I kinda love superhero movies. They inhabit personas and worlds that indulge my wildest fantasies on film. The Suicide Squad does that in spades.
Welcome to hell a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and will do anything to get out, even joining the super secret, shady Task Force X. Today’s assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Savant (Michael Rooker), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Javelin (Flula Borg) and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). All with their own set of issues, strengths and quirks, but hella entertaining!
Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Storm Reid and Daniela Melchior bring girl power variety to the Squad franchise with their personas and back story. Newbie Storm Reid isn’t a villain in the superhero sense of the word, but she has issues with her superhero dad (Idris Elba) and doesn’t hold back on those emotions or ability to specifically communicate on the most intense level possible. Elba and Reid’s scene during a jailhouse visit is easily one of my favorite moment, just because it’s rooted in a reality outside the ridiculousness set amongst the superhero/villain narrative. It’s a raw, real, in your face moment resonating to the core and reminding audiences why we love watching Idris Elba and Storm Reid on screen in any film…period.
Viola Davis is the best villain EVER! She does not suffer fools gladly and never backs down for any reason!!! I love that! But, Daniela Melchior and Margot Robbie are my stars of The Suicide Squad ! Robbie recurring as the lovably quirky Harley Quinn is so delightful and interesting to watch that her sheer presence elevates the energy and action of the film. Melchior, in her screen debut, as a vulnerable, fierce Queen of the Rats makes you fall in love with her through her heartbreaking backstory.
With the entire DC canon to choose from for his dream team of Super-Villains, Gunn shares, “they’re one of my favorite groups of comic book anti-heroes. I’m always interested in people who have not lived their best lives and have an opportunity to become something better—a chance at redemption. Some of them take it, some don’t; it’s humanity in all its various degrees of morality, and I get to put it on screen in a really grand, exciting way, with aliens and monsters and a walking shark.” Director James Gunn also cites early influences like the war films “The Dirty Dozen” and “Kelly’s Heroes” as the impetus not just for the story, but the style of film he sought to make which is gritty and real.
Having said all of that, comic book fans and super fans of the franchise will not be disappointed. For me, the violence was never ending and overkill in some instances. However, I was all in for the quirky, crazy dialogue and how all female characters were portrayed as strong and in control. Personally, I liked the first one better, simply because the story flow seemed a little more grounded for me.
At the end of the day, The Suicide Squad, produced by Warner Brothers and directed by James Gunn, will be a welcome escapist action film after spending over a year being separated from our beloved movie theaters. The film releases today in tandem with a HBO Max streaming option.