Guardians of The Galaxy director James Gunn heads up this new (non-sequel) film about Task Force X, known as The Suicide Squad. 

I’m going to be completely honest, I am not the biggest fan of James Gunn’s work and so I was a bit sceptical when going into this but I was pleasantly surprised. Although it doesn’t take much to be better than the David Ayer helmed production from 2016, I was excited to see where Gunn was going to go with this.

Since the list of the things that I did not like are pretty tame let’s start with The Bad.

  • Humour: Unfortunately my expectations for a funny film were high and that was my fault for listening to people. Gunn’s humour has never been a big hit for me so I was extremely disappointed to say I did not laugh for any part of the film. The parts that I had found to be humourous were parts I had already seen when watching the trailers: the weasel being a werewolf bit and the Harley Quinn attempted resue bit.
  • Amanda Waller & her team: I found it quite interesting this time around that we got a look into the way that Waller conducted her operations and with that came the team that she works with. The main problem I had with these people came at the end when they knock Waller unconscious to help The Suicide Squad finish the operation with Starro. These are the same people who were taking bets on who would make it out alive from the operation and have witnessed Waller conduct multiple operations but this is where they draw the line? If they wanted to show them helping the team it could have been done better than this or covertly. Waller is a badass and her team should match that energy.
  • The Thinker (Gaius Grieves): There is no singular character that is more unnecessary than him. Peter Capaldi must have gotten a fat cheque cause he did nothing. This could have been anybody, any scientist. Replace him with a random actor, playing a random scientist and the film would have been at the same level. They really brought The Thinker in just because of how he looks and nothing more.

Now let’s get into the things I did like about this film, namely The Good.

  • Bloodsport (Robert DuBois) & Ratcatcher 2 (Cleo Cazo): These two ground the film out in the most wholesome way possible. DuBois and Cazo’s relationship is the heart of the film. DuBois is the only member of the team that had to be threatened into joining the team because of his daughter. At first, I thought I was going to get a loving relationship between them but instead it is an extremely contentious one, on both ends. He is the reluctant leader and hero but paired with Cazo who, despite her terrible upbringing, radiates warmth DuBois sees his daughter in her and the relationship they share helps him grow. I loved it and I think it was well done. Props to Idris Elba and Daniela Melchior.
  • King Shark: I loved him. He was so cute and yet despite all of that he never lost his edge throughout the film. I like that he looks closer to humans but I’m even more glad that they didn’t go The Flash TV show route, where he looks scarier than anything else. With all that being said, his look fits the tone of the film, very cartoonish. 
  • Polka-Dot Man (Abner Krill):  Without a doubt, he is the standout character of the film, for me. I love him because he is also reluctant about all that he does. His story about his polka dots is so sad and I felt for him throughout the film. I think David Dastmalchian played this so well and knowing that Dastmalchian has vitiligo and connects with Krill personally was undoubtedly seen. The best part about his characterisation for me was how they used the depiction of his mother throughout the film. Krill sees his mother, who infected him with this extraterrestrial virus, around him all the time and the way that there were times when you could see the scenes jump to his perspective showing us what he sees and why it’s so easy for him to kill. It also must be extreme torture to see the person who hurt you like that all the time. Now his sort of depressive tone makes sense, he is always in a state of pain.

Despite my complaints about the film’s humour not getting to me, I still found this film to be entertaining and the fight scenes were creatively done. I loved the different ways they showed the way each character fights despite giving me a huge rat-phobia after the fact. I still think Harley’s best fight scenes are in Birds of Prey so check that out if you want to see her more.

This film at its core is more of a success because it did not take itself too seriously and emphasised the weirdness of each character. The film felt like an ensemble but still used main characters to ground it. I would say that the film did not need to be R-Rated. I feel like the things that made it so did not add an extra dimension to the film but I enjoyed it regardless.

Rating: 7.9/10

DC Extended Universe; Birds of Prey

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