Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Comedy of Errors

Film Review: The Suicide Squad

8 August 21 words: Miriam Blakemore-Hoy

James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel is a cut above its predecessor and then some...

Director: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena
Running time: 132 minutes

Maybe we should just forget about the fiasco that happened in 2016 and start over. After all this isn't Suicide Squad, it's THE Suicide Squad. Is it a sequel, or a reboot...? Well it’s sort of a mixture of both. There are definitely some familiar faces – some super villains have managed to survive long enough to get into the new chapter (hello Captain Boomerang). But there are plenty of newbies too. 

Director James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame) has taken everything that was wrong with the first film and sorted it out. Is it ridiculous? Of course! Is it somehow ridiculous yet gruesome and fun at the same time? Absolutely. Is this totally what the first film needed to be and failed so spectacularly at…? It feels like everything has been reset and the world has been put right. Dare I say it, after warming up with Joker, Warner Bros. may have produced another decent movie.

The new film follows pretty much the same formula as the first. But it has to, really. A group of super-powered criminals is coerced into working for the U.S. government on highly dangerous missions with little chance of survival – if they don't, the charges embedded in their heads go boom. They’re pretty much cannon fodder and there's little chance of them coming back alive. So, as you'd expect, don't get too overly fond of anyone because it's a Game of Thrones type situation where anyone can get brutally killed in a matter of seconds and the action will breeze on regardless.

It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea...but it’s pretty darn close to perfect

In preparation for a new and secretive mission to the island of Corto Maltese, there are some new recruits. Among them there's Savant (Michael Rooker), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) and Bloodsport (Idris Elba) joining forces with the old crew, including of course Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Without much team spirit and no transferable skills, it could seem like their handler Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is banking on them getting the job done through brute force and sheer luck. Of course, this time they're up against a villain that's a nightmare mashup between Alien and Patrick Starfish. Anything could happen.  

There's no way that something like this could be taken seriously. Unless of course, levels are taken to an absurd standard. Personally, I see James Gunn as a genius. Only he and his team could think of taking on characters like Peacemaker and the Polka Dot Man and make them not only relevant and compelling, but give them properly constructed, incredibly dark story arcs. 

The first film started off alright, and then mired itself in a chaotic mess by the end. This new release is the entertainment that we have been waiting for from DC. After some near misses, a director has finally been left alone long enough to actually complete his vision. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – nothing ever is.  But it’s pretty darn close to perfect.

Did you know? Warner Bros. approached Gunn about directing a Superman movie mere days after his temporary departure from Disney. After expressing uncertainty about the proposal, Gunn was offered access to “anybody out of the DC catalogue”.

The Suicide Squad is in cinemas now

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now