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Film Review: 'The Suicide Squad'

The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment
The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment

By: John Duarte

First things first: James Gunn's THE SUICIDE SQUAD has no Jared Leto Joker. That’s a HUGE plus, and it’s nothing like the first movie (which was awful, in my opinion). Not to mention the studio wrangling - I bet Suicide Squad director David Ayer would love to find a way to show his version of the first movie as originally intended.

But after watching Gunn’s movie - sorry, Ayer - there’s no need to see the 2016 one. I was fortunate enough to attend an early screening of THE SUICIDE SQUAD at the Aero Theater with a bunch of other film geeks, courtesy of Beyond Fest. We were there to witness what I think is, without a doubt, the best DC movie since The Dark Knight. It's also the most fun DC movie, and, finally, my favorite movie

of 2021 so far. Let’s get to the plot, shall we?

Supervillains Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba),

Peacemaker (John Cena!) and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

Idris Elba and Viola Davis in The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment
Idris Elba and Viola Davis in The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment

The first thing you need to know, as the movie tagline warns you, is, "Don’t get too attached.” This movie is called THE SUICIDE SQUAD for a reason. Not everyone makes it. But, of course, I won’t give anything away in that matter. But what I will say is everyone in this movie shines, but particularly Peacemaker (Cena), Polkadot Man (David Dastmalchian), and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone). When I left the theater, it seemed everyone was team King Shark. I loved King Shark, but the character I’d really like to see an origin story for is Polkadot Man. He is one of DC’s dumbest characters, but Gunn made him so damn interesting that I want to know more about his backstory.

I loved everything about this movie, and what Gunn brought to the table. He created a movie so out there, it makes Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy look like Gone With The Wind. Just when you think things are as crazy as they can get, it gets crazier. Did I tell you this movie is funny as hell? I don’t think I’ve laughed like this at a movie in so long.

Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment
Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment

Cena has amazing comedic timing in every movie he’s in, and THE SUICIDE SQUAD is no different. I’m super excited for the Peacemaker TV series on HBO Max. There’s so much about this movie that I enjoyed, but It’s hard to explain without giving away jokes or spoiling something. But one thing’s for sure, this movie is bloody. I’m not talking about a few head shots, and a couple of dead bodies - I’m talking about people getting ripped apart, being melted, chomped on, stepped on, and blown to smithereens.

There’s also heart in THE SUICIDE SQUAD. Gunn’s bloodbath extravaganza

had room for some emotional moments with Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) and Ratcatcher 1 (her father, played by Taika Waititi) as well as the complicated father-daughter relationship between Bloodsport (Elba) and his daughter, Tyla (Storm Reid). In the third act, Starro the ginormous starfish is just bonkers cranked up to 11, and the craziness continues until the end. I couldn’t believe what I was watching, but it was so satisfying.

The music in THE SUICIDE SQUAD is exactly what you’d expect from James

Gunn. If you loved both Guardians soundtracks, this is no different. Too

many bangin’ tracks in one movie, and the score by John Murphy (28 Days

Later, Sunshine) really slaps all the way through.

The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment
The Suicide Squad c/o DC Entertainment

I can't say anything bad about THE SUICIDE SQUAD. Every moment of this

movie will make you smile from ear to ear. There are a ton of fun performances, and a fantastic soundtrack. THE SUICIDE SQUAD is one big, messy bloodbath with heart, and I can’t wait to see future adventures. By the way, when

you do see THE SUICIDE SQUAD this weekend, make sure you see it on the

biggest screen possible. I’ll be seeing it in IMAX ( the way it was meant to

be seen, as they shot the entire movie on IMAX cameras).

THE SUICIDE SQUAD is in theaters & HBO Max Friday, August 6.


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