When the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) first started, Warner Brothers tried a darker feel, similar to the successful Dark Knight trilogy, to build their interconnected cinematic universe. However, after a string of arguable failures, WB has given the creative forces behind their latest films more creative freedom to tell their stories featuring DC’s superheroes without being concerned with the connectivity with other DC films. Director James Gunn takes full advantage of this new approach, injecting The Suicide Squad with a flamboyancy not seen in any previous DCEU film.
In an online featurette, Gunn comments that WB gave him permission to kill any character he wanted, which he clearly took to heart. The movie opens with guns blazing (literally), killing multiple characters, setting the tone for the rest of the film and driving home that no character is safe. By the end, you will be surprised who does and, more particularly, who doesn’t make it to the end of the film. While I do enjoy the overarching characters and plots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it is refreshing to see superhero movies that tell the story they want to tell, without being concerned with building that shared universe.
Gunn is no stranger to creating stories around quirky and dysfunctional teams, he is the man behind The Guardians of the Galaxy films after all, and that experience fits perfectly into The Suicide Squad. It’s clear that Gunn went wild with his ideas, especially after being given the go-ahead to hold nothing back. The whole movie is filled to the brim with humor, insanity, violence, excitement, and heart.
And at the heart of the film are Ratcatcher 2, played by Daniela Melchior, and Bloodsport, played by Idris Elba. Melchior brings a softness to a film that is filled with brutality and ferocity. This is her first major film and I am excited to see what projects she picks up from here because she was great in this film. Elba is always a dependable actor so it should be no surprise that he carries the film along side Melchior. Margot Robbie was born to play Harley Quinn and I’ve already said as much in my Birds of Prey review so I’m not going to go any more into her fantastic portrayal of the character. John Cena is another of my favorite additions to the team. He plays Peacemaker with such a deadpan attitude that somehow works perfectly with Elba’s Bloodsport that their scenes together make some of the best and most humorous of the movie.
I thought The Suicide Squad was GREAT 😀 While it introduces many new characters, the core ones are given the room they need to develop and make you feel for them. This film is James Gunn unleashed and he subverts much of what is expected in a superhero feature. Overall, there is an emotional depth that I wasn’t expecting, and it’s that depth that really makes this movie stand out in the DCEU.
Bloodsport: No one likes a show off.
Peacemaker: They do if what you’re showing off is dope as fuck.
Cast & Crew
James Dunn – Director / Writer
John Murphy – Composer
Viola Davis – Amanda Waller
Joel Kinnaman – Colonel Rick Flag
Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn
Idris Elba – Bloodsport
John Cena – Peacemaker
Daniela Melchior – Ratcatcher 2
David Dastmalchian – Polka-Dot Man
Sylvester Stallone – King Shark
Jai Courtney – Captain Boomerang
Michael Rooker – Savant
Nathan Fillion – TDK
Flula Borg – Javelin
Pete Davidson – Blackguard
Mayling Ng – Mongal
Sean Gunn – Weasel / Calendar Man
Steve Agee – John Economos / On-Set King Shark
Tinashe Kajese – Flo Crawley
Jennifer Holland – Emilia Harcourt
Peter Capaldi – Thinker
Juan Diego Botto – Presidente General Silvio Luna
Joaquin Cosio – Mayor General Mateo Suarez