In 2016, Suicide Squad hit theatres, despite pulling in over $746 million it was not popular with critics or audiences. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn proved popular with audiences everywhere. It even became the most popular Halloween costume for 2016. Also the film won an Academy Award for Make Up & Hairstyling. After his infamous firing from Marvel, James Gunn crossed over to DC for The Suicide Squad. With an all star cast and a brilliant director, how could it go wrong?
The imprisoned convicts of Belle Reve penitentiary form a brand new team known as Task Force X. They are on a mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim. A Nazi era prison that is undergoing a secret government experiment by the hands of Gaius Grieves a.k.a The Thinker. Some familiar faces from the 2016 movie have returned such as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang. They are joined by newcomers Idris Elba, John Cena, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion and a string of others.
The marketing and posters for this film would have you believe that this is an all star team of twelve people. This is not the case, as after the first five minutes characters such as Captain Boomerang and The Black Guard disappear. The main players of the film are Deadshot (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Elba carries most of the film on his back with some assistance from Cena but Idris is leading this squad. Harley Quinn will attract DC and Suicide Squad fans however she is a side character in this movie. This is disappointing as Harley is the fan favourite from the 2016 movie.
This is the first comic book film that feels like a comic book brought to life. The title cards created by Gunn are an excellent example of great storytelling that feels close to the source material. The CGI and action sequences are the best I have seen in any movie ever. The CGI characters such as King Shark and The Weasel feel so real, you forget they are animated. The costumes are identical to those in the original comic books and the production design fits with the mood of the film.
Although The Villain Problem is usually a Marvel trope, this film suffers from it. From the start, our villain is The Thinker (Peter Capaldi). However Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) could also be the real villain but the real villain is a giant starfish. Due to the plot twist, this was a deliberate move on Gunn’s part. Overall, The Suicide Squad is a major improvement from the 2016 movie. If there was a goal, James Gunn definitely achieved it and took the DC Extended Universe to the next level.