The Suicide Squad Movie Review: James Gunn's Fun Action-Adventure Team-up

The Suicide Squad by James Gunn is a welcome surprise in the age of the mega-serious superhero franchise. Gunn has retained the strongest parts of the first attempt at this movie and weeded out all the noise (Will Smith's Deadshot and Jay Hernandez's El Diablo).

The Suicide Squad Movie Review
The Suicide Squad 2021

Going by the David Ayer version, the expectations for this movie was rock-bottom. But Gunn knocked it out of the park with an awesome DC team-up. The plot is better, the characters have greater depth and the humour is organic.


Plot


No points for guessing how it goes down in The Suicide Squad (TSS). A group of expendable villain archetypes is sent to counter a threat to the US (the only country that matters in comics or movies). But the way this simple plot device is handled is amazing - although I think the boss-level battle could have used a better Big Bad.

The Suicide Squad on Corto Maltese
The Suicide Squad on high alert

The opening scene treats the audience to a delectable misdirect which is hilarious in its absurdity. It only gets progressively better from there, until of course the main villain is revealed. The only explanation for selecting a fuzzy cuddly, comically colorful starfish for a villain is to add more comedic value to this James Gunn special.


TSS feels a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) if it was put through a DC filter - darker, more violent, and more money in the swear jar. But the chemistry between the teammates is similar to the one you get to see in GOTG. A genuine bond forms among the squad members, leading them to look out for each other and making the character arcs more meaningful.


Cast


Casting made all the difference in The Suicide Squad. Will Smith's preachy Deadshot and Jay Hernandez's wooden-faced El Diablo have been scrapped in this installment of the DC franchise. Enter - Idris Elba's Bloodsport and Sylvester Stallone's King Shark putting a bullet and taking a giant chomp out of your boredom.

Viola Davis and Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad
Amanda Waller - The real villain

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Gunn has also retained the best parts of the last version - Viola Davis as Amanda Waller who is the true villain in both movies and probably across the multiverse! There's also Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn being incredibly funny and psychologically layered at the same time. John Cena as the Peacemaker is hilarious and David Dastmalchian as the Polka-Dot man deals with his own demons to side-splitting effect.

By the looks of it, John Cena might be the next Dwayne Johnson, with him starring in almost every major movie out now. He has a major role in F9 which might snowball into other franchises or a hundred cameos in other projects.


David Dastmalchian is really coming into his own after playing Scott Lang's goofy but brilliant partner in crime Kurt ( Baba Yaga come at night, little children sleepy tight! ). He is also one of the few people who have held more than just a passing cameo in both the MCU and the DCEU.


Also read Avengers: Endgame Movie Review - The End of an Era

Harley Quinn screaming
Harley Quinn - Not just a pretty face

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is an incredibly complex character and indispensable to most DC tales. You get to see how her mind works in TSS in instances such as an intense fight scene where she slaughters several soldiers. Every time there's bloodshed there are daises and other pleasant objects that spring forth from the men instead of blood. This is not dissimilar to the mental imagery of girls trapped in Sucker Punch who use imagination to escape the horror of the present.

James and Sean Gunn
Brother in arms - James and Sean Gunn

It's also not a James Gunn movie until Sean Gunn plays an animal of some sort. In this case, it is the anthropomorphic Weasel who is funny without saying a single word.


Should You Watch It? - Hells Yes!


The Suicide Squad is like the first Suicide Squad dipped in awesome sauce and deep-fried in the comedic genius of James Gunn. This is a great watch and very entertaining so go out there and have a big laugh!


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