James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad Is Like The Boys On Steroids – .

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad Is Like The Boys On Steroids – .

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Enlarge / Don’t call it a reboot: Margot Robbie stars in James Gunn’s The suicide squad

Warner Bros.

Fan enthusiasm was high until the premiere of The suicide squad, James ‘Don’t Call It a Reboot’ Gunn’s homage to the villainous gang in the classic 1967 film The dirty dozen (among many other influences). This enthusiasm was not out of place. This tenth installment of the DCEU is a frenzied, bloody and insanely irreverent escapade that skillfully balances gore and clumsiness, with as much irreverence and sincerity. Thought The boys swollen on steroids.

(A few spoilers below but no major reveal.)

As I wrote previously, The suicide squad is not a direct sequel to the 2016 film directed by David Ayers. Gunn wanted to take the franchise in a new direction and introduce new characters. But Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis are returning to their 2016 roles as Col. Rick Flag, the team’s naturally jaded field chief, and intelligence officer Amanda Waller, respectively. Steve Agee plays John Economos, prison guard and Waller’s assistant. As with the 2016 film, the titular team is made up entirely of criminal supervillains, led by Flag, under the authority of Waller. Waller plants nanite bombs in their necks to keep them reasonably under control, promising to shorten their sentences if their missions are successfully completed.

In addition to fan favorite Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the team this time includes Bloodsport (Idris Elba), aka Robert DuBois, a mercenary with military training who is in jail for shooting Superman with a bullet. kryptonite. Gunn has said he’s modeled many of the team’s characters after different genres of movies, and Bloodsport is channeling 1960s action hero Steve McQueen. He has a feud feud with Peacemaker (John Cena), another military veteran described as a “douchey, bro-y Captain America,” allegedly inspired by 1970s television series like Wonder Woman.

Jai Courtney returns to his role as Captain Boomerang. There’s also Ratcatcher 2, aka Cleo Cazo (Daniela Melchior); Savant vigilante hacker (Michael Rooker); Nanaue, aka King Shark (voiced by Rooker’s Suspense co-starring Sylvester Stallone); Blackguard (Pete Davidson); Javelin (Flula Borg), Weasel (Sean Gunn, James’s little brother), an anthropomorphic weasel; the Mongal alien mass murderer (Mayling Ng); TDK (Nathan Fillion), a metahuman whose arms are detached from his body; and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), who is far more deadly than his polka dot suit and big mom issues would suggest.

It’s a crowded ensemble cast, and anyone familiar with The dirty dozen knows that many of them are destined to become cannon fodder. Gunn had hinted at this in pre-release interviews, expressing his joy that the studio had given him permission to tap into the DC Comics archives and kill the characters as he saw fit, thus ensuring the film wears off. well its name.

The director does not waste time establishing that he is ready to do it. The mission begins with the disastrous deployment of the team to a beach in Corto Maltese which recalls the opening sequence of Save Private Ryan, except with much more (very) dark humor. Let’s just say that the Belle Reve penitentiary has not really sent its maximum.

The survivors manage to regroup and continue their mission: to infiltrate a high security prison called Jotunheim – a former Nazi stronghold from WWII – and destroy all evidence related to the mysterious “Project Starfish”. The team must kidnap mad scientist Gaius Grieves, aka The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), to gain access to Jotunheim. Fortunately, Flag finds an unexpected ally in Sol Soria (Alice Braga), leader of a rebel gang seeking to regain control of their country’s government. The current president is President Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto), who has just taken office following a military coup, led by Major General Mateo Suarez (Joaquin Cosio).

Gunn’s willingness to sacrifice characters ensures that there are some very real stakes for this team, and while some are obviously doomed to die, there are some real surprises in the mix. That alone is a welcome change from your average superhero movie, where heroes are almost always plot-protected (if only to ensure a possible sequel).

The director also makes sure to develop key relationships between the surviving team members, which makes subsequent events all the more poignant as they unfold. Bloodsport and Peacemaker are very competitive and engage in numerous testosterone-fueled one-up-manship, while Flag and Peacemaker have a common history of “brothers in arms” despite their differences. Ratcatcher 2, along with his loyal pet rat, Sebastian, serves as the heart of the group, befriends King Shark, and forms a bond with Bloodsport. Although the latter really hates rats, Cleo believes that there is good in him, if only because Sebastian really loves him. (Taika Waititi has a flashback appearance as the late father of Cleo, the original Ratcather.)

As for Harley Quinn, she gets a twisted story arc that includes a literal Cinderella story when President Luna falls in love – if Cinderella was a crazy and extremely unpredictable psychopath. It ends about as well as expected, given Harley’s terrible taste for men. Birds of prey played a certain chewing gum softness to the character, despite his violent pushes. There’s still some of that sweetness here, but Robbie also shows how dangerously off-balance her character is, changing emotional speeds on the fly and perceiving all the carnage she inflicts through an explosion of Technicolor flowers and butterflies. .

Gunn proved with the PG-13 guardians of the galaxy that he could take a bunch of B and C list comic book characters and go on to produce an extremely entertaining, action-packed blockbuster with tons of irreverent humor and a touch of heart. It brings a sneaky sensibility similar to The suicide squad, but the R rating meant the director could go all out on the blood and blood front. This is not a movie for the faint hearted. The humor is darker, the body count is higher, and the finale gets really bonkers with the appearance of a giant alien starfish (Starro the Conquerer, another deep cut from the comics). In Gunn’s capable hands, it all comes together to give us the group of supervillains turned unexpected heroes we all wanted to see.

The suicide squad is now playing in theaters, as well as streaming on HBO Max. We strongly recommend that you only watch movies in the cinema if you are fully vaccinated. HBO Max has already ordered a Peacemaker spin-off straight to the series, with Cena and Agee reprising their roles, though Gunn was reluctant to reveal whether it would take place before or after the movie until after. The suicide squadthe Liberation. The series is slated to debut in January 2022.


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