Welcome back you everyone. It is I, Doc Comeau and we are back for another movie review. Today we are reviewing HBO Max's The Suicide Squad. The sequel to the 2016 movie of the same name. A sequel that is a much needed improvement from the first film. Switching to the same director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies was the best decision Warner Brother's made to date on their DC Universe films.
Authored by Doc Comeau on Thursday, September 9th, 2021 at 9:41 PM EST
All Photos from IMDb
The Suicide Squad is an elite group of DC Comic Supervillains contracted against their will into the United States most deadly and effective commando force known as Task Force X. They are offered a reduced prison sentence in exchange for completing various Top Secret missions for the US government. Missions the government ensure are completed by implanting an explosive in their heads.
The Suicide Squad was written and directed by James Gunn. The man who also brought Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy to life on the Bog Screen. He was the perfect choice to revive this ensemble film and cement it into movie history. His version of the film, which is more of a reboot than a sequel as it doesn't mention the previous film once is a considerable improvement for the franchise. The characters benefit from his humor and direction. The Suicide Squad is truly a masterpiece added to a list of his already growing achievements.
Next we have actor Joel Kinnaman, who returns to reprise his role as team leader Colonel Rick Flag. The flag is the one member of the Suicide Squad that isn't a degenerate supervillain looking to knock a few years off their almost permanent sentences in prison. He is a legitimate military officer and usually functions as the team leader, though that position goes to another in this film. Rick Flag is the heart and soul of Task Force X. Without him the team is just a group of ruthless murderers and thieves.
Margot Robbie returns once again to fill the shoes of fan favorite humorous supervillain Harley Quinn. Not much to mention here as this is Robbie's third appearance as the character. Once again, she captures Harley's innocent yet dark personality perfectly. I couldn't imagine anyone else fulfilling the role. When she is too old for the role it is going to hard to find someone to fill her shoes and clown shoes can be insanely large.
Idris Elba joins the team as its new leader and the DC villain Bloodsport. An individual that can make anything a lethal weapon as long as it's in his hands. A man with the military background to lead the mission and the criminal background to be on hand for the government to manipulate I mean recruit into compliance.
John Cena joins the team as Superman villain the Peacemaker. A villain that was not really needed as his powers and abilities are identical to the Bloodsport's. Though it was something the film understood and played off of and it really brought together the dynamic of the team and facilitated the film's unique humor.
Daniela Melchior joins Task Force X as the successor of her father and the new Rat Catcher. She grew up with her father who developed the ability to communicate, manipulate and control rats. Her and her rodent companion Sebastion are warranted additions to the team. Without going into spoilers the mission needs her age skills.
Sylvester Stallone lends his voice to the King Shark. The film's version of the character did make him smarter than your average sea creature, but made him less than human level intelligence. The comic version retained his human level intelligence and good read, something the movie established early on wasn't in the card for this film.
The final member of the main team for this film is the Polka-Dot Man portrayed by David Dastmalchian. In the film the character was only able to expel the polka-dots created by his interdimentional virus as a weapon that melted things. In the comic he could turn the dots into a variety of different devices. This was one of this film's most useless and entertaining characters.
Viola Davis returns to reprise her role as government agent Amanda Waller. The overseer of the Suicide Squad and the mastermind behind all the messed up things used to get villains to participate in the program. Without Agent Waller there would be no Suicide Squad and without Task Force X in the comic universe we wouldn't have been able to enjoy this film. Davis does an excellent job bringing Waller's ruthlessness and commitment to the United States government to life and truly embodies the role she has been chosen to to fill.
Rotten Tomatoes Scores
Rotten Tomatoes has the Suicide Squad rated pretty dam good by both Critics and the Audience. The movies "Critic Score" sits at "91%" out of "332 reviews." The "Audience Score" is slightly lower at "82%" out of "2500+ reviews." The Audience usually has a lower score when Critics have a high score, while that is the case here they are pretty close in this case. Below in the Critic and Audience consensus.
Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths. - Rotten Tomatoes
The story isn't amazing, but the over-the-top action and (sometimes literally) side-splitting gags make this Suicide Squad a major improvement. - - Rotten Tomatoes
Before I get into details about what I thought of the film, I will leave my rating here so those who want to avoid spoilers may do so. This film was far superior to the previous film, as the better team dynamic made it outshine it. However, it lacked the gritty, dark theme that makes DC Comic stories what they are. I would give this film and 8 out of 10. For the average moviegoer it is and enjoyable experience, but if you are a fan, you may be turned off by the lack of the gritty darkness you have come to expect from DC Comics.
