The Suicide Squad was directed by James Gunn and stars Margot Robbie, John Cena and Idris Elba. I wasn’t very sure what to expect from this movie as I did not particularly enjoy Suicide Squad from 2016. However, this movie feels like a much needed do-over with a bunch of obscure characters from the DC universe that you have probably never heard of. The movie starts with a completely misleading bait and switch that explains the premise of the movie while also perfectly capturing its tone. The opening felt like an enormous gamble that paid off.
The competitive relationship between John Cena and Idris Elba received a lot of screen time and was easily the most entertaining part of the movie. Idris Elba becomes the relatable protagonist of the story while John Cena leans heavily into the outrageous delivering easily the best lines of the script.
I was never a fan of Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn in her previous movies. The Brooklyn accent and her overall personality were always a bit too much on the obnoxious site of things. This didn’t change significantly in The Suicide Squad but at least she had a couple of very interesting things to do.
The rest of the cast did a good job making the more obscure members of the team likeable. King Shark, a mix between a man and a shark, reminded me of a mix between Groot and Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy and worked really well as a comedic relief. I even ended up really liking the Ratcatcher 2 and Polka-Dot Man.
The most surprising element of the movie was the portrayal of the politics surrounding the Suicide Squad. The story openly acknowledged that the team does not exist to do good but to cover up shady government operations in off the books missions – it was portrayed as straight up evil. I haven’t seen this level of open criticism towards American imperialism and the indiscriminate killing of foreigners in a comic book adaptation before. The Boys had similar critique to offer but usually focused on the private part of the military industrial complex rather than government operations.
The movie is R-rated and shows a lot of outrageous violence which was always presented in a light-hearted way. You will see grotesque scenes of people getting stabbed multiple times, ripped apart or eaten while the movie tries to make you lough about it. One scene in particular felt like a killing blow from the video game Mortal Combat.
I was thoroughly entertained. The movie made me care about obscure DC characters and a completely ridiculous plot. I would like to see more!
4/5 – Hope that helps.