THE SUICIDE SQUAD (2021)
The Suicide Squad is James Gunn’s magnum opus, an explosive, raucous, sidesplitting film that fires on all cylinders from start to finish.
A group of supervillains is assembled to head to the island nation of Corto Maltese where they are tasked with a search-and-destroy mission, an expedition that expectedly goes off the rails. Let’s be clear: The Suicide Squad is a phenomenal film, one that represents not only the very best of DC entries, but comic book movies as a whole. Gunn’s uniquely touch is evident at every turn, whether it is in the wild plot itself (oh hey, Starro) or his balance of returning Squad members Harley Quinn, Rick Flag, and Captain Boomerang with new characters like Polka-Dot Man, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, and Ratcatcher 2. The scope is grandiose in presentation, yet small and focused in execution; the story is a contained offshoot of the mainstream DCEU, but maintains the same real-world, darker approach we have become accustomed to.
Each role has been perfectly cast with standouts John Cena (his best performance yet) and Daniela Melchior carrying the humor and emotional arcs respectively. There is not a moment of the film, nor a cast member, that is wasted. The Suicide Squad takes off from the very first scene and is a runaway train of pure entertainment until the very end. The same can be said about the soundtrack, always a standout of Gunn’s projects, which thematically compliments each twist and turn.
One can’t help but think that this was the type of film we were robbed of in 2016 (that film’s director, David Ayer, is the first listed in the “Special Thanks” section of the credits). The Suicide Squad shows that DC films are alive and well when they focus on their characters and not try to do too much. It is a comic book come to life and one of the very best action films in recent memory.
The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max this Thursday.
Photo from Entertainment Weekly