By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
For anyone mostly unfamiliar with the career of James Gunn, the filmmaker began his career with the Troma movie Tromeo and Juliet. That might seem like a wild and weird place to start for the filmmaker who made the highly lovable Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but the ingenious and brillant director obviously has a taste and talent for edgy and subversive material. Well, after his edgey past caught up with him and Disney decided they couldn’t work with him, Gunn decided to switch sides and work for the competitior label that is WB/DC. The producers at Warner Bros. decided that Gunn was absolutely perfect to take over their Suicide Squad franchise, and after experiencing and enjoying the results, I must heartily agree.
After director David Ayers underwhelmed both audiences and most critics with his take on Suicide Squad, the Warner Bros./DC team decided it was time to allow a bold and fearless filmmaker to take over the Suicide Squad sequel. Gunn delivers and does so in mostly great ways. Gunn defiinitely has the vision and sensibilities to bring colorful characters to life and is not afraid to push the envelope when it comes to R-rated hyperviolence, profanity, and over-the-top scenarios. Gunn also has an awesome sense of style and has such great taste in music that one can always expect some awesome needle drops to accompany his movies’s wildly entertaining proceedings.
Since the events of the last movie, Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) Task Force X has been working regularly on various covert missions where most normal, mortal heroes or humans have feared to tread. With a somewhat revolving line-up, Waller and her team always carefully choose their agents for the particular missions based on their gifts and experiences. For its latest mission, the Task Force X team consists of multiple characters including Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who we met in the first movie. The mission, and of course they have no choice, but to accept it is to infiltrate the nation of Corto Maltese where they must destroy a dangerous weapon known as “Project Starfish” that has the power to wipeout all living humans off of the face of the earth.
Written and directed by Gunn, The Suicide Squad is finally the right movie with the near-perfect tone and style to bring these dastardly villains/heroes to life. Now even though I thoroughly enjoyed the film, I feel that it does run on a little too long than it should, but that is my only complaint. Gunn has the right wickedly gleeful and subversive sense of humor to pull off this world and its characters beautifully. Now, I must say that this less-restrained style will not appeal to the more reserved movie viewers, but honestly Suicide Squad is not made for uptight folks. This type of movie/comic is made for those who love insanity, extreme situations, and unfiltered characters.
The movie can boast a wonderful assortment of actors, some of whom have already worked with James Gunn and have done so quite well. In addition to Courtney, who gets sadly underutilized, and Robbie, who shines as beautifully as always, the film features some amazing performances and some grin-inducing appearances by Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Pete Davidson, and several more. I would have to say that the real standouts in the movie are Robbie, Elba, Cena, Kinaman, Davis, Dastmalchian, and Melchior. Each brings much sincerity, mixed with a biting sense of humor that fits in perfectly with the movie’s tone.
So, at this point, it should go without saying that I highly recommend James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Gunn did just about everything right with this movie, so one can only hope that he can be wooed by WB/DC to do another. I guess we will have to wait until after he finishes Guardians of the Galaxy 3 for Marvel. It seems that Disney has had a change of heart and I genuinely believe that they have chosen wisely.