THE SUICIDE SQUAD
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis, Daniela Melchior, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Jai Courtney, Pete Davidson, Sylvester Stallone, Mayling Ng, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, Jennifer Holland, Tinashe Kajese
Director: James Gunn
If Guardians of the Galaxy is a fresh-faced college freshman, plucky and full of hope, then The Suicide Squad is the grizzled college senior, jaded and fresh out of fucks. Writer-director James Gunn has made the best DC movie since The Dark Knight by weaving humor, irreverence, violence, and heart together in a story that is refreshingly unpredictable. The cast chemistry is spot on too, especially between Peacemaker (John Cena) & Bloodsport (Idris Elba). Gunn even makes his Troma pedigree readily apparent. Although Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) felt a little forced, I genuinely could not have asked for more.
We may never see the "Ayer Cut," but writer-director James Gunn has given us what we originally wanted in 2016 with The Suicide Squad. It's silly, blood-soaked nonsense wrapped around a heartfelt, action adventure team-up that is easily in the DCEU’s Top 3. Every member (new and returning) has miles more depth than the original squad, while the plot, humor, and gore never have to try too hard. I mean, he's got us loving rats, sharks, weasel-werewolves and all sorts of shit. Gunn knows how to let a property breathe for itself, and this breath was a blast.
With James Gunn directing this iteration of The Suicide Squad, there were expectations that it would be similar to Guardians of the Galaxy. Actually, it finds closer parallels to Deadpool 2 in both its violence and humour. The cast is fantastic from top to bottom. Idris Elba and John Cena will grab most headlines, but Daniela Melchior was the standout for me. There's no doubt it's a clear upgrade over its predecessor, but its lacklustre antagonists and waste of Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, who was a bright spot in the first one, stopped it from being truly great.
The Suicide Squad combines the best of James Gunn’s humor with the grimiest of his action sensibilities to make one of the most fun moviegoing experiences of 2021. Each set piece is uniquely spectacular, carrying the weight and brutality befitting the film's conceptual makeup. It is an absolute blast and wildly unpredictable. The writing is unexpectedly moving at times too, as Gunn imbues these characters with a surprising amount of depth, even amongst the many hilarious jokes (Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) being a major standout). No hyperbole, but this is the best DC movie since Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.