The Suicide Squad (2021)
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Peter Capaldi
Plot: Task Force X is charged with investigating alien weaponry on a small South American island.
Review: All hail, James Gunn! He is the chosen one!
Ok, maybe that’s a bit too far. But, seriously, James Gunn is the best. In Guardians of the Galaxy, he took D-list characters and managed to turn them into some of the best known characters around. And he’s done it again with The Suicide Squad. Although, honestly, I think his task here may have been harder. As a comic book reader, I was at least vaguely aware of who the characters were before 2014. I knew they were the space team with the racoon and the tree. Plus, I had read comics with Gamora and Drax in them, even if they never stood out much. But, I had absolutely no idea who 90% of these characters are. I hesitate to even call these guys D-list. More like F or G. You’re telling me that Polka-Dot Man, who has appeared in 33 total issues, is going to be one of the standout characters of 2021? Really? Yes. Absolutely. And it works. It works incredibly well. Seriously, the dude has an insane talent for this stuff.
The main thing that’s got to be said about The Suicide Squad is how much fun it is. Because, boy, is this a blast! Both in the comedy sense and action-wise, I haven’t had this much fun with a movie in a long time. This is, without a doubt, one of the most violent movies I’ve ever seen. There is an insane amount of gore on display here. Within the first couple of minutes, we see quite a bit of brains splattered about and that’s just a teaser. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was pushing X in some of the MPAA member’s heads. Because, woof, it’s gory. But, personally, I love this kind of stuff. As long as it’s played up and fast paced, I tend to enjoy a good brutal action movie murder. If the action scenes in stuff like John Wick and Deadpool tickle your fancy, you’ll enjoy these too. I laughed my way through most of the fight scenes for just how over the top they were. But, of course, that’s not the only reason I was laughing. This movie is also legitimately one of the funniest movies to come out in years. Whether it’s the absurdity of the characters or just genuinely funny throw away lines, I couldn’t get over how hilarious the script was. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much at the theater. It’s been a while for sure. Basically, The Suicide Squad is all the humor of Guardians of the Galaxy mixed with the violence from Kick-Ass, beautifully and frantically directed in ways that only James Gunn can.
But, wait, that’s not all this movie has even more to offer. Yes, as if being the most fun flick of the year wasn’t enough, there’s one more trick James Gunn has up his sleeve. The Suicide Squad also has an insane amount of heart. I could not believe how emotional this movie got at times. Each and every one of our main characters has an emotional time to shine. From Harley Quinn lamenting on her past to learning the tragic backstory of some of the other characters, I was not expecting to feel as attached to these characters as I did. I’m sure I could read all 94 issues that the original Ratcatcher appeared in and wouldn’t feel half as invested in him as I was his daughter in this two hour runtime. It’s crazy how good Gunn is at getting us attached to them. It’s like he reads comic books differently than the rest of us or something. I’d almost be interested in seeing what he would do with A-list characters but I don’t really think that’s his bag. He seems to have a real talent and determination to make us fall in love the outcasts with his mix of gruesome imagery and heartfelt moments. There’s no one out there making movies like he does. And The Suicide Squad is 1000% a James Gunn movie.
As you can probably tell, I really, really loved The Suicide Squad. I thought it had a whole lot going for and little to known against it. It’s my favorite DCEU movie by a country mile. It’s the first one I’ve had no real complaints about. It’s also probably my favorite movie of 2021 so far. There’s no way it’s falling out of the top two or three spaces by the end of the year. And, as of me typing this up, it’s honestly in contention for my favorite James Gunn movie. That’s saying a lot too, because I freaking love the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. This may be better though. I don’t know. I guess time will tell. Either way, it’s kind of perfect. I can’t wait to watch it again. And, honestly, it won’t be long until I do. So, yeah, I highly, highly recommend The Suicide Squad. Go have some fun with it. Enjoy some good ol’ fashioned comic violence. Fall in love with some D-list characters. Laugh your head off. Praise James Gunn.
TL;DR: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is the perfect summer movie filled with hardcore violence, killer jokes, and some of the best characters the DCEU has offered thus far.
Score: 10/10 (Masterpiece)