REVIEW: James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Is The Best DC Films Release Yet

Don't get too attached.

James Gunn The Suicide Squad Task Force X Warner Bros. HBO Max

Back in 2016, Warner Bros. and DC jump-started their cinematic universe with the releases of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Both films were met with abysmal reviews but did pretty decently at the box office. Suicide Squad went on to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Warner Bros. began looking at the future of the franchise. The sequel to the film went through the hands of numerous writers and directors until the studio got lucky and found the right fit in Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn. Gunn was wrongfully fired by Marvel Studios due to reactions to some pretty distasteful jokes he made on Twitter in the past, and as things died down, Warner Bros. and DC Films approached the director to get him in their arsenal. Gunn ultimately chose to direct a new Task Force X film and titled it The Suicide Squad.

I was a part of the large majority of people that absolutely hated the first Suicide Squad, so hearing that a top-notch director was coming aboard the sequel gave me the confidence I needed to be excited for it. After it was announced that Gunn would pen the script and direct the film, production began pretty quickly. Several Suicide Squad members were back for the sequel, including Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman. Will Smith’s Deadshot was replaced by Idris Elba in a then-undisclosed role that was later revealed as Bloodsport. The rest of the cast was easily rounded out with Gunn’s friends and frequent collaborators. Every sneak peek at the film was pretty spectacular-looking and it definitely upped my hype to watch it. I recently had the chance to check out James Gunns The Suicide Squad and I can definitely say that it was the best DC Films project yet.

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is a beautiful display of what a DC film can be when you allow a director to fulfill their vision without any interference. The Suicide Squad is not only the best DC film to date, but it’s also James Gunn’s finest work yet. Gunn totally understands what Task Force X should be and it shows as he masterfully directs the cast into scenarios that look like they’re coming off the page of a comic book. No characters are safe with the film really following the “Don’t Get Too Attached” mantra, making for a ton of fun because you really don’t know what to expect. The wrongs that were made by the original film are completely erased by this R-rated spectacle and Im pretty sure that all DC fans are going to love The Suicide Squad. The film is beautifully directed and has some pretty great CGI, but its strongest moments are in the performances.

Idris Elba enters the DC Extended Universe as the living weapon known as Bloodsport. Elba is filling Will Smith’s shoes as the film’s lead and he carries it with a gravitas and bravado that really works. Bloodsport is placed in Belle Reve for putting Superman in the ICU by shooting him with a kryptonite bullet and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) seizes the opportunity to have him lead this version of Task Force X. Davis makes her second appearance as Amanda Waller and she somehow got even more ruthless for this one. The actress continues to prove why she’s the best choice to play Waller and I would love to see where she takes the character next.

The Suicide Squad also sees Margot Robbie returning to the role of Harley Quinn for her third DC Extended Universe appearance and while the film doesn’t really tie into Birds of Prey, she still feels like the version of the character that was left at the end of that film. Robbie is as brilliant as always and I think I can easily say this is my favorite rendition of Harley Quinn. The Suicide Squad features the return of a few other cast members from the original film like Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, but it also introduces us to a slew of new villains like Peacemaker, King Shark, Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher II. It also features the big screen debut of Starro the Conqueror, the first supervillain the Justice League ever battled in the pages of DC Comics.

If you thought Joel Kinnaman was great in the first Suicide Squad film, then you’ll be happy to find out that he definitely steps it up in the James Gunn-directed sequel. Kinnaman does really well this time around and his character Rick Flag isn’t bogged down by an unnecessary love interest like The Enchantress. He’s charming, witty and pretty darn hilarious. His interactions with the new Task Force X members are probably some of the best bits in the film. One of those Task Force X members is John Cena’s Peacemaker, and yes, you can definitely see him. Peacemaker is an outrageous character who’s kind of like Captain America but takes his idea of liberty to insane levels. Cena was perfectly cast in the role. I truly couldn’t see anyone else bring this character to life. The Suicide Squad also introduces audiences to Polka-Dot Man, who is played by David Dastmalchian, and I’m not one hundred percent sure, but he might be my favorite character. He has the power to shoot polka-dots out of his body from another dimension and it’s arguably the most outrageous superpower that I’ve seen on-screen so far. Dastmalchian quickly becomes the heart of the film and the actor plays the character extremely well.

Meanwhile, The Suicide Squad also features several CGI characters. James Gunn is known for bringing CGI characters to life in his films and this one is no different. The team features Nanaue, a.k.a. King Shark, a descendent of a Shark God who is completely invulnerable. Gunn somehow convinced Sylvester Stallone to voice the character and he may or may not be the funniest part of the film. There’s also the main antagonist, Starro the Conqueror. Starro is a giant starfish with an eye in the middle of his body, but he really isn’t an intimidating threat for the team to take on and that’s pretty much my only gripe with the film. The Suicide Squad also features a ton of other great performances that I didn’t get to mention, but I have a feeling you’re gonna love them all the same. I know I did.

Overall Thoughts: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is the best DC film yet. It’s a masterfully-directed wild ride and like Guardians of the Galaxy on LSD. The film is exactly what you’d want to see in a Task Force X project and I’d say that it’s the first perfect entry into the DC Extended Universe. Your mind will erase the atrocious first film by the time you leave the theater. It’s filled with laughs, a ton of gore and foul language. I wouldn’t suggest bringing your kids to this one. I had so much fun with the film that intend on watching it multiple times when it hits theaters.

Rating: 10/10

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Nathaniel Brail

Nathaniel Brail

Running things at HH. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail