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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews The Suicide Squad

July 29th, 2021 by Andrew McCarroll Comments

The Suicide Squad (15)
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring : Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Peter Capaldi
Running time: 132 minutes

The not a reboot, not a sequel, not at all confusing latest entry to the DC superhero shelf is James Gunn’s, The Suicide Squad.

While David Ayer’s Frankenstein’s monster 2016 version managed to leave everyone on and in front of the screen unhappy with the finished product and it seems his so-called Ayer-cut of his movie is now quietly shuffled off to be replaced by James Gunn.

Will Smith’s single-parent assassin with daughter issues, Deadshot, is replaced with Idris Elba’s single-parent assassin with daughter issues, Bloodsport. While Jared Leto’s colorful, psychotic Joker is replaced by a colorful, psychotic Starfish, Starro. Joining them is John Cena as a psychotic version of Captain America, Peacemaker; Sylvester Stallone as a giant talking Shark along with returning characters Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn and Viola Davis’ scenery-chewing Amanda Waller.

The plot involves the new (and improved?) Task Force X dispatched to South American island of Corto Maltese, a location familiar to DC Comics fans, to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison which may be hosting something… fishy.

For the first hour, the film absolutely rips along as Gunn brings his old-school, gross-out horror background, fused with his skills honed on Marvel,s Guardians of the Galaxy, by turning the ridiculous into the sublime; heroes and villains alike are disposed of in a series of gory and gratifying ways, title cards and time jumps are splashed across the screen in wonderfully inventive ways asthe newcomers and their various powers are introduced without the need for clunky exposition (Don’t get killed by her, her sword traps blah, blah, blah) and it’s all tremendous fun… it’s Deadpool directing The Dirty Dozen.

Its third act sees the team dispatched into smaller groups and plotlines with various degrees of success.

Away from the group dynamic which had worked so well up to this point, the film loses its footing and this allows the mind to wander to places the film had previously distracted you from. Despite the insistence that this is a stand-alone movie, it has nothing that contradicts the previous movie, characters, relationships and storylines are carried over,which makes you wonder what exactly is the point of this film.

It occupies an odd limbo where it is loosely tied to previous movies in the DCEU but tries to be its own thing without ever expanding on its own universe.

As entertaining as it is, by the time the two hours are up, nothing has changed or progressed and you have essentially watched a bottle episode of a series that doesn’t know if it has been renewed or cancelled.

That said, as pure, manic entertainment this hits all the right notes; it’s sharp, funny and violent and does what DC should have done in the first place, just make solid, entertaining, stand-alone movies and not try to build a cinematic universe in two hours.

4 out of 5 Nerds

4 Stars

Andrew McCarroll never quite built on the dizzying career heights that he hit at 6 years old, when as a member of the “Ghostbusters” he would charge his neighbours to remove any unwanted spectres. Now retired from slaying spooks, he spends his time obsessing over superheroes (especially Batman) and devouring shows like Dexter, Game of Thrones and Archer in a manner that would make Galactus proud. You can follow his rants on twitter @andymc1983