The Suicide Squad is 'a hugely entertaining slice of comic book action'
- Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics
Film critic Paul Steward reviews movie The Suicide Squad (15), which is currently showing nationwide and arrives at Saffron Screen and Royston Picture Palace in the coming weeks.
After the critical and commercial failure of David Ayer's Suicide Squad in 2016, Warner Bros needed to inject life into its floundering DC cinematic universe.
So when rival studio Marvel fired their director James Gunn for historical Twitter comments, the studio pounced to hire the highly-rated Guardians of the Galaxy director for this soft reboot. (Now with added ‘The’).
Gunn was later rehired by Marvel, but The Suicide Squad which, like his Guardians films, is also based around a group of little-known comic book characters, seemed the ideal project for the filmmaker.
Viola Davis returns from the first film as Amanda Waller, head of the shady Task Force X, an organisation which enlists convicted felons for high risk missions, in exchange for a reduced sentence.
The job this time is to infiltrate a research laboratory on the enemy ridden island of Corto Maltese and destroy all traces of the mysterious Starfish project.
Joel Kinnaman also returns as team leader Rick Flagg, alongside Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, while Margot Robbie reprises her role as fan favourite Harley Quinn.
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Gunn, who also wrote the script, is right in his wheelhouse here, given free rein to play with the huge cast of mostly obscure characters.
“I really wanted to use characters thought of as lame,” the director admitted during the films press tour.
Among those additions to the squad are Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion as Savant and T.D.K, Idris Elba, who is excellent in the role of Bloodsport, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, and John Cena, who stars as the ironically named Peacemaker, probably his best film role to date.
That’s not forgetting the absurd Polka-Dot Man played by David Dastmalchian, who literally fires polka dots from his hands.
Sylvester Stallone also lends his voice to King Shark, a hilariously oversized human Shark who has to fight the constant urge to eat his team-mates.
Given the film's title, it’s no spoiler to say that not all the team make it to the end credits and Gunn has great fun gleefully dispatching team members in increasingly gruesome and bloody ways.
Unlike the original Suicide Squad, this film is bold, bright irreverent fun.
The plot is chaotic nonsense, but the incessant wise-cracking and banter between the squad members make the film an incredibly enjoyable watch.
Gunn has once again turned a ridiculously absurd premise into a cinematic triumph.
Whilst it lacks the heart of his Guardians of the Galaxy films, The Suicide Squad is still a big upgrade on the franchise's first outing and a hugely entertaining slice of comic book action.
The Suicide Squad can be seen at Saffron Screen on Friday, August 27 and Sunday, August 29. It will also be screened at Royston Picture Palace on Saturday, September 4 and again on Friday, September 10.