James Gunn unleashes a devilishly funny hurricane of carnage into the DC Extended Universe. The Suicide Squad fulfills the bloody vision of the comics. Every villain turned hero is expendable in an insane mission with nearly insurmountable odds. They are wolves to the slaughter instead of the proverbial lambs. The Suicide Squad goes deep into character development at the expense of a complex plot. Cast chemistry and macabre humor carries the weight of a straightforward narrative. The Suicide Squad surpasses the original film in every regard.
The story picks up with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) choosing new members of Task Force X at Louisiana’s notorious Belle Reve prison. Robert DuBois, aka Bloodsport (Idris Elba), is at the top of her list. He initially refuses her offer. But Amanda Waller has methods to motivate the unwilling. The team returns Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and the most fun gal at any criminal party, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Other newbies include the behemoth man-shark, Nanaue aka King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Peacemaker (John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), to name a few.
The remote island country of Corto Maltese has undergone a coup. The dictator has been replaced by an anti-American new leader (Juan Diego Botto) and his ruthless general (Joaquín Cosio). Amanda Waller couldn’t care less about their revolution. But a secret facility holds a terrifying threat to the entire world. Task Force X is dropped into a buzz saw of conflict. They learn the hard way that other sinister agendas are at play on the mission.
The Suicide Squad takes savage delight in gruesome outcomes. Every character gets a moment to shine, or die horribly in a hilarious fashion. Half the fun is guessing who makes it through to the end. Writer/director James Gunn (Super, Guardians of the Galaxy) has a field day exploring the bizarre abilities of his freakshow team. The sheer creativity involved in the ultra-violent action scenes are worthy of applause. TDK (Nathan Fillion) and Polka-Dot Man have some of the weirdest powers you’ll ever see on screen.
Idris Elba plays the exact same lead character better than Will Smith. Bloodsport and Deadshot are pretty much identical. When Will Smith didn’t return for the sequel, the producers just hired someone else for the same role with a different name. They chose his replacement wisely. Idris Elba owns this film as the straight man surrounded by mutants and psychos. He’s a laugh riot bickering with Peacemaker, a father figure to Ratcatcher 2, and an ass-kicking machine mowing down baddies. Any doubts about Bloodsport are squashed within minutes of the runtime.
James Gunn uses clever filmmaking techniques to transition between scenes. The film is broken down into chapters and incorporates artistically done flashbacks to give the characters more exposition. The result is a believable emotional core to the gang of oddballs. Gunn has an uncanny ability to humanize the strangest things. Weasel, a motion capture performance from his brother, Sean Gunn, never speaks, but is oddly compelling. Small moments stand out in the sea of extremes.
The Suicide Squad is chum in the water for a ravenous fan base. This is not a film for the squeamish or those with no interest in a hardcore comic adaptation. It’s a wild ride from start to finish. I was hoping for a more detailed plot, but am more than satisfied with James Gunn’s vision. The Suicide Squad is a production of Atlas Entertainment, DC Films, and the Safran Company. The film will be released concurrently on August 6th in theaters and HBO Max by Warner Bros.