All superhero films should all be as irreverent, fun and twisted as The Suicide Squad. It should be the minimum requirement, in fact.
There will be fans going into this with some trepidation – and for good reason. A sequel-come-soft-reboot of David Ayer’s critically panned Suicide Squad on paper sounds like, well, another suicide mission to be abandoned as the first available opportunity.
But fans shouldn’t be worried. The latest instalment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is a riotous success, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon. While the impressive Wonder Woman threatened to kick-start the flailing franchise in 2017, this feels like the kind of shot in the arm which could single handedly change the direction of the DCEU.
As it turns out, all it takes to rejuvenate a cinematic universe is James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy director has become the first filmmaker to make a movie for the MCU and the DCEU, and on this evidence DC should do everything in its power to get him to return. He’s been given free reign to impart his goofiness and screwball humour, while dialing up the R-rated action and bloodlust. His fingerprints are all over it, and it’s all the better as a result.
The premise is pretty similar to the 2016 film – albeit with notable absentees in the form of Jared Leto’s Joker and Will Smith’s Deadshot. It sees the most dangerous supervillains around are assembled by Viola Davis’s tyrannical government official Amanda Waller, before being packed off to the remote island of Corto Maltese to conduct a search-and-destroy mission on a mysterious research facility.
Unlike its predecessor, the film subverts expectations from the start. The film is happy to gives us intensive character development, only to jettison some of its villains like the most brutal episode of Game of Thrones ever made. And the brutality continues throughout.
The biggest villains in the DCEU assemble once more (Picture: DC)
Idris Elba leads the huge A-list cast (Picture: DC)
The cast is stuffed to the eyeballs with A-list talent, but there’s no doubt that it’s Idris Elba’s movie. He’s perfectly placed to inhabit the gruff, nihilistic Bloodsport, and Gunn was right to build the film around him. The jaded odd-couple dynamic with John Cena’s Peacemaker (an excellent addition) is the crux of the piece. We’re here for the spin-off, whenever it arrives.
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was one of the few good things to emerge from Suicide Squad, and we find her in new territory here. She’s single this time around without Joker to harsh her vibe, and despite a reduced role she sparks joy all over again, taking out legions of henchmen with gleeful abandon.
There are also unexpectedly emotionally affecting appearances by Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark and notoriously naff villain Polka-Dot Man, played by David Dastmalchian, as well as Rat Catcher 2 – which looks set to launch a long movie career for Portugal’s Daniela Melchior.
Daniela Melchior stars as Rat Catcher 2 (Picture: DC)
It all makes for a welcome change of pace. For years now, the DCEU has managed to make movies about people flying around in spanx more earnest and po-faced than your average Will Self lecture. The Suicide Squad by contrast is vibrant, goofy and bloody good fun.
Gunn has been given free reign to inject some much needed irreverence and colour. And we mean that literally – the film splashes colour around the screen like an explosion in a Dulux factory.
Everything from John Cena’s chrome helmet as Peacemaker (and his tighty-whities, which fans will be pleased to know make an unexpected cameo) to the beautifully terrifying villain – a 100ft pink starfish called Starro who shoots parasitic Alien-style facehuggers out of its armpits – pops off the screen. The screen is so stuffed with bold, fresh ideas and larger-than-life elements, in fact, that it’s a wonder if all hangs together so well.
This is the kind of film you’d have begged your parents to let you stay up for as a child. There’s gruesome deaths! Nudity! Bad language! Zombie armies! Margot Robbie balletically murdering an entire squadron of hired goons with a javelin!
It’s the kind of spectacle that would blow the average 11-year-old’s mind, and isn’t that’s exactly what a movie about the world’s most badass supervillain movies should be striving for?
If this is the gory, goofy future of the DCEU, sign us up.
Credit: Original article published here.