The Suicide Squad (2021)

the suicide squad poster 2021 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Just a fun movie


Movie Info

Movie Name: The Suicide Squad

Studio: Warner Bros./DC Entertainment/Atlas Entertainment

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comedy

Release Date(s):  July 28, 2021 (France)/July 30, 2021 (UK)/August 6, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

the sucide squad margot robbie harley quinn flowers gunfight

You get another shot to love me!!!

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has another mission for the Squad.  Task Force X might be the nice name, but the Suicide Squad is more apt since every mission could mean death.  Sending a team lead by Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) assisted by a handful of superhuman cons and his old friend Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) to Corto Maltese to stop a nefarious experiment that threatens to fall into anti-American military hands, Waller has a side plan involving Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and Peacemaker (John Cena).  Something is being kept on Corto Maltese by and the Thinker (Peter Capaldi) is manipulating it…but like with every Suicide Squad mission, the briefing might be lacking in essential information.

the suicide squad peacemaker vs bloodsport idris elba john cena

Are we going to have a problem?

Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad is a DC Comics action-adventure film.  Following DC Extended Universe movie Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020, the movie is sometimes referred to as Suicide Squad 2 and is a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad.  The film was released in theaters and HBO Max on August 5, 2021 to positive reviews.

The first Suicide Squad was a huge disappointment.  Besides Harley Quinn, the movie wasted most of the characters and was a mess of editing and plotting.  When James Gunn got booted from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (temporarily), he took the assignment…and with everything going on, you knew Gunn was going to go all out…The Suicide Squad redeems Suicide Squad and then some.  A ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the review.

the suicide squad polka dot man mother team lynne ashe

Polka Dot Man has mommy issues

Despite being a new take, Gunn almost seems to show off that he can still tell a story like the story was told in the original Suicide Squad, but while having it make sense and generate genuine heart (as people murder massive amounts of people).  The plot jumps around though it is pretty simple when boiled down, and it is cohesive and fun.  It honestly feels like the characters of Guardians of the Galaxy jumped into the DC Universe.  The whole team is made up screw-ups and people that do not want to be there…saving the world is secondary for the most part (though I would argue that this group is more heroic than the previous Squad).  The oddball characters provide most viewers with some character to root for…especially since you know they aren’t going to come out all alive.

the suicide squad king shark ratcatcher 2 sylvester stallone daniela melchior

Friends don’t eat friends!

The odd thing is that Gunn almost takes a stock figure approach to the cast.  Bloodsport is a lot like Deadshot and jokes even arise that both Bloodsport and John Cena’s peace loving killer even have the same “power”.  Margot Robbie continues to be a fun Harley Quinn and hopefully, she’ll get another chance someday to headline a solo film.  Daniela Melchior is the “heart” of The Suicide Squad and makes me think that Gunn wanted to use Marvel’s Squirrel Girl in some way for the Guardians movie.  It would be easy to call King Shark the scene stealer, but everyone has a fun run including David Dastmalchian’s mother-fearing polka-dot throwing “superhero” (at least superhero for a moment).  It is also nice to see Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller get her dues since in almost every incarnation of the character, she manages to stay on top.  The movie is loaded with smaller roles and like X-Force of Deadpool 2, you know they are just fodder.  Jai Courtney, Peter Davidson, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Flula Borg, Taika Waititi, and Nathan Fillion all have small roles…but I wish Peter Capaldi had been used a bit better (there is also a blink and you’ll miss him cameo by Gunn mentor and Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman).

the suicide squad starro kaiju

We got a kaiju!!!

The movie is also a looks quite good.  King Shark looks goofy, but in the context of the movie, he completely works.  This is also true of the ending “villain” Starro who could easily have fallen out of an episode of Doctor Who but turns out to be a really fun add to the Suicide Squad adventure…especially considering he was initially responsible for the Justice League forming.

The Suicide Squad is just a fun romp.  There are better superhero movies and there are better movies, but the movie seems to remember that it is supposed to be fun without a ton of pandering.  In many ways it kind of feels that Gunn is sticking it to both Marvel and DC.  If Marvel doesn’t want Gunn, he’s going to make a fun movie for DC and if DC doesn’t always treat their creators the best, he’s almost giving the middle finger to them as well.  I wish that DC’s Extended Universe would catch on because despite popular opinion, they are a lot of fun and take a different tone than Marvel’s films…The Suicide Squad seems like a good marriage of both.  The Suicide Squad is followed by Black Adam in 2022 and a Peacemaker HBO Max spinoff series.

Related Links:

Suicide Squad (2016)

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

Suicide Squad:  Hell to Pay (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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