I would give this film and 8 out of 10. For the average moviegoer it is and enjoyable experience, but if you are a fan, you may be turned off by the lack of the gritty darkness you have come to expect from DC Comics. - Doc Comeau
Story and Screenplay
The story in this installment of the suicide is extremely simple. Task Force X is sent to a South American island nation of Corto Maltese to find and destroy something the government calls Project Starfish. Project Starfish is overseen by the Thinker and since the island nation is well defended Waller has to send in two separate teams.
One team functions as a decoy and only two members survive to join the main team above. The team successfully retrieves the Project Starfish data, but has to fight their own man Peacemaker who had secret orders to bury the information. After taking out Peacemaker the group saves Corto Maltese from Project Starfish better known as Staro the Conqueror. A giant alien Starfish that turns people into drones.
I was intentionally vague here more than normal because there is so much we could discuss in this story since there are so many characters. It was an excellent ensemble film and far superior to its 2016 predecessor. I would give the story of this film an 7 out of 10. It was a convoluted comic book plot line and the film didn't try to be anything else.
I would give the story of this film an 7 out of 10. It was a convoluted comic book plot line and the film didn't try to be anything else. - Doc Comeau
Performances and Dialogue
Again, there were way too many performances in this film to discuss the all individually this time. So I have chosen to discuss rate them them as a team as this is an ensemble film. The team dynamic in this film was its greatest strength.
There were so many good jokes and nuances between the characters as they grew into a proper team. However a few of these stood out amongst the rest. These were the team's reactions to King Shark, Bloodsport and Peacemaker's arguing about who uses their identical power better and Bloodsport's slow acceptance of the Rat Catcher despite his fear of rats.
The team interactions with Rat Catcher were the best. She had a companion rat call Sebastion. He wore clothes and was treated like a member of the team. At one point Peacemaker even got mad at a waitress at a bar after he ordered drinks for the whole team because she forgot to bring a drink for the rat. However, the best interactions were Sebastion constantly trying to show Bloodsport love and him freaking out, but slowly learning to accept the animal.
This section if the film gets the most praise from me. Without these actors with this director I highly doubt the film would have been successful. The performances and dialogue get a 10 out of 10 from me. They never tried to make the characters seem more serious than the really are a d the onstage chemistry between the cast was excellent.
The performances and dialogue get a 10 out of 10 from me. They never tried to make the characters seem more serious than the really are a d the onstage chemistry between the cast was excellent. - Doc Comeau
This was another area where the film stood out from its predecessor. The Cinematography took the same lessons the performances and dialogue. It did not try to make the tale more serious than it was and focused on the team dynamic rather than the action and story.
One awesome choice they made was doing a type of match cut with the Polka-Dot Man and showing how he sees everyone around him as his mother who conducted experiments on him. Something that they play off of when the fight Staro. Polka-dot Man has to picture people as his mother to hurt people and Bloodsport had to tell him Staro was her to get him to recover from the Innial shock of the battle.
Another create way the scenes played with the character dynamic was when they went to go rescue Flag was instead of focusing on the action of Bloodsport and Peacemaker killing everyone as ordered it was them basically taking it as a challenge to show who uses their abilities better.
This cutting from one killing people to the other doing that while using body language to show competition and taunting combined with their reaction when they learn they murdered a whole camp of friendlies is quite possibly the best sequence in the whole film. I expected nothing less from Gunn and would give this section an 8 out of 10. The behind the scenes crew did a masterful job bringing the director's vision to life.
I expected nothing less from Gunn and would give this section an 8 out of 10. The behind the scenes crew did a masterful job bringing the director's vision to life. - Doc Comeau
I am both a DC Comic fan and a movie critic. I was torn on this movie. Despite it not having the dark theme DC Comic stories are known for, it was an enjoyable and well made film. I would recommend this film to anyone, not just fans of the genre.
1) HBO Max. (2021). The Suicide Squad. https://www.hbomax.com/the-suicide-squad
3) The Suicide Squad. (2021). Rotten Tomatoes. (n.d.). https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_suicide_squad Archived at; https://archive.ph/nO8RR