The Suicide Squad Is Chaotic as Hell and Decidedly DC's Best Film to Date
James Gunn doesn’t disappoint. The Suicide Squad, the name of which was originally pitched as a joke, is a two-hour acid trip through pure mayhem. And we loved every second of it.
It’s almost impossible to not compare this to Guardians of the Galaxy, so we might as well get it over with. Where Guardians is Gunn’s PG-rated, wholesome Marvel entries, The Suicide Squad is his no-holds-barred, R-rated masterstroke that unleashes the goriest tales from the DC comics. It has James Gunn’s trademark irreverence partnered with a decidedly unhinged cast of characters, all of whom are batshit crazy (pun intended). The Suicide Squad is crass, chaotic, and absolutely DC’s best film to date.
It seems out-of-place in the DCEU, but upon further inspection you’ll find this piece of mayhem a statement as to the studio’s refreshing new direction. The Suicide Squad does away with the melancholic tones of 2016’s Suicide Squad—which Warner Bros. still stresses is not a predecessor. Instead, it manages to do what no other DC film has done before: to be dark without being dreary. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s its secret weapon. The dark humor, the irreverence, the mayhem—this is DC films at its best. The Suicide Squad isn’t a film based off of a comic book—it is, uniquely, a comic book film.
James Gunn is a gift to both Marvel and DC, seamlessly fitting into both universes and delivering something new to both tables. In The Suicide Squad, Gunn approached the film in true punk rock fashion and chose the “craziest and stupidest” villains he could find. He didn’t aim for a badass ensemble, as many superhero or supervillain films try to do. Instead, he went the most absurd route, picking out Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) from the lineup, a villain who has a bad case of the interdimensional polka-dot pox. Next up is The Ratcatcher 2 (Daniella Melchior), a villain who unimpressively controls rats. Then Gunn had the audacity to ask Sylvester Stallone to voice Nanaeu, a humanoid shark thing whose lines are pretty much just “hungry” and “nom nom?”
And they’re not even the big guns of this incarnation of The Suicide Squad. Leading the pack is Margot Robbie as post-Joker Harley Quinn who’s stepped into the role of a woman who gets shit done. Then there’s Idris Elba as Bloodsport, the mercenary who holds the heart of the film, and John Cena as Peacemaker, the tidy-whities-wearing, douchebag parody of Captain America. Joel Kinnaman returns as Rick Flag, one of the few who survived the previous film. And the most intimidating DC character of all, Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis, makes a scene-stealing appearance.
This is the squad you’ll likely get yourself killed in, but you’ll stick with them to the end because at least it’ll be one hell of a ride. Made up of people who make bad decision, Gunn’s DC ensemble is the gorey Guardians who stumble through their mission to destroy… a giant starfish? There’s not much we can say without dropping spoilers, and the unpredictability of the movie is what makes it a blast. But don't expect anything noble or even remotely rational from this film. The crazy is part of the fun.
The masterful cast shows off their comic timing with tongue-in-cheek dialogue, and the film’s overall tone is so unexpected of DC that you have to give them props for trusting Gunn’s creative vision to run wild, clearly a lesson learned from the past. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is a riot, and couldn’t have been released at a better time. We all need a deep belly laugh right now, and The Suicide Squad promises plenty.