I remember following the production of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and being fascinated by every weird-ass decision he was making. I had no idea if it was going to be good, but I certain it was going to be the result of a singular creative vision. Of course, Warner Brothers took the thing away from him in editing and tried to reshape it into something vaguely resembling James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. What made it to screens was a disjointed mess that had the stink of studio interference (and whatever Jared Leto smells like) all over it. Thankfully, for The Suicide Squad (note the very important “The”) WB was able to actually get James Gunn to make the GotG-esque villain team-up they actually wanted all along. And this time, there would be no interference (and no Jared Leto). This time it absolutely would be the result of a singular creative vision. This time it would be fucking amazing.
I cannot overstate my joy at what James Gunn accomplished here. I was entertained by every second of this film. Every moment, every frame is another chance for the director to do something gloriously insane. The Suicide Squad feels like the culmination of everything Gunn has been working towards as a filmmaker. It’s Troma with a budget. It’s Guardians without the Disney leash. It’s James Gunn’s masterpiece.
I’m not going to discuss the plot much here because I think the less you know going into this the better, and I don’t want to ruin a single surprise. But the gist of it is Task Force X (the titular Suicide Squad) is conscripted by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, reprising her role from the first film) to invade the South American nation of Corto Maltese to complete a mission, the details of which she is not particularly forthcoming about.
The cast is fantastic, with everyone being either predictably or unexpectedly awesome, depending on your familiarity with any given actor’s past work. Margot Robbie continues her work at becoming the definitive Harley Quinn. Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney return as Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang respectively, with Kinnaman being much more comfortable in the role and honestly better than I’ve seen him in anything else. New additions include Idris Elba as Bloodsport (a character clearly intended in earlier drafts to be Will Smith’s Deadshot), John Cena as Peacemaker (described by Gunn as a “douchey, bro-y Captain America”), Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Michael Rooker as Savant, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Flula Borg as Javelin and Mayling Ng as Mongal.
That is a hell of a cast, but the absolute stand-outs are Sylvester Stallone as King Shark and Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2. Stallone’s King Shark is just so so much fun (and manages to not step on the toes of Ron Funches’ animated take on the character). Melchior’s Ratcatcher and her rodent army were fantastic and adorable. Though, I love rats so I might be biased. Those of you with phobias might be less inclined to enjoy that aspect of the film.
I spent two hours and change laughing, saying “what the fuck?!?” and laughing while saying “what the fuck?!?” I loved this movie and would not change a frame of it. It’s perfect. See it as soon as you can before someone spoils the whole thing for you. A heads-up though, this is not a movie for kids. It’s R rated for a very good reason.
I give The Suicide Squad 10 WTFs out of 10.