Director: James Gunn
Cast: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena
Review Author: Tony
For a year where we’ve focused very little on new releases for obvious reasons, The Suicide Squad is a cathartic release for anyone stuck in isolation or following strict restrictions. A complete glow up from the original 2016 film, which has been rightfully lambasted for numerous issues; And yet I still feel like holding off directing it solely at David Ayer on the basis of his honesty and the studio’s admittance that they handed over editing duties to a marketing company. Perhaps Ayer will see his original vision realised, but until then, audiences have only witnessed the original in the all too serious, music video wannabe direction that left most bewildered.
The inception of this film is a fascinating narrative on its own merit. Gunn went after right wing America in what should be one of the most consequence free attacks, especially here from a European perspective. Unfortunately for Gunn, the bell tolls on Twitter for those who don’t hold the temperament and current socially aware perspective of our current outspoken overlords regardless of how much time has passed, or context, or even if this individual is probably more politically aligned to your cause than the cretins calling them out. So Gunn’s Troma affiliation and dark sense of humour was brought towards a crowd who would of never cast the first stone. Fortunately, Disney’s knee jerk reaction to fire Gunn was a perfect opportunity to expand his vision from a DC point of view. Which only presented a richer irony when Disney hired him back.
What immediately steps out is Gunn’s commitment to expanding on each character and how they interact. A highlight for me was seeing original characters returning from the first film, not only expanding their personalities/abilities, but respecting the original film, which so many critics have confidently announced has been discarded completely. The truth is Gunn knows the first film’s flaws and rather than erase or point the finger and laugh at them; he instead builds upon the established continuity and molds it to his style. His new cast is exceptional from a rogues’ gallery of whodafuckisthat?!!… characters who have almost vanished into obscurity in the DC comic series (Other than our lovable shark boi, King Shark).
The sheer commitment to absurdity is impressive throughout because the narrative of America protecting its interest during a military coup is all too relatable but somehow gets lost in a world of mentally impaired shark men and military assassins wearing toilet seats on their head. For a studio under scrutiny of squashing at least two directors’ original vision, Warner Bros might just have handed Gunn a blank cheque to do whatever the fuck he wanted. There are genuine moments in this film where I asked myself was I witnessing a $185 million dollar Troma film. Gunn not only got an R rating for the film but ran with it for a hilariously unique experience that parents need to keep their children away from.
It’s the little touches that stand out in the films favour, from a scaled back story that doesn’t need to rely on a timer or a call to the president about the end of the world, The Suicide Squad is comfortable scaling down and slowing the pace to allow its characters to become familiar and its jokes to breathe. Even the simplistic set up of Waller’s support team feels relatable; a bunch of lackeys stuck to screens and headsets (I need a new job).
I’m sure Ryan Reynolds has sat back in his mansion and declared out loud for all to hear that he paved the road for R-rated films of this calibre; and he’d be right, and he’d also get to go to bed with Blake Lively, and I think I’ve forgotten my point. Basically, if superhero films are here to stay, then why not push the envelope and get crazy with the genre. I’ve had enough of Marvel casting every actor under the sun with rock hard abs on display at every chance. Sometimes I want to see a mentally handicapped shark make new friends who happen to kill people in droves to save the day.
Shots of Tequila