Who goes on a mission where they are expected to not survive? The Suicide Squad that’s who.
The Suicide Squad, like its predecessor, is based on the comic book version created by John Ostrander which debuted in Legends #3(January 1987). The Suicide Squad is Task Force X, a team of incarcerated supervillains who get time off their sentence if they help the government lead by Amanda Waller.
That’s the setup.
From this point on I’m giving fair warning of spoiler alerts.
First things first, if you have a phobia of rats this is not the movie for you. Some concepts I just can’t unsee.
Second thing is that Corto Maltese is not a real place. But pay attention because this is the same place mentioned in Tim Burtons 1989 Batman that Vicki Vale was famous for taking pictures. Also, this fictional world has been mentioned in CW shows, Smallville, and various comics. But don’t go looking for it on the map because it’s like Gotham, Star City, and Metropolis: it does not exist.
If you were starting to lose faith in the DCU, then believe me when I tell you that The Suicide Squad will give you that faith back. The plot and details of the story are right out of a comic book. This isn’t like the first installation of the team where the story is farfetched and not grounded like a Suicide Squad story should be. No, this is a story that establishes right off the bat the realism of belonging to the Suicide Squad.
The realism is it’s called the Suicide Squad for a reason: the missions are suicide, and you can die. The movie essentially starts off introducing a team that gets killed off in the first 10 minutes.
A returning role is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, the hard merciless director of A.R.G.U.S. who runs Task Force X with an iron fist. These inmates are just tools to her and in this rendition, she displays that more than ever. Also returning is Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, who is the field leader of the team burdened with the task of leading the inmates on the missions.
Returning inmates are Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang the thief who wields high tech boomerangs as his weapons of choice and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn the psychopathic criminal who is so unpredictably crazy it’s actually a kind of superpower.
New arrivals to the main team of Task Force X are Idris Elba as the assassin Bloodsport, John Cena as the Peacemaker, a ruthless killer in the name of justice, David Dastmalchian as the comical yet dangerous Polka Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, a legacy Millennial villain who controls rats and Sylvester Stallone voicing King Shark who is thought to be a shark god.
Writer and director James Gunn outdid himself and stepped up to the challenge of breathing life back into the DCU. Warner Bros finally got it right on how a comic book movie should be made. Remember this is a comic book movie about a bunch of criminals with bombs in their heads set to go off if they don’t do as told. This is entertainment where anything is possible: one of the stars is a talking shark for Pete’s sake. James Gunn knew what he wanted for this movie, and he executed it with comic book precision.
There were many things that made this movie worth the watch. The chemistry between Elba’s Bloodsport and Cena’s Peacemaker could have had the makings of a buddy action-adventure movie on its own. Gunn also let the crazy totally out in Robbie’s Harley Quinn which made her character fun to watch in every scene. Sly Stallone’s voice-over work as King Shark was a comedic highlight of the whole film. Only in a Suicide Squad movie where you have villains like Ratcatcher and Polka Dot Man, be two of the most powerful on the team with really great background stories that made you feel for them.
Not sure how Gunn had directed Viola Davis in her Amanda Waller role, but I would swear she came back more ruthless and heartless than she was in the first film and even in comics which was perfect for the character. She had her fingers on the button ready to off any member of Task Force X at any time. Her way of getting loyalty from Bloodsport was either you do it or your daughter comes to jail with you. Just cold.
I guess my only qualms about this movie is I’m like Bloodsport and not a big fan of rats. With a character like Ratcatcher in a movie plan on seeing a lot of rats. Disgusting. However, in the end, the rats did save the day so you can’t be too mad.
For as much action as there was in this movie the comedy elements made smooth transactions throughout the movie. As I said before the King Shark dialogue along with the Milton bit, no one accounting for whether Weasel could swim, Polka Dot Man seeing his mother everywhere and the crazy that is Harley made this movie one of, if not the best DCU production.
If I were a Warner Bros exec, I would insist on bringing back the Snyder universe and let James Gunn continue what he started here. I would then let them, and the writer/directors of their elk work together and move this whole thing to the next step working together with a plan. From this installation of The Suicide Squad, we can see that they can make good movies. Moving forward let’s hope they realize that.
Kenny Walker Jr