Absurd 'Suicide Squad' a crowd pleaser

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When 2016’s “Suicide Squad” launched, it was met with disappointment in what is unfortunately too familiar with DC Entertainment Universe (DCEU) films. To right the wrongs of the past, James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) is helming a sort of reboot, sort of sequel in the highly anticipated “The Suicide Squad.”

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has returned as the ruthless Task Force X leader. Her goal, once again, is to protect the world at all costs. That includes bringing together a group of villains with superhuman abilities to perform, essentially, suicide missions. 

Since each villain won't see the light of day anytime soon in their prison cells, they eagerly accept the deadly missions in exchange for an earlier sentence. After things don’t go according to plan with the first team, Waller brings in the much more talented second team.

They include a mercenary named Bloodsport (Idris Elba), King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), Peacemaker (John Cena), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) and the Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian). Eventually, this team is joined later by returning members Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).

What’s their deadly mission? They must travel to an island called Corto Maltese. It’s on this island that a gigantic starfish with Superman-level power exists. If Starro, as the alien starfish is come to be known, escapes or ends up being controlled by the wrong people, the rest of the planet is in deep, deep trouble.

In a twisted sense of irony, it’s up to some of the world’s most vile and corrupt criminals to save the world from utter destruction led by a dangerous Starro. The Suicide Squad must work together, follwing Waller’s orders, to monitor the situation at Corto Maltese and shoot to kill if necessary. As long as they don’t kill each other first.

It might seem beyond obvious that a film with a talking shark, a guy that shoots polka-dots at people and a girl whose superpower involves gathering an army of rats to prey on enemies, is a strange film. But even with all that being said, “The Suicide Squad” is an extremely unique film.

I suppose what it comes down to is either being disgusted at the foolishness, or embracing every eccentric and gory scene that the film has an endless amount to offer.

Much like Gunn’s “Guardians” films, each member of the Suicide Squad gets an equal amount of time to shine. This is a major improvement in comparison to the 2016 film, when the entirety of the film revolved unapologetically around Harley Quinn and Deadshot.

As strange as Daniela Melchior’s character is, she’s a welcoming addition to the franchise and a standout in her role, offering a unique kindness and empathy to a group of criminals. Margot Robbie never disappoints as Harley Quinn, and John Cena’s Peacemaker isn’t going away anytime soon (TV show due out in early 2022). The anti-Captain America in Peacemaker is a combination of dark, funny and mysterious all at the same time. And easily the most compelling character in the film.

“The Suicide Squad” clearly had a point to make: step everything up a notch from the previous film in terms of violence, language and action. As odd as the film is at times, it’s the R-rated version we’ve been waiting for. 

This is a massive victory for Gunn, the DCEU and most importantly, the bad guys.

Grade: B+



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