and King Shark, voiced by Stallone.
Amanda Waller (Davis) rounds up a group of villains to join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X in exchange they’ll get time off their prison sentence. The mission is to go to the remote island of Corto Maltese to take out an evil dictator. To find out they have bigger (star)fish to fry in the form of an alien known as Starro.
There’s a lot to like about The Suicide Squad starting with the cast. The opening group scene is great banter and some of the best comedy in the film that doesn’t involve King Shark and, in some cases, Peacemaker.
Staying with Cena and Peacemaker, Gunn should be known as the wrestler whisper because not only did he kickstart Dave Bautista Hollywood stardom. The filmmaker also delivered the WWE stars best performance and can see the beginnings of a decent acting career.
Additionally, Peacemaker is one of the strongest characters throughout the movie and I understood why there’s an HBO Max series coming next year. But leaving the cinema, you will hate him.
The other newbies are great. I loved how Gunn and Elba made Bloodsport the Murtaugh of the group – just wanting to do this time in peace, cleaning the prison and just sick of everyone’s shit. Then there’s Ratcatcher 2, played wonderfully by Melchior and is the heart of the film alongside her sidekick, Sebastian and I bow down to both.
The same can be said of King Shark, where they’ve clearly gone with the Harley Quinn animated comedic route, and it works perfectly as I had the biggest smile whenever he was on screen.
Plus, getting Sly to voice was a masterstroke.
The action is top draw and the best Gunn has ever brought to screen, especially the opening beach fight that felt like something from Rambo with the brutality and bloodshed. Then it continues with a contest between Bloodsport and Peacemaker.
Harley Quinn has a moment to shine in the action department in a scene similar to the police station breakout in Birds of Prey but not as good.
The CGI is stunning, from the designs of King Shark and Starro to the bloody gore. What helped with this is the colour grading of the movie, mixing bright colours with pastel shades.
However, there are things in the film I didn’t like. The comedy started to become less and less fun throughout. I got incredibly bored of the continued “this is so wacky, this is so James Gunn” elements of the film and a lot of the time, it was just stuff on the screen.
The editing was all over the place. It’s as bad or, if not worst, as the 2016 film. It felt like they wanted to do a Guy Ritchie thing, but it never worked.
I know the bases of the comics is don’t get too attached to these villains, but this sequel/reboot/standalone used the characters from Ayer’s film shockingly.
They covered the same ground with Harley in previous movies, and it’s boring now. Robbie is terrific in the role and if you’re not going to use her in any meaningful way, then simply don’t. Don’t just undo and reexplain what Birds of Prey covered.
Then you have Waller, who should be the biggest baddie of them all, as shown in Suicide Squad when she kills everyone in her office. But she’s just used for explaining and shouting threats throughout the film. This doesn’t include something that happens because it’s a spoiler which is the biggest disrespect towards the character.
Ultimately, I would’ve just liked a scene where we’re with these characters similar to the bar scene from Ayer’s film for us to get to know them just a little bit. So when it comes to killing any of them off, it would have a bigger impact.
I’ve been wondering what Gunn was trying to say with this movie and then David Bowie’s Heroes played on the radio and I think that’s the meaning of The Suicide Squad. These villains for one day could be heroes.
While it has its issues, The Suicide Squad is a highly entertaining film with some fantastic action, laughs and gory with Elba, Melchior and King Shark the standouts.