MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “The Suicide Squad” stars Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok, Pacific Rim), Margot Robbie (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, The Wolf of Wall Street), John Cena (Daddy’s Home, F9: The Fast Saga), Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop , The Killing [TV series]), Viola Davis (The Help, Fences), Daniela Melchior (Parque Mayer, Massa Fresca [TV series]), David Dastmalchian (Prisoners, Ant-Man), Sylvestor Stallone (Rocky, First Blood), Alice Braga (I Am Legend, Predators), Juan Diego Botto (1492: Conquest of Paradise, La Celestina), Joaquín Cosio (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Quantum of Solace), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who [TV series], World War Z), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Gilmore Girls [TV series]), Jai Courtney (Divergent, Jack Reacher ), Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island, The Dirt), Nathan Fillion (Castle [TV series], Serenity), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2, Trolls World Tour), Mayling Ng (Wonder Woman , The Scorpion King: Book of Souls), Steve Agee (New Girl [TV series], Superstore [TV series]), Tinashe Kajese (Cold Case [TV series], Powers [TV series]), Jennifer Holland (Sun Records [TV series], American Horror Story [TV series]), and Dee Bradley Baker (Space Jam, Phineas and Ferb [TV series]). It is written and directed by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super).
A group of criminal mercinaries known as the Suicide Squad are deployed to the island of Corto Maltese to destroy a weapon that could be used to wage war against the United States and the world.
Never would I have thought five years ago that “Suicide Squad” would’ve gotten a complete make-over, let alone a follow-up. What’s even more baffling is how I purchased a ticket to see this in theaters. Who am I?
In all honesty, I was excited for this DC flick. For once, I was eager to see something from that side of the comic realm, and it was all due to the mastermind that is James Gunn. He’s an incredible writer who knows how to pen ensemble pieces that infuse both comedy and heart. Of course, it was a no-brainer to put Gunn on this project, given his background with “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This is basically a more mature “Guardians,” but with more criminals, curse words, and violence (oh boy, was there so much violence).
I was late on seeing this one, having gone out to the theater on a random Wednesday night only to find myself being the only person in the room. It was the small theater room at the end of the hallway. And while it has been out for a while, I wish it was screened in a larger room, because the scale and scope of this gruesome mercenary feature is insane. The set pieces are vast, the CGI off-the-charts. Gunn knows how to block an action sequence, and made sure to give us plenty of them, utilizing different stylistic choices all the while.
“The Suicide Squad” is essentially a 1970’s war film, with in-camera zooms, jungles, and bizarre circumstances/creatures to make it feel like something based in Vietnam times. For the most part, I enjoyed what I saw. The acting is fantastic, as is the chemistry. Specific highlights for the cast of this go to John Cena, David Dastmalchian, and Alice Braga, who truly shined (as well as Joel Kinnaman, who redeemed himself with this iteration). Compared to the last attempt in 2016, this one has a far more compelling narrative and twist, giving us enemies who are actually strengths to the story and provide the necessary fuel for our anti-heroes’ development. As I’ve said before, Gunn is a funny writer, and there were certainly laughs had in watching this. Not as much as his other work, mind you, but a fair amount.
The easiest statement to make regarding Gunn’s take on this character piece is it’s fun. Simply put. He knows how to make an entertaining work of cinema, specifically in the characters he writes. His balance of humor and heart is to be admired, and while I wasn’t as in love with this flick as some of his others, I respected what was brought to the table.
That said, there’s a few things I didn’t care for about “The Suicide Squad,” primarily the glorification of violence. I get it. I’m sure some of you are raging over that statement. “Why go to an action movie and complain about action?” Well, while I knew what I was getting into, I was certainly caught off guard at the various cutaways or lingering of scenes to show a “cool” way of someone getting murdered. It’s a style that Gunn has chosen and stuck to his guns the whole way through. For me, it was uncomfortable. Then, it became tiresome. I just didn’t care for it, and if it weren’t for the redemptive qualities in some of the characters (Ratcatcher 2, Polka Dot Man, Rick Flag), I would’ve bailed. In my opinion, a movie cannot stand on pure evil/chaos for fun sake; I could’ve done without the over-the-top gore, and it will more than likely affect my desire to rewatch the movie.
Aside from that, “The Suicide Squad” is an entertaining film. It knows what it is, and Gunn gives it a clear direction. The characters are fun, as is the humorous dialogue. It goes without saying just how much better it is than its predecessor, with the biggest drawback being the absolute glorification of chaos (which is in this story’s nature). If you are a DC fan and like ensemble pieces, this is a solid one to watch. FINAL SCORE: 81%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: