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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

'The Suicide Squad' Review: James Gunn's Take On The Supervillain Group On A Mission

Four members of the Suicide Squad surrounded by trees
Warner Bros. Pictures

Dying: it's kind of their thing and they are once again The Suicide Squad, ''the'' being the important part as it's pretty much designed then to remove the earlier 'Suicide Squad' from conversation. James Gunn both directed and wrote the film by himself, something that doesn't happen all that much anymore in modern blockbusters, and that could inspire others to follow suit.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is back once again to recruit a team of criminals, led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Peacemaker (John Cena), which has a mission to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese. There the team is supposed to bring down a Nazi-built laboratory called Jotunheim where a controversial government of Colto Maltese is holding prisoners to conduct experiments on them. A supervillain named The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) is helping as an expert on its main experiment which is also being called ''Project Starfish''.

It wasn't smooth sailing all they way with The Suicide Squad because the first hour had me fairly worried, from its heavy-handed character introductions to muddying the waters in terms of the main mission which essentially is the film's story. Also the severe disparity between the score and soundtrack was a problem, mainly due to the latter (those Atlantic Records needle drops, such as an out-of-place track by Grandson, are as distracting as they were in the 2016 movie).

One thing that can keep you engaged is the pitch perfect casting by Yiniva Cardenas, John Papsidera and Gunn for the villain roles as there's not a single bad performance in the bunch (could easily be considering the size of the cast), everyone understanding their assignment fully, even the rat actors. I almost feel like a criminal myself to only mention some names but Melchior, David Dastmalchian (as Polka-Dot Man) and Elba bring an unexpected affection to their characters while Robbie just continues to explode on the screen whenever she's portraying Harley Quinn.

When the group actually gets closer to Jotunheim, the film kicks into a whole new gear with its filmmaking, entertainment value and scope. It's not too often that you see a blockbuster getting better as it goes along, or that its final act is the peak, leaving you on a high as the credits roll. Biggest element there is that the movie's visual effects not only look brilliant, they are balanced with well choreographed and shot action, and that they play into the ridiculous nature of it all (get ready for that starfish).

It is in that final act that Gunn's vision truly comes through as he's firing on all cylinders; there isn't a single joke that doesn't land before but they're more refined then, you never feel that the action is egregious because the film is self-aware and things shown earlier play a big part in the finale. Gunn has such a strong hold on the tonal shifts that you'd wish the beginning had gone that hard as well and that sonically the movie was more polished. Fun is something that you'll get plenty of, however.

Smileys: VFX, casting, ending, tone

Frowneys: Soundtrack

You'd hope that pet shops will have enough rats because I sense that a lot of people will feel ratisfied after watching this.


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