The Suicide Squad (2021)

Violent, bloody, hilarious, and surprisingly heartwarming, this film is light years ahead of its predecessor. I really enjoyed this one and encourage you to check it out while you can.

Written and directed by James Gunn, this film is weird kind of sequel to Suicide Squad from 2016 directed by David Ayer and bunch of studio idiots. The studio idiots apparently backed off on this movie and it shows. The film is infinitely better in every respect than that earlier film.

The story follows a team of super powered villains who trade their services for time off their prison sentences. They are sent to a remote Central American island to destroy a scientific facility that may be conducting extra terrestrial experiments that could destroy the world. They aren’t expected to survive.

James Gunn was clearly taking notes in screenwriting 101 when they covered character writing. He deftly weaves together a group of disparate personalities that can come into conflict and agreement in surprising ways. They all have well defined arcs and journeys that make the whole adventure feel worthwhile. Even the supporting characters with one or two lines feel fleshed out.

The main team is made up of Idris Elba as Bloodsport, a super assassin who essentially wear a Swiss Army Knife for a suit. He is bad tempered and bitter. But he’s also deeply charming and cares much more than he wants to let on.

Daniela Melchior is quite a surprise as Ratcatcher 2. Her father was Ratcatcher 1, and the three characters have fun with her name. She has such expressive and powerful eyes. She gives every moment real weight. She also has a cute rat sidekick and can sleep through anything.

There’s John Cena as Peacekeeper. He’s the most extreme version of a patriot superhero. He’ll kill any number of people to keep the peace. John Cena can be an amazing performer when he has a good director. Earlier this year he was in F9, and he was terrible. A block of wood with google eyes could have done a better job. But here he’s really good. He’s funny. He’s frightening. He’s charming and intimidating.

Damien Dastmalchian plays Polka Dot Man. The weirdest member of the team. He has several moments of sheer lunacy that I really love. But I don’t want to spoil anything about his character, so I’ll leave him there.

Returning from the original film are Joel Kinnamen as Rick Flagg, and he’s finally an interesting character. Margot Tobbie once again embodies the wild antics of Harley Quinn. Both performers do great work here and it’s a joy when they are on screen.

Sylvester Stallone plays an 8 foot tall half man half shark with a limited vocabulary. That fact alone sold me on the movie, and he doesn’t disappoint.

The film embraces the comic book world while real sing grounded. It is brutally violent with extremely graphic blood and guts. All in all it’s a really fun time that is carried by the strength of its characters.

I’ve seen it twice once on HBO Max and once in theaters. The theater experience was more fun for sure. but either way it’s worth checking out. It’ll be leaving both soon. Give it a look before it goes.

It’s my cup of tea. A-

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