Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
It would be fair to say that the various attempts of DC to get their cinematic universe off the ground have varied from inconsistent to downright terrible, and nothing epitomises that more than 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’, a film that is pretty much remembered now for the one good thing it produced in Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Coming on the back of Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, this was DC’s attempt to capitalise on GOTG showing that you didn’t need the biggest characters to make for a critical and commercial smash. ‘The Suicide Squad’ is officially a sequel to that movie but it’s more of a second go at that premise, and DC have even smartly went and got James Gunn (who helmed the ‘Guardians’ films) to direct, and he’s managed to create a much more entertaining movie than David Ayer’s attempt 5 years ago.
The underlying premise remains the same – a group of villains from the DC canon are brought together into a taskforce to take on a dangerous mission under duress, with the director given free reign to bring in some of the more outlandish creations from the comic book archives (last time it was a half human/half crocodile, this time it’s a half human/half shark). The mission centres on a fictional Caribbean island with a secretive scientific research plant, and the task for this crew is to destroy any evidence of American involvement. Back from the first film are Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller who brings the team together, Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, the supposed leader of the group, and of course Margot Robbie and some of the other characters who survived the first movie’s action. The main reason this movie works is that Gunn absolutely gets the tone right and that is never clearer than in the opening sequences which are a brilliant gonzo mix of gore, extreme violence and biting dark comedy.
I do think ‘The Suicide Squad’ still has a lot of problems (similar to those which have plagued other DC films), namely in a poor villain and a tendency to drag out the conclusion for far too long. Not to mention, it’s off the smashy, crashy, effects laden destroy an entire city with a big monster kind of vibe, and it’s very much something we’ve seen done many times before. I did like the music which was better placed this time around and the cast have great chemistry together, with Idris Elba in particular an upgrade on Will Smith’s character from the first film. It’s not as good as some outlets would have you believe but ‘The Suicide Squad’ is brash and bold and is the movie the first movie wanted (and failed) to be.
Directed By: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Michael Rooker, Pete Davidson, Alice Braga, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, Joaquin Cosio, Juan Diego Botto, Storm Reid and Taika Waititi