The Suicide Squad (2021) Review

Expect fast-paced, action-packed fun from James Gunn's new entry in to the DC Extended Universe, full to the brim with style, wit, and decapitation.

The Suicide Squad (2021) is an American superhero film and part of the DCEU, based on the DC’s Suicide Squad comic books. It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on in July. The film was directed and written by James Gunn [Slither (2006), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)] and features an ensemble cast, with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Daniela Melchior, and David Dastmalchian.

Aside from being a superhero film – or should I say antihero film, The Suicide Squad fits squarely within the genre of action comedy. It is fast-paced, fun, and action-packed.

Whilst some of the cast has remained the same from Suicide Squad (2016), with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the film features almost an entirely new squad. The basic premise of the film sees Task Force X thrown into a dangerous mission, whilst the members battle with blackmail, coercion, and their own morality. Whilst there are some twists and turns along the way, the structure is fairly standard for an action movie. The pacing is a little strange at times and it jumps around a fair bit, but the stylised inter-titles make it easy enough to follow. It’s not a film you need to actively think about to enjoy.

Furthermore, the inter-titles were just a hint of the style James Gunn threw into this film. The comic violence, action sequences, and timing are well done, sometimes even reminding me of Tarantino’s handiwork. The dialogue is sharp and the group dynamic and back story was explored extensively enough within the time frame for characters we haven’t seen in the DCEU before, such as Ratcatcher 2/Cleo Cazo.

All in all, The Suicide Squad is a stylish film and visually packs a punch. I think that most people wouldn’t be disappointed with the amount of splatter in this film, and there are even some Mortal Kombat style finisher situations.

The soundtrack was brilliant. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and its sequel, benefitted from a compilation soundtrack and so did The Suicide Squad. I enjoyed the original scoring as well and thought it fitted the tone of the film well.  

If you’re a comic book fan, as well as a comic book movie fan, you’ll have fun seeing familiar faces from the comics, and the way they act throughout the film. The least developed character was King Shark [Sylvester Stallone], but charming, nonetheless. He reminded me of a certain Flora colossus, from the MCU.  

I was surprised by the number of points this film made, in stark contrast to the 2016 film which seemingly had nothing to say about anything. I can’t address to much here without verging into spoiler territory, but if you’re expecting an entirely vacuous experience whilst watching The Suicide Squad, you might find yourself mistaken.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Suicide Squad. I can’t wait to watch it again and will be purchasing it on 4K UHD. If you saw Suicide Squad (2016) and were disappointed, I wouldn’t use that to hold anything against this new instalment. It’s an entirely different film, bears little connection, and most of the characters are completely different. Also, in this film, Harley Quinn seems like more of a natural progression to the Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) Harley rather than Suicide Squad’s Harley. I would recommend this film to DC fans, superhero movie fans, and action fans alike.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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