The Suicide Squad – Review

Rating: 15
Cast: Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian and Daniela Melchior
Written and Directed by James Gunn
Length: 132mins

After the fairly disastrously received first ‘Suicide Squad’ film, DC were well aware that they had to try something new. Now, five years on, they’ve brought in experienced superhero director James Gunn to take the reins for a reimagining of the team. One of the first major blockbusters to reach the big screen this Summer, ‘The Suicide Squad’ is an exciting and interesting new addition to the DC universe.

The thought on many people’s minds going into this film was likely not too different – can Gunn do it again? After taking control of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise for Marvel in the early 2010’s, the director contributed a fresh style which brought some great new ideas to the table, and which Marvel would continue to draw from to this day. Bright colours, an exciting soundtrack and characters who don’t take themselves too seriously all accumulated in a great superhero film, and displayed the sort of innovation DC desperately needed. Now, with the fate of a bunch of criminals and misfits in his hands once again, James Gunn has delivered a gripping and entertaining watch which brilliantly articulates the unlikely teaming-up of these bad guys.

One of the essential elements of the Suicide Squad’s creation is that it shouldn’t matter if any members of the team are lost, as they are all dispensable. A good contrast to the often predictably happy endings found within most modern Superhero stories, Gunn leans into this idea fairly heavily, and utilises such an ethos in a great way. From the get-go, he makes it very clear that no one is safe throughout the film, killing off characters very early on who you were sure would have a much greater presence in the story. Furthermore, the way these characters go out is often completely unexpected and shocking, perhaps giving reason for the 15 rating. This delightfully cruel take on extreme comic book violence allows the audience to see a new side of the DC world, balancing comedy and violence in an excellently dark way.

If there’s one thing that’s been learnt from the creation of dystopian or futuristic stories, it’s that everyone loves to see the strangest and most bizarre creatures imaginable brought to life onscreen. Whether that be the Wookies from Star Wars, or the overly-goofy superheroes created by Marvel in the 70’s, ‘The Suicide Squad’ delivers no shortage of wild and interesting creations who influence the story in their own unique way. Due to the fairly short life-span of many of the squad’s members, Gunn is able to bring in these surreal creatures for only a short space of time, and then quickly move on to the next exciting moment.

‘The Suicide Squad’ may not be top of the list for most moviegoers after the fairly underwhelming release of the original, but it would be a shame if that was the reason why anyone missed this release. Filled with life, colour and excitement, James Gunn’s first film for DC picks up on all the things that makes a superhero film great and delivers them in a consistently entertaining way throughout.

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