This review is spoiler-free.
Someone give James Gunn a crown!
Following on from 2016’s poorly received Suicide Squad, THE Suicide Squad practically gives us everything that the other film should have delivered. No holds barred and no f***s given, this version is full to the brim of gruesome violence, laughs and fun characters.
Once again assembled by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the group of crazy super-villains are sent to the island of Corto Maltese to stop a top secret mission called ‘Starfish’. What I really liked is that this version didn’t completely dismiss its predecessor, instead this is clearly a follow on. This also meant that we didn’t need to waste time in introducing the purpose of the group all over again and as a result we are thrown straight into the story.
The cast is vast and wonderful. Some characters stick around longer than others but I would say that each and every one of them serves a purpose and makes an impact. James Gunn’s decision to delve deep into DC Comics’ shelves proves genius as giving us characters we don’t know that well adds to the film’s appeal. Weasel, T.D.K, Blackguard and Javelin were all fantastic choices and you will have fallen in love with King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) by the end of the film. I mean, how wonderful is it to have King Shark feature in a major cinematic release!
Other characters stand out for various reasons as they are pushed to the forefront. Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) brings a lot of heart to a bonkers film and just everything about Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) is fantastic. Yes, he’s just as crazy as everyone else (perhaps even more so) but his backstory pinches at your heart strings and let’s face it – he has a pretty interestingly cool power. David was brilliant in every single moment.
Idris Elba surpassed my expectations as Bloodsport. He managed a supreme blend of comedy and badass and as the film goes on he reveals more and more about himself. I absolutely loved the scene between him and his daughter. Praise be to the film gods for deciding to let him use his actual accent too. John Cena as Peacemaker is all encompassing. He’s got good intentions but with a contradictory actions and this film has made me desperate for the release of the Peacemaker tv series. Elba and Cena made a great double act as their state of frenemy-ship gave the film some of its best moments. I will cling onto the hope that we may see them play these characters together again.
Of course, Margot Robbie and Joel Kinnaman return as Harley Quinn and Rick Flag. I preferred Rick in this compared to the last time we saw him and I was pleased that the film didn’t fall trap to being the Harley Quinn show. She does feature a lot but not as heavily as I expected and while people may complain that this character is becoming over used, Robbie manages to give us something new with Harley every time we see her. She does such a fantastic job with one particular scene which reminded me of her prison break in her solo outing.
At times I found myself not really caring about the story because I was enjoying the characters so much. I think that’s a compliment? However, the story is there and it runs well in the background, giving all the fun some direction. We are introduced to The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) and I hate to say that I think that they could have done more with him. Even just going by the version of him we saw on The Flash – he’s a great, great villain and here he mainly acts as the doorway to meeting the main antagonist, Starro. That’s just me being picky. The film culminates with huge pandemonium just as you’d expect from a superhero film and again there was quite a lot of feeling behind it’s ending.
I’m so pleased to say that this film completely delivers what it intends to do. The Suicide Squad surely is the cream of the crop within the DCEU. It manages to deliver outrageous fun and absolute carnage. It gives us relatively unknown comic book characters which you would definitely be happy to see again.