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‘The Suicide Squad’ Is Pure Chaos And That’s What Makes It Amazing – Review

The gang (most of them) is back in action, with another suicide mission in The Suicide Squad. What is pegged as not being a sequel, isn’t necessarily a standalone film either. Think of it as another entry into a pocket of DC’s many different superhero universes.

However, familiar faces like Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), and fan favorite Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) return to the screen, along with an ensemble cast consisting of Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Storm Reid, Alice Braga, Taika Waititi, Pete Davidson, Mayling Ng, and many more. Even though the OG Suicide Squad was a box office success, it was met with tepid responses due to uneven plot development and insubstantial character portrayals. Thankfully, DC fans who were holding out for a win have received one in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Where the original took its time telling character backstories as it assembled the squad in the beginning, Gunn trades this in for action upfront and character development interspersed throughout the film. Through a slew of flashbacks, we learn more about the new team and overarching machinations that unfold on all sides in a mission that, from the outside, seems futile. 

With a brand new cast to focus on, this “out with the old and in with new” take brings chemistry in a way the first movie failed to bring to the table. That’s where its strength lies, in the collective. Where David Ayer’s film placed more attention on a few, thinly developed characters, Gunn’s version uses the wacky camaraderie between the main cast to successfully accentuate the plot and explore the new squad members’ stories.  

However, it takes a strong cast to do so. Elba, Robbie, and Davis are no strangers to holding their own on the silver screen and their resumes speak for themselves. Actors can get lost in a movie so overwhelming, but their abilities shine through. Standout dialogue goes to Elba and Davis who, when paired together or with the rest of the cast, generate a level of intensity that’s unmatched.

Idris Elba as Bloodsport and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad.
Idris Elba as Bloodsport and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Additionally, Elba might be the best dialogue partner in the movie. His scenes with Davis are deep and chic, his banter with Cena and Reid is hilarious, and his conversations with Melchior are heartwarming. Speaking of heart, that’s brought on by Stallone’s King Shark and Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2. 

The rest of the cast definitely holds their own with these Hollywood heavyweights and when combined, the comedy unleashed within the film gives a tone that puts The Suicide Squad in its own lane from the rest of DC’s live-action offerings. Additionally, when paired with this ensemble’s charisma, audiences will stay enveloped in the DC fantasy from beginning to end.

What makes this movie work so well, is that even though its base is an anti-superhero movie, it feels as grandiose as a war epic. That can be attributed to James Gunn’s direction. Since Gunn is no stranger to building large-scale, comedic-action series, like Guardians of the Galaxy, it makes sense why the same charm that made Guardians a sleeper hit exists in The Suicide Squad.

David Dastmalchian as Polka Dot Man, John Cena as Peacemaker, Idris Elba as Bloodsport and Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Not to mention Gunn’s exchanging of a moody, darker take for a more jovial one in this production leaves you entertained and wanting more. It shows up in the costume design of the characters, the animated effects, select filming shots, and even within action scenes full of bloodshed.   

On another end, this film was meant to be encapsulating and intense from start to finish, but even those familiar with U.S. action cinema may find this overwhelming. The film straddles the line between unbridled chaos and contained order, with it falling into chaos a few times. Thankfully, as outrageous as the film gets, it finds its pace through solid plot development and strong acting from the ensemble. However, if blood, gore, and rats are not your thing, this may not be the movie for you, but if you can stomach it all, then you’re in for a good time. 

The Suicide Squad is a fantastic addition to the DC cinematic universe that’s sure to resonate with DC fans and create new ones. This film is a wild ride full of intense action scenes, hilarious dialogue, and characters dripping in charisma. If chaotic good were a movie, it would be this one. 

Rating: 8/10

The Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5.

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