The Crazy Ride that is The Suicide Squad

James Gunn was not lying when he stated to the fans to not get attached to the characters of The Suicide Squad. He also was not lying when he said that he was allowed to do what he wanted with The Suicide Squad. We have not seen a movie like this on the big screen before and it will hopefully become the standard for Superhero movies with a big cast. Now I am not saying that they have to kill off everyone but the characters involved have to have some sort of redeeming factor.

We will not give away any spoilers in our review because we want to keep all of the surprises for you to experience. If you think you know where this movie is going to go because you saw a few trailers, you are dead wrong, pun intended. The movie drags you by your shirt collar from the beginning and does not let go. We can tell from the opening scene that involves Michael Rooker’s Savant that this movie is not going to hold back and it will go there! Yes, it will go there because the studio let James Gunn loose and James Gunn decided to give us a movie that he wanted to see that does not hold back.

When talking about The Suicide Squad you have to talk about the ensemble that James Gunn has put together. The sheer magnitude of actors compromised in this movie could make you feel claustrophobic. The one thing that Gunn does well is give each of these characters their moment to shine (remember what he did with Guardians of the Galaxy). None of the characters in the movie are throwaway characters. Even if they are not on the screen for a long time you still get a little insight into the character. If we wanted to talk about great performances in the movie it’s a toss-up between Idris Elba, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, and John Cena. Yes, that John Cena, but we’ll get back to that in a moment. I can practically name all of the actors but I will just cap it at these five for now.

There are plenty of jokes now about not seeing John Cena in the posters, trailers, and press junkets and we can owe all of that to his wrestling career. (You can’t see me!!) All I will say is that John Cena makes you acknowledge him in this movie. (Yeah, that is another wrestling reference). He is just so good at keeping a straight face while delivering some pretty hilarious lines. The chemistry between him and Edris’ Bloodsport is reminiscent of two brothers trying to one-up each other. Their scenes together are some of the best in the movie and I am not sure how Edris kept focus when talking to Cena in his Peacemaker costume.

We have already seen that Starro the starfish is what the team is sent to take care of and while that might sound like a strange enemy it works in this film. I mean, Gunn made a talking raccoon relevant and he has done this again with a starfish, weasel, and talking shark. Nanaue AKA King Shark is just so likable that you just want to hug him, even though you know he will rip you apart like a piece of paper. Sylvester Stallone’s voice is almost unrecognizable and he plays with each word that King Shark says that makes them sound melodic and not one note.

Two of my favorite characters in the movie are Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2. Let’s start with Polka-Dot Man. James Gunn has stated he went online and searched “Who’s the dumbest DC character of all time?” and the result was Polka-Dot Man. While this might be the dumbest character of all time David Dastmalchian’s portrayal of him is fantastic and heartbreaking simultaneously. Dastmalchian delivers lines that pull at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone at the same time and he does it in such a deadpan way that you are unsure if you should laugh at what he just said. Polka-Dot Man is the breakaway star of this movie and of this version of Task Force X.

Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2 is the heart of the team. She is the optimistic one that sees the good in people like Bloodsport and makes you feel that rats will make good pets. She has a moment with King Shark that shows how she sees the beauty in things that other people don’t understand. There are a few touching scenes with Daniela and her father, Ratcatcher 1, played by (name redacted). We get to see why she uses rats and what her father has to say about the furry rodents. I would love to see more stories with her and her rat companion, Sebastian. Together these two show us how to trust our teammates and show that the smallest person can do the biggest things.

I will say this about Amanda Waller and Harley Quinn. If you think you know who they are and have seen everything they can do you are in for a surprise. Gunn’s writing takes their performances to another level. I was scared to move from my seat whenever Viola Davis was on the screen. She not only made her presence felt she made you feel like she was in control of your life. If I were a member of Task Force X I would not want to cross her. Harley is so much more in The Suicide Squad. She may have shined in Birds of Prey but this movie makes her character feel more well-rounded. Harley does stand out in this movie but is not the stand-out like in the previous Suicide Squad movie. This is one of the great things that Gunn did in his version of the team; he did not make this movie Harley-centric, he made it team-centric. Don’t get me wrong she does have some great moments, but the movie does not solely rely on her to carry it.

I wonder if James Gunn was a deejay in a past life because the music he uses is just perfect. He knows how to pick the right songs for the right scenes and he has done it again with The Suicide Squad. I will not go into the song choices or what songs are used but the soundtrack is just perfection. With the music used and the sounds of the explosions, this movie needs to be seen in the theaters. I know it will be available on HBOMax, but watch it in the theater and then watch it a few times at home to catch all the things you missed the first time around.

The last thing I will say about The Suicide Squad is that the film is shot superbly. A lot of the images look like they came from a comic panel and the use of the environment, fire, and even blood to present the next chapter is pure genius. Also, make sure you stay after the credits!

Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin, and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. They arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them—all of them.

The Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 6 and available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

Final Thoughts: James Gunn knocks it out of the park with The Suicide Squad. He has a knack for making misfits lovable. He has done it with Guardians and he did it again with The Suicide Squad.

Kid-Friendly: No. There is a lot of violence, strong language, and a bit of male nudity in the movie. If we would put an age to this it would be 14 and up.

Violence: From the very beginning of the movie there are violent situations. From people getting shot up to King Shark ripping people apart, there is a lot of violence in the movie. Did we mention there is violence in the movie?

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