Brady Drake, Correspondent
If you have ever wondered what an R-rated “Guardians of the Galaxy” film would look like, this is for you. “The Suicide Squad” (2021), from the same director James Gunn, is the latest DC Universe installment. The first section has minimal spoilers.
You might remember there was another “Suicide Squad” back in 2016 starring Will Smith. Unfortunately, that film was an utter disaster. The director, David Ayer, had a quality track record including “Training Day” and “End of Watch.” Both of those are award-winning/worthy films. It’s true that Warner Bros sunk their claws into his vision and changed it a lot. This happens more than you think, so we may never know what his actual movie would have been like.
This time around, Warner Bros let James Gunn complete his version, and it delivers.
A group of misfit villains are sent on a dangerous mission to the island of Corto Maltese. The mission just may save the world.
They searched high and low for all kinds of talented actors and actresses including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, and more. Robbie’s Harley Quinn portrayal delivers as usual. Her talent for stunt work and acumen to act like a crazy person keeps her as one of the better DC Universe characters. She works well with whomever she is paired with.
What character has the best character arc? It is surprisingly Ratcatcher #2. Yes, that is her name. Played by Daniela Melchior, her story is compelling. There is loss, failure and redemption. She also has a furry rat companion named Sebastian that likes to wave at people. Sebastian may actually be my favorite. Sebastian for best supporting actor?
Bloodsport, portrayed by Idris Elba, makes a quality case for the best character too. His tough skin is broken as he must lead his team through a “suicide” mission.
Also, let’s remember that Polka-Dot Man is on the big screen, and it’s fantastic. This depressed super with mommy issues is an entertaining edition. Need more weirdness? Sylvester Stallone who is most known for his Oscar winning movie, “Rocky,” is a giant talking shark. There is a demented looking Weasel man that only James Gunn could conjure up too. This movie has it all.
Personally, I understand the humor and pace. I like the jokes, dialogue, and action. There is one scene in particular at the guerilla fighters’ camp. I was skeptical coming in because the DC movies have not been consistently good to me. While “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” were at or above average, I was not impressed with “Batman V Superman,” “Suicide Squad” (2016), or even Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2021).
Like you would expect, the action is thrilling. John Cena’s Peacemaker, Idris Elba’s Bloodsport, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn have exceptional moments. It is full of bullets, gore, and all the sci-fi action you can take.
James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” proves super villains can be the protagonists in a blockbuster film. It is funny with dazzling visuals and has nearly everything you want. This is worth a watch.
The only part I didn’t like involved Harley Quinn’s interaction with the Maltese dictator. The entire scene was unnecessary. I don’t believe it progresses Harley but rather regresses her character.
We have to mention the beginning. In a “Deadpool 2” style, the first wave of Suicide Squad members are killed. Blackguard betrays them, and most of them die. It is a shocking scene at first because you think these are your characters. It is a gamble that pays off.
I thought the scene where they accidentally kill the freedom fighters was creative and comedic. Bloodsport and Peacemaker have several memorable kills. It is very entertaining.
Starro the Conqueror was a decent antagonist, especially with the body takeover aspect. Have you ever watched a movie or read a book and experienced a 5-D moment? This happened to me with Starro. In one shot, the little starfishes are coming out of his arm, and the distinct smell of squid school dissections hit me and lingered. That’s when you know something is effective.