‘Suicide Squad’ is much improved film over first


‘Suicide Squad’ directed by James Gunn

The Suicide Squad, directed by James Gunn, is an R rated comedy filled comic book movie in which we see a group of super villains team up to save the world.  The film is a reboot/sequel to the 2016 version, which was directed by David Ayer.

The 2016 version received poor reviews. Ayer said he made a “soulful drama,” and the studio panicked and tried to make it into Deadpool. The film had a weak and confusing storyline, which they tried to make up for by adding in popular music to distract the viewer.

In the latest film, on the other hand, Warner Brothers executives gave James Gunn full power to make the movie that he wanted to make, and it did not disappoint. It turned out to be a humorous, action packed superhero movie, which gave the audience characters they cared about. The film received a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, which bests the 26% that the original movie received.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is a government worker who puts together teams of supervillains to complete missions for the United States. She offers them 10 years off of their prison sentence in exchange. If the mission is not completed they will be killed through an explosive device implanted in their heads. However, Waller should not be seen as the grounded government worker of this film, instead another villain. In this film she is a corrupt government worker, who does whatever she can for the mission, which can end up harming people.

The film opens with Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) as he leads a group of supervillains into battle in Corto Maltese, an island in South America. The country was taken over by Presidente Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto) and Major General Mateo Suarez (Joaquín Cosio).  They have a plan called Project Starfish, which involves an extraterrestrial force which could take over America, and turn Corto Maltese into a world power. However, the plan goes awry, so Flag and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) have to be saved.

This team is led by Blood Sport (Idris Elba), along with Peacemaker (John Cena), Rat Catcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), King Shark (Sylvester Stalone), and Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian). The team has to save Colonel Flag and Quinn, while completing the mission of destroying Project Starfish.

What this film does well is that it gives Gunn the ability to showcase his directing style, which in turn makes a non traditional superhero movie. This is similar to Gunn’s work with Marvel Studios where he created the Guardians of the Galaxy films.  He used realistic sets along with CGI in order to create this film, allowing the action sequences to feel realistic and grounded in reality. The film is also a morally complex movie, meaning the audience will root for, and care about these characters, even though they are villains. The characters have good chemistry, especially Peacemaker and Bloodsport who have many entertaining exchanges throughout the film. 

Although the long list of characters allows for great moments, it came at the expense of developing a clear and menacing villain. The motivation of Luna and Suarez are unclear, and the Starfish just becomes the faceless monster for our protagonists to defeat. In addition, the 2 hour and 12 minute runtime often felt a little too long at some points throughout the film. Also, although the R rating allowed for Gunn to unleash his full potential, its gruesome and uncensored nature could potentially be too much for some audiences, especially younger children.

Overall, the film is a massive upgrade over the first addition of The Suicide Squad, and it is a fun, yet action packed superhero movie. The movie has a moral compass, it delivers an emotional punch, and has interesting cinematography. Although the film is flawed, the good outweighs those flaws, and lets the audience focus on the positives of this fun natured DCEU film.

Grade: A-