By Brian Griffin
The Hollywood Stars align to come together to create one of the most beautiful and pure mad movies of the year
In recent weeks I’ve found it less enticing to watch new movies. Sure every now and again I’d watch something and think it was good but not great. Then I got the opportunity to see The Suicide Squad, and it reminded me why I love watching movies. The movie itself is a combination of the violence of a Tarantino movie with the comedy of Step Brothers, while being described by writer/director James Gunn as “a 1970s war movie action comedy”.
The Suicide Squad is a collection of lesser known DC Supervillains tasked with the missions that are deemed too dangerous for normal armies to attempt. This merry band of prisoners must complete the mission to leave with their freedom, while also having a chip in their head that can be remotely exploded should they choose to escape. Task Force X, as they are known, are dropped on the island of Corto Maltese to overthrow the current government, and to destroy the world-ending superweapon the government is ready to unleash. Yeah it’s pretty crazy. What separates The Suicide Squad from every other run and gun type action movie are the characters, and their, let’s say, alternative ways of achieving their goal.
The cast the movie boasts is nothing short of exceptional. Margot Robbie alone is a good enough reason to watch a movie, but add in Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) and John Cena (F9) with arguably the best performances of their careers thus far, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a movie. Behind this there are others returning from Suicide Squad such as Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis and Jai Courtney, while the cast is filled out with names such as Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Pete Davidson (SNL), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) and Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit). The list goes on, but special consideration must be made for Daniela Melchoir as Ratcatcher 2 and David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man. Both may not have as big a profile as their co-stars, but if they continue giving the performances as they did here, it won’t be long before they are certified A-listers.
With a cast this packed with Hollywood’s elite, it must require a director with the ability to manage so many big names, preferably in the superhero genre. Enter writer/director James Gunn. With two Guardians of the Galaxy movies under his belt so far and also Gunn was the writer behind the masterpieces that are the live action Scooby-Doo movies in the early 2000’s, it’s safe to say Gunn knows how to write an ensemble cast. The Suicide Squad just confirms it once again.
When it comes to the movies, the first 15 minutes can make or break whether you’ll watch it or not. For The Suicide Squad, the first 15 minutes was arguably the best section of the entire movie. It tells you the kind of movie you are going to experience, and that there will be violence. Lots of it. That this violence isn’t just for violence sake, but the kind of violence that is instantly memorable. This 15 minutes also shows the movie's humour, it’s self awareness and it’s overall fun. Personally it struck up memories of Baby Driver for it’s instant jump into the action.
Speaking of action, The Suicide Squad never falls short. Whether it’s versus a giant monster or in hand to hand combat between two characters, your eyes are never drawn away. The fight choreography itself is both always exciting but also unique to each character, each brings their own style with their own powers. It doesn’t matter if you are a trained assassin, you control a rat army or you just happen to be a giant shark. If anything it just shows the benefit from allowing a filmmaker to follow his creative vision. Madness. Beautiful madness.
Aside from the action, The Suicide Sqaud is funny. Like properly funny. Countless times I was in bits laughing. You could imagine yourself becoming friends with this group. This mostly comes from how grounded the characters are, and it makes them more personable when we find out their tragic backstories and how they ended up where they are today. You feel for this group that all came from horrible places in their life, to the point where you can understand how they have become the villains they are today. From King Shark all the way to little Sebastian (who gives a definite Oscar winning performance) we end up loving them all.
The Suicide Squad seems to have an outstanding respect for it’s audience, in saying that most of the clichés you might expect are turned on their head. A rescue mission in a lesser movie consists of a group of heroes stepping into unknown land, saving the person they have to save, and getting out of there. In The Suicide Squad however, a rescue mission never goes to plan, but in ways that you don’t often see. This subversiveness always leaves you on the edge of your seat, because just as you think you know where it’s going, you don’t.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, we have to acknowledge the sheer spectacle of it all. Most of the effects are done practically and you can almost feel it. The CGI is immaculate and really adds to the whole experience without taking it over. The camera work is fluid and never feels like you get a moment's rest. The scene transitions are seamless and never for a moment does it feel like every single pixel on the screen wasn’t accounted for. Little details and jokes fill the gaps in the larger scenes creating an all round great time.
Look, I’m aware this review has just been a love letter to The Suicide Squad, but it’s what it deserves. I loved the movie from start to end, and while I can definitely say it’s not for kids, I’m glad of that fact because it doesn’t need to be. For those that were disappointed with the 2016 version of Suicide Squad, I can safely say this movie more than makes up for it. It’s one of the best movies of the year so far, and definitely the perfect movie to return to the cinemas to see.