2016’s Suicide Squad is but a distant memory, adding an all-important “The” in the title brings us a much more enjoyable film this time around.
Gone are the days where superhero films were to entertain children, with their divine morality and reused colour palate. The new wave of comic book films is upon us, here we have an extravagant menagerie of larger-than-life characters with a variety of skills, ethos, and a similar taste for selfishness. James Gunn had a vision – unbothered by studio sackings it seems – which clearly took inspiration from his Guardians of the Galaxy films, matching them for humour, pacing, and action. Gunn really hits the spot with these unconventional comic book films.
The Suicide Squad centres around a brand-new set of … Villains? Heroes? A mix of both really, with some just being downright weird, I’m looking at you Weasel. They are brought together by that woman again, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), to complete a mission that involves raiding Corto Maltese, a fictional South American country, so they can break into a top-secret laboratory and former Nazi stronghold, to retrieve some important documents.
The reboot of the franchise (the less we talk about the first one the better) is such a vast improvement to its predecessor. Factors such as giving it a much more suitable R rating so it can be more violent and crude, as well as having a director that cares about producing good films for the fans. It is brilliantly over the top and extremely graphic.
Another plus point was how the humour played a major part to its success as well. It was laden with genuine laughs that weren’t forced down your throat like that final piece of stale cake. There were still some cheesy and forgettable jokes, but that is a superhero films bread and butter. The chemistry between the characters felt fluid also, they bounced off each with such acrimonious sarcasm, it was a joy at times. It is very much akin to the Guardians films or Deadpool, with some characters being more serious than others, acting as great foils for one another.
Waller’s plan is to storm the beaches of Corto Maltese and confront the newly appointed army command with a rag tag team of would-be superhero’s, consisting of Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Savant (Michael Rooker), that creepy Weasel thing (Sean Gunn himself), T.D.K (Nathan Fillion), the latter taking the top spot for worst superpower ever – it really is terrible. This group are but a mere distraction for the real squad on the opposite side of the beach; a heavier and much more efficient group led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba). Joining him is Peacemaker (John Cena), King Shark or Nanaue to his friends (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) a man with severe mummy issues, and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), who is the glue that holds this band of vermin together.
The squad make their way to the HQ of the newly appointed and incredibly wicked president of the country, coming across a rebel faction fighting the new leadership on the way, as well as bumping into old friend Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and the infamous Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The objective is to find The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) so they can access the lab and whatever secrets and possible alien beasts are being kept there.
The characters were all superb, but John Cena was very surprising, a superb step up from his previous roles (I unfortunately remember, The Marine), playing the straight faced, dressed up killer without a conscious – like Drax the Destroyer in many ways. With Elba being the more serious of the two, their interactions were great to watch. There were even two sides to the film’s villain coin; the clever and somewhat ridiculous “Thinker” with medical appliances stuck in his head, and the 500-foot starfish on the other side, who just seemed too cute to be mean.
You cannot help but compare it to the first film, it really is chalk and cheese though. The Suicide Squad is by far superior, it just fell together so smoothly, offering up a great experience and easily being one of the best DC films to date, especially in this new DC shared universe, although that isn’t really saying much. The plot was more concise, the characters had back stories instead of just being thrown in our faces. Each character developed nicely as well, exploring new layers to themselves, and there was a small love story thrown in too – even if it did end prematurely.
It is an irreverent comic book film that even uses western ideologies for its comedic gain very effectively. Taking aim at western imperialism and the American foreign policy, what’s not to love about that? The film is by no means perfect (comic book films rarely are in my eyes) but, its vibrancy, its outlandishness, its shear entertainment, heavily out way any defects it has, and that must count for something.