Don’t let the “The” in the title confuse you, this is a sequel to Suicide Squad. In James Gunn fashion (the director) The title is simple, but the movie is anything but. The original Suicide Squad movie from 2016 was one that DC fans were really looking forward to. There was so much hype leading into the released we were seething for the Dark DC ensemble movie that we, as fans, felt we deserved. However, it was surrounded by many underwhelming other DC movies like Batman Vs Superman and Justice League. It fell victim to a script that got off track by studio heads changing the direction of the movie, many needed scenes with character development left on the cutting room floor and Warner Brothers running around with their heads cut off trying to compete with Deadpool instead of making the movie David Ayer set out to make. Needless to say, I was not a fan of the first Suicide Squad and the thought of another was not very enticing.
Now here we are in 2021 with James Gunn directing a no holds barred Suicide Squad movie with no interference. He was given full reign to make this movie as successful as The Guardians of The Galaxy movies, which he directed; Avengers End Game and Infinity war, of which he was an executive producer. No pressure.
Walking into the screening I had absolutely no expectations. Yes, I liked Gunns past films for the most part, but lately DC seems to fall short no matter what cast they are given and who is at the head of the ship. In this version of the film, we have Idris Elba as Bloodsport. He plays a similar character to Will Smith’s character Deadshot in the original. A criminal father who is estranged from his daughter and flung into the Suicide Squad against his wishes. Luckily Elba got a better script, a better director and no one at the studio second guessing the dress they picked out for prom night. Elba does a great job as this reluctant leader of some of the strangest villains from the DC universe. I could watch him as Bloodsport in many movies to come. He is a natural in this universe.
One of the highlights of the film is Margot Robbie back as Harley Quinn. She had prominent parts in the original movie and her own movie Birds of Prey, but it is her performance in this movie that really shines. She is strong, independent, full of Harley surprises and carries her own. I could not look away when she was on screen and I never got the cringe worthy feeling in my stomach as a female, In her other DC movies I would be watching her character most of the time hoping that she would stop because she was embarrassing us. This film gave her strength, consistency as a character and the chance to show why Harley should be kept around in the franchise and maybe even leading her own Suicide Squad at some point.
Similar to the first film, the second film has a great cast of people. Similar to the first, but times 100 more, don’t get attached to some of the cast; most of them are gone before you get too attached to them. Sometimes when you have a cast like this the film will either be a huge hit or a big stinker. Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis, Sylvester Stallone, Peter Capaldi, David Dashmalchain, Daniela Melchior, Michael Rooker, Pete Davidson and Nathan Fillion are just a few of the highlights.
The crew that ends up being the final suicide squad in the movie have great rhythm and chemistry with each other. You get attached to them and as the movie moves forward, and that pretty different for this franchise. The characters relationships with each other really work. Viola Davis is even more cruel and powerful in this movie and Daniela Melchior is a shining light on screen as Rat Catcher 2. In all reality she held this movie together. Oh, and John Cena was funny, totally the anti-Captain America. He wasn't outstanding but he held his own.
Now let’s get to the unfettered action, violence and mayhem that Gunn sets before us. This is a very very rated R movie. From the language to killing, Gunn just does not hold back. There are thinks in this movie, when it comes to killing someone, that I have not seen in any other movie. Some things are creative and super funny, and some are just downright gross. I do have to give Gunn points for not holding back, after all DC is a dark place to play and these villains are as dark and sometimes as stupid as they come.
Lastly the cinematography blew me away. As much as I was grossed out for a good portion of the movie, I was also in awe of the creative vantage points we got to experience as an audience. Just like Guardians and Avengers, Gunn knows how to create excitement and how to shoot action while still staying in a “Comicbook” style of storytelling.
So, to my surprise this movie did not suck. I do think some of the shock and awe violence and language was too much for me and the movie could have been tighter in the middle. Was it Gunns best work, no. Was it his most gutsy superhero/villain movie, yes, I think so. He may have gone a little too far in some places. You will be entertained; you will be shocked and if you are a bird lover you will also be pissed. So much better than the original, his will be an experience that has you go through every emotion and come out of the movie a little out of sorts.