There is a fascination that people have with superheroes that often translates to a huge following all across different mediums — especially when it comes to the film and television industry. The recently released film, The Suicide Squad, is no exception to this phenomenon. Fans have waited long enough to see James Gunn’s magic at work with his version of the Suicide Squad and we have finally been appeased in a way with the film’s release last August 6. We have checked out the film for ourselves to see if this film is really worth all the hype. Here’s our full honest review of The Suicide Squad:
What you Need to Know Before Watching The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad is first and foremost a standalone sequel to the 2016 version directed by David Ayer. The creative vibrancy that James Gunn has brought to the superhero genre especially with his work for Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy is explicitly seen in his reiteration of this DC team. There are broad stroked references to the original film in regards to some of the members of the squad such as Harley Quinn and Rick Flag. For the most part, however, this movie is a complete 360 turnaround from the first flick serving almost as a reboot for the Suicide Squad.
There are new characters that are introduced and you can check out our two-part post on this matter as we tackle some of the characters that we are to meet in this film.
The Suicide Squad Review: Spoiler and Film rating warnings
Take note that this review will definitely include some spoilers. You have been warned and therefore proceed with caution. For our parent readers as well, it is worth noting that we do not recommend this film for your children as it does live up to its R-rating in terms of it being an all-out bloodbath and gore-driven experience.
The trailer, toy lines, and even some of the pictures that may circulate online often give a slight spoiler to the events that may occur in any film. We have seen this occur several times in the past and once again for The Suicide Squad. We are given a long and extensive list of 19 characters for the film with some getting an unusual amount of spotlight in the trailers and even in some of the toy releases compared to the others. Therefore the first few minutes of the film didn’t really come as a shock, in fact, it was very much expected.
Given that we are witnessing a group of villains who are feeling a bit heroic at this point with the name suicide attached to their squad, it is pretty much expected that there will be some casualties along the way. Out of the 19 members of the squad, only a handful were really able to see the light of day and this list of survivors was quite obvious even before the film started. Despite this predictability, the way that the story is told has a lot of elements going for it that keep the film engaging and exciting from start to finish.
Fast-Paced and Engaging Story
Right from the get-go, The Suicide Squad showcases a story that is filled with high adrenaline action scenes. There is also a relevant, detailed, and substance-filled plot that serves as the backbone for the entire story. The Suicide Squad, therefore, doesn’t just provide meaningless fight scenes and pointless death casualties but instead everything is done to highlight an entertaining story. This is a clear indication of the directing prowess of James Gunn and his scriptwriting team. The film is able to balance the spectacular visual effects and all the action-packed sequences with an engaging and entertaining story that would keep viewers glued to the screen until the very end.
Standout Performances and Detailed Characterizations
The Suicide Squad is able to boast a spectacular cast of amazing actors and actresses while providing some diversity within the group. The majority of these characters, as mentioned, have little screen time compared to the others but it was still exciting to see actors such as Nathan Fillion (Castle), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), and Jai Courtney (Terminator: Genisys) as members of the band of misfit heroes. In regards to the main group of actors who are seen throughout most of the film, the majority give decent performances and hold their own in terms of the roles that they are given while showcasing great chemistry as a collective. Some stand-out performances, however, include Margot Robbie of course who is still a perfect fit for the role of Harley Quinn — delivering an amazingly insane portrayal of the character.
One actress that we should also be on the lookout for in particular is Daniela Melchior who portrays the role of Cleo Cazo/ Ratcatcher 2 (who coincidently is a character made specifically for this film). Daniela Melchior is able to draw out the most from her character — giving a much-needed background on her obsession with rats and her somewhat passive demeanor. Ratcatcher 2 is just one example of what the film was able to masterfully deliver to us as viewers — a detailed and emotional character development. There is ample time for each to shine and for their characteristics, stories, and attributes to be shown. This is also done creatively through dialogues, flashbacks, and the interactions of the characters with everyone else within the squad.
The Absurdity that Works
There is a level of wacky and goofy nature to the suicide squad which may have been expected with the overall composition of the team and the blatant absurd nature of the central plot. Everything does complement each other from the oddity of the central villain down to the chemistry amongst the members of Task Force X. The wackiness and eccentric tone of the entire film are set up entirely by the cast and surprisingly it all works. Every humorous note down to the spectacle of an action event that The Suicide Squad simply embodies is complementary — giving us viewers a dose of various emotions and elements that come together brilliantly.
Unique yet Consistent Attention to Detail
The latest film in the DC Extended Universe, thanks to the direction of James Gunn, offers a fresh take and perspective compared to its predecessors. As mentioned it is a drastic change from the first Suicide Squad film in the most positive definition of the word. The utilization of bright colors and creative choices in transitions and the usage of a back and forth timeline was excited brilliantly. Despite the breath of fresh air in terms of visuals, James Gunn was still able to capture similar tones from previous DC films such as Shazam to be specific. All of these point to the balance of both creative freedom and a unified vision across all films despite having different directors.
The Suicide Squad Review Verdict
The Suicide Squad despite its absurd plot elements at times still stands as one of the better superhero films given to us in a while. That may be a bold statement but we totally stand by it. It is a film that has everything from emotional and dramatic scenes, comedy, non-stop action, blood and gore, heroes in colorful suits and spandex, ridiculous yet powerful villains, and many more. It is definitely one film that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Despite the sheer length of our review there still may be one question on everyone’s mind: What does The Suicide Squad imply regarding the future of DC Extended Universe? If we look at the film in the grander scope of things, James Gunn has somehow steered the direction of the team into a whole new place and level both in terms of the future of the DC characters and for the level of excellence in storytelling. The future to be honest maybe unknown especially with a couple of minor villains being killed off in this film such as Batman’s Polka Dot Man and The Flash’s Captain Boomerang. There are a lot of various plots that could be explored such as time travel which may bring some of these members back but again all of these are up in the air and are left for us to merely speculate.
Despite the future and fate of the DCEU still being unclear as of now, The Suicide Squad film as seen in this review will surely open a lot of endless possibilities for the franchise. Included in the endless list of possibilities is the HBO Max exclusive series entitled Peacemaker, based on John Cena’s character for the film as well as The Batman film starring Robert Pattinson which is both set to be released early next year. In the meantime grab your VPNs and stream The Suicide Squad now on HBO Max.
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