Friday, August 6

The Suicide Squad Review

Suicide Squad

Dir: James Gunn

Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, and Sylvester Stallone

2h 12m


The modern superhero movie has allowed audiences to grow familiar with strange, odd, and unusual sights. Like an underwater kingdom where an aqua man telepathically controls marine life. Or a young boy who turns into a powerful being just by saying the words "Shazam." It's commonplace to see superhumans battle giant creatures, massive monsters, or ancient gods on the big screen at least once a month these days. 


Director James Gunn, who is responsible for producing a specific brand of strange and silly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with two "Guardians of the Galaxy" films, tackles the reboot/sequel of the bad-guys-gone-good 2016 movie "Suicide Squad." Leave it to James Gunn, the director of some horribly beautiful cinema like "Slither" and "Super" who also got his start in the Troma Entertainment brand, to make the best kind of silly and perverse comic book movie to date. 


The mix of dark and mindless humor, gory and unflinching violence, and the odd and quirky heart he gives the characters we shouldn't care about is a combination of everything the writer/director has tailored over all these years. "The Suicide Squad" forms a pitch-perfect comic book movie with a new stance to the saturated market of world-saving heroes. And yes, he also contributes more strange, odd, and usual sights, like a walking, talking shark who sounds like Sylvester Stallone. 


Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) organizes a group of outcast bad guys who do covert operations that the world's superheroes can't do. The Suicide Squad, as they call themselves, is assigned to invade the fictional Corto Maltese to stop a government coup with plans to unleash a secret weapon on the rest of the world. The team is led by the reluctant Bloodsport (Idris Elba), a marksman who is touted as putting Superman in the hospital with a kryptonite bullet. The rest of the team features Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), both from the previous “Suicide Squad”, and new teammates like the rodent controlling Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchoir), the demoralized Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), the homicidal justice seeker Peacemaker (John Cena), and a giant walking shark named Nanaue (voiced by Sylvester Stallone). In true comic book fashion, the ragtag team must accomplish their mission before the world is destroyed. 


James Gunn takes absurdist humor to incredible extremes throughout the film, taking a bloody or violent moment and undercutting it with some comedy element. Whether dark, deadpan, silly, or sometimes all of them at once, it's within this humor-driven sensibility that "The Suicide Squad" finds its footing for the composition of the characters that range from unredeemable to misguided. 


Gunn is an accomplished screenwriter, bringing straight tension and horror with the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" or modernizing the live-action follies of the ghost hunting gang in "Scooby-Doo." Gunn finds the unusual beats and abnormal rhythms in storytelling. It's what separates and defines his unique style. 


Throughout "The Suicide Squad," Gunn takes the formulaic structure of the superhero film and modifies it just enough to make it feel out of rhythm. With a character like Harley Quinn, who fans would assume might be front and center in this film, Gunn places the well-known character in a supporting role while giving her the best fight scene the character has in any film. The arrogant Peacemaker is perfectly cast with John Cena, who is doing the charming bad guy wrestler character, even at one time showing up in a mock pair of "tights."  Gunn abrupts the accustomed structure with characters like Nanaue, also known as King Shark, and Ratcather 2, providing them with a piece of the strange heart that grounds the film with emotion amidst the chaos and mayhem that happens consistently on-screen. 


  "The Suicide Squad" combines heart, humor, and heroics in fun, ingenious, and gruesome ways. It's the most fun film of all the summer blockbuster films in 2021. 


Monte's Rating

4.00 out of 5.00

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