THE SUICIDE SQUAD - THE OUTLAWS TURNED HEROES ARE BACK!

by Taylor T. Carlson



THE SUICIDE SQUAD is directed by James Gunn. It stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Peter Capaldi. The film is part of the DCEU, serving as a standalone sequel to the 2016 SUICIDE SQUAD film.


Another Suicide Squad mission is launched by Amanda Waller, who organized the previous team, with two teams sent to a remote island nation of the coast of South America. When most of one team is obliterated by an enemy offensive, the survivors of the second team must align themselves with local freedom fighters to accomplish their mission, finding themselves going up against ruthless dictators and a mysterious alien entity.


2016's SUICIDE SQUAD was a largely disappointing film due to its inconsistent tone and sloppy narrative, although Margot Robbie stole the show as Harley Quinn. Fans were eager for an R-rated update of the concept. Helmed by GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY director James Gunn, this film is certainly more violent and ambitious than its predecessor, with some memorable comic performances, though it's a bit too over the top at times, and doesn't quite know when to stop or end. Put simply, the R-rated violence and humorous scenes are appreciated, but a two-hour-plus running time with the barest semblance of a plot isn't.


The casting, fortunately, is fantastic as always. Once more, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is the best part of the film, though she's in more of a supporting part here as Gunn clearly wanted to give some emphasis to other characters, perhaps rightfully so. Hearing Sylvester Stallone voice a dopey shark man is as hilarious and ludicrous as it sounds, and even plenty of the other supporting players get chances to shine, whether cracking one-liners or cracking skulls. I also appreciated the decision to focus on lesser-known characters rather than DC's superstars; outside of Harley Quinn, it's unlikely a casual fan will have heard of most of these characters.


The movie doesn't skimp on all it can do with the R-rated concept, so you'll hear plenty of F-bombs flying, not to mention things like heads rolling. Literally. It's an over-the-top bloodbath that sacrifices story for sheer action; whether that's a good thing will solely be up to the viewer. I have a feeling it's an aspect many will appreciate, but others won't be too enthused by.


I like that the film goes nuts and having a good time, though I was someone who wasn't as enthused by the decision to sacrifice character development for an all-out action approach. At times this stopped feeling like a DC Comics film (for better or for worse) and there got to be a point where the movie just felt like it was too long with too much going on. The overall plot (what little there is of one) doesn't make much sense, and when we finally reach the climax, the movie descends into the predictable "CGI Hell" big fight at the end. It's fun while at lasts, but the overload of characters and the two-hour-plus running time causes the whole thing to run out of steam too soon. I'd gladly take a version of this film that's 30 minutes shorter without the big CGI battle at the end.


THE SUICIDE SQUAD is no masterpiece, but I won't deny it's fun while it lasts. I don't see myself revisiting this one anytime soon, but fans seeking R-rated violence and another chance to see Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn should find it sufficient enough. Moderately recommended.