Review of 'The Suicide Squad'

suicide_squad.jpg Hang on, wasn't there just another “Suicide Squad” film in 2017? Why yes (here is my review) but Hollywood seems to figure that they either needed to do it better or make a bunch more money. If you thought the 2017 film was violent you ain't seen nothin'…

The “Suicide Squad” is comprised of ultra-violent super-villains (bizarrely including a non-talkative weasel-man) from Belle Reve penitentiary who have been offered short prison terms if they help the brutal US intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). The group headed up by Colonel Rick Flag is sent to a small South American island after the pro-American government is overthrown in order to destroy “Jötunheim”, a structure housing the mysterious “Project Starfish”. Soon after the squad arrives it is quickly decimated on the beaches by overwhelming forces though both Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Flag mange to escape. On the other side of the island a second “Suicide Squad” nominally headed up by “Bloodsport” (Idris Elba) benefits from the distraction, “rescuing” flag from a group of sympathetic rebels (though annoyed at the squad having killed most of their forces) then making their way to the Jötunheim, destroying everything in their path.

The plot is rather thin there simply as an excuse for gratuitous violence and carnage. This film does not hide from any of it as the blood flows very freely from copious visceral decapitations, and eviscerations, something like 300-level violence. There is a deeply dark sense of humour throughout the film with the often cocky cast quip their way through the hordes of their opponents. The action is quite incredible and the odds are definitely stacked against the group of anti-heroes, indeed, even their minder seems determined to see them all killed (there is an interesting plot twist towards the end here). Unlike Guardians of the Galaxy (which James Gunn also directed) the dialogue here is not quite so punchy with most of the main characters not really known for any amount of intelligence…

Margot Robbie reprises her role here as Harley Quinn, continuing her quirky, ultra-violent streak. She is joined by the always entertaining Idris Elba as Bloodsport who is much more of an action hero here than we have seen of him in the past. Ultimately this film is going to be compared to the original film and in this respect, this newer incarnation is much bloodier and certainly cranks up the action. Additionally, there are a lot more special effects with several main characters being computer generated – “King Shark” voiced, unbelievably, by Sylvester Stallone and “Weasel” voiced by Sean Gunn, brother of director James. Surprisingly, both of these characters are the least violent, thought this is not really saying much.

Was it entertaining? Well, yes, there is a lot to look at and it is very imaginative. You never quite know what is going to happen next nor are you ever quite sure it is going to turn out well for any of the characters. However, I can't overlook the gratuitous violence which is really quite shocking starting mere minutes into the film. I am willing to overlook some violence but here it is just so visceral and personal I find it hard to do so. Having said that, it is doubtful most people watching this film would find this a surprise.

By the way, there is a post-credit sequence so stick around.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-09-20

Directed by: James Gunn

Studio: Warner Bros.

Year: 2021

Length: 132 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by James Gunn: