‘The Suicide Squad’ Review: A Deadly Good Moment | Entertainment
What happens when you launch a group of wacky supervillains against a mission with 0.0001% survival chance? Death, as well as a good comic book movie.
“The Suicide Squad” is the rag-tag-villain-team’s recent film set in the DCEU and is a sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad”. It was written and directed by James Gunn, who has also created the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films for Marvel. It has been released in theaters and on HBO Max.
The film follows Task Force X, a group of several villains who must complete a mission for Amanda Waller. If they finish it, they get 10 years in prison. Otherwise, the only way is death, whether by implanted explosive or on the ground. In this case, they must infiltrate a military nation-state and prevent a secret weapons program from spiraling out of control.
“The Suicide Squad” works as a fun, fairly stand-alone comic book movie. He does everything he needs, and in style, even if he doesn’t innovate much. But it will necessarily be a good time anyway.
The film has a large cast. There are a few returning faces, like Margot Robbie in Harley Quinn, Viola Davis in Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman in Rick Flag, and Jai Courtney in Captain Boomerang. Today some new faces include Idris Elba, John Cena, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, Peter Capaldi, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion and Sean Gunn, and many more.
In general, everyone does a great job of making each character distinct enough to stand out among the large cast. As the film progresses, a more determined group emerges. Without spoiling anything, the group which lasts the longest offers beautiful performances, in particular of David Dastmalchian and Daniela Melchior. Don’t get attached to all of the names listed above.
The surviving members create the strongest element of the film, namely the characters. There’s a surprising amount of depth given to the main cast, especially for some admittedly silly characters. But Gunn has created a believable and complete team of broken individuals who offer decent emotional cores throughout the film.
The overall story is pretty basic, just follow the team on their mission. However, it is sometimes told in a non-linear fashion, with several instances of the film being briefly flashed back (sometimes a few minutes before) to convey information. It can be a little distracting at times, but it’s consistent enough to get used to.
This leads to one of the problems with the film, which is a carry over from “Suicide Squad”. The film has an exposure problem, where the film provides most of its information through dialogue. It’s not the worst use of the exhibit, and it’s often played for a joke, but it’s annoying having characters directly say who and what the other characters are without showing it until much later. .
Along with that, the pace of the film is a bit offbeat, especially in the opening scene; it’s way too fast, providing information and presenting characters so quickly that it’s hard to keep up for a few minutes. It works like a joke, but it’s hard to hang on to anything. Then it becomes more consistent as the movie progresses, leveling out enough to keep up.
In general, the edit works well, especially keeping everything understandable – something that the previous film is infamous for failing. Several fun and stylish techniques are used, especially when transitioning between segments. It provides an extra touch that helps the movie stand out from other superhero movies.
Speaking of Gunn’s flourishes, the soundtrack is pretty murderous. This alleviates the abuse of pop songs from the previous film, but it is still present throughout the film. However, the difference in this movie is that they serve a better thematic purpose that matches the tone, style, and onscreen antics of the movie. There is also a score in this movie that acts like a bunch of guitar riffs. It works for the movie, but sometimes it’s indistinguishable from the soundtrack.
The overall sound design also works well, delivering a punch to the face with its gunshots and fight scenes. Elements like the main threat are impressive in the way they decided to make it sound, which is fantastic in a big theater.
The cinematography is excellent, although a little basic at times. There is no crazy lighting, but there are several sequences with incredible camera movements. Some highlights include a foot fight in the rain, bang on a bus with the action taking place outside, a fight scene focused on Harley Quinn (which is both visually and stylistically the best scene in the movie. ) and a pissing contest between two characters on how many people they can kill.
Speaking of pissing contests, the comedy in this movie is still good, but not outrageously funny. There are several good jokes placed throughout the movie. However, only a few elicited more than just a smile. The comedy is good enough that audiences can enjoy the movie on that basis alone.
“The Suicide Squad” is an entertaining villain film that functions as a spin-off within the larger franchise. His endearing characters, energetic nature, and good comedy will resonate with audiences for a deadly good time.
Personally, this film is not placed in the upper echelons of the DCEU. But, it’s at least reassuring to know that DC has the ability to release some great summer superhero blockbusters that feel pretty weird and different from everything else. At least it doesn’t seem derivative, except maybe for James Gunn’s Marvel work.
Hopefully Gunn will continue to work in the DCEU areas. It will be refreshing to have a different director’s voice in this universe. For now, this movie acts like a good time in the theater for what ultimately amounts to a bloodbath of villainous proportions.
3.5 / 5 Torches