The Suicide Squad ★★★
Starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, Daniela Melchior
DC Comics unleash another shot at the villainous team-up movie that fell splat back in 2016. Now under the direction of James Gunn; The Suicide Squad atleast delivers on the promise of blood, guts and profanities galore…second time around.
Plagued by studio intervention, 2016’s Suicide Squad wound up a complete and utter mess about a band of C-list villains (with bombs implanted in their necks) being forced to do the governments bidding. Their opposing personalities are set aside before the end to take down a bigger bad than themselves.
Roll on 2021 and after learning from their mistakes, Warner Bros bring in James Gunn and remove all restraints the previous entry had to deliver us: The Suicide Squad - Neither a sequel nor a reboot, but something stuck in between.
There’s no need to talk about the plot of this movie, as it is exactly the same as the first. What is clear is that this time, the package is a complete James Gunn experience…for better or for worse.
The R Rating gives Gunn the freedom to deliver a gruesome, remorseless tale exploring darker themes and events that heavily contrast with the wacky colourful visuals that Warner Bros sought after from the start.
The dialogue has glimmers of potential, with some near-Tarantino-esque lines that show how the legend of cinema was a clear inspiration for Gunn’s take, but ultimately the overwhelming amount of jokes crammed in prove the film thinks it’s funnier than it actually is.
Character-wise, Will Smith’s Deadshot is literally swapped out for Idris Elba’s Bloodsport - a villain with identical abilities, motivations and personality. He’s joined by Margot Robbie’s third take on the infamous Harley Quinn (the standout saviour of the original movie), Joel Kinnerman’s Colonel Rick Flagg, and a smattering of newbies to help distinguish between the two outings.
The cast is the highlight and once again the saving grace of this movie, as Margot Robbie and Idris Elba pull out every stop to make this an entertaining as possible. Praise must also be given to their squad mates: David Dastmalchian’s Polka Dot Man (seriously), Sylvester Stallone voicing the CGI King Shark, Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2 and her iconic pet: Sebastian the Rat.
The variety and vibrancy of these characters and their setting set this apart from the dreary night time city heist of Suicide Squad, but the inclusion of previously used characters and cast members, and especially how some of them are treated in this movie, leave a very bad taste in the mouth. It’s almost as if Gunn is literally taking a dump on the minor elements that worked before, as if he knows better.
Ultimately The Suicide Squad is indeed a better movie than its predecessor, but not by much. The cast carry the audience through its ridiculous premise but it all seems a little too late. If this was what we got first time around then the experience would feel less like the aftertaste it is.
The Suicide Squad available in cinemas now