The Suicide Squad is a superhero action-adventure film drama written and directed by James Gunn. The film is based on the DC comics team of villains and is a sequel (of sorts) to the David Ayers helmed Suicide Squad film from 2016, and it features returning characters from that first film.
Gunn had taken on The Suicide Squad after he had been fired by Disney for the controversy generated by old tweets unrelated to his film work. Gunn was subsequently reinstated for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III but the Marvel Studios film has been pushed back to make way for The Suicide Squad. Marvel’s loss is DC’s gain.
In the final analysis, The Suicide Squad is an empty spectacle, though the film scores high on epic action sequences and Marvelesque humour, it is ultimately meaningless in the scheme of things. Sure, the film is pure eye candy but very much like Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, it lacks a substantive narrative core to give it emotional weight and resonance.
The premise – such as it is – is straightforward. Task Force X – consisting of supervillains Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena) and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison – are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese to destroy the Jotunheim project, a science facility that threatens America and the world.
Along the way, there are several portions of the film that sag in terms of pacing and drive and in these moments, it is so easy to be taken out of the film completely. This is the fundamental problem with The Suicide Squad – there is no reason to care for these characters or for what they need to achieve in the story. None at all.
That all said, the third act is masterfully executed and features exciting and intriguing action scenes that demonstrate flair and innovation. Pity the rest of the film does not match up to the quality of that very last part of the film. And this is where the so-called DC Extended Universe continues to fall flat on its face compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The standalone quality of The Suicide Squad is the reason for its ultimate downfall – it matters not at all.
C’mon, James Gunn, stop dicking around and make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III already…
… still there’s more …