The Suicide Squad review: A hilarious, gory and absolutely outrageous popcorn blockbuster

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After Warner Bros was briefly fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, he jumped on the idea that James Gunn would direct a DC movie. The Marvel filmmaker was given the freedom to choose what to cover from their vast comic book universe, opting for a sequel to 2016’s poorly received Suicide Squad. Gunn even revealed that when he finished writing his turn on the supervillain team hired on US government missions to reduce prison time, he jokingly called it The Suicide Squad, only to keep the title.

And from the opening scene of The Suicide Squad, Gunn’s blockbuster almost feels like a “scratch that, let’s try again” taking over the story as Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller – a steel psychopathic M with a trigger finger – her team of misfits recruits for their final deadly task.

And again it’s Joel Kinnaman’s field leader Rick Flag who leads the pack with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang back for more cartoonish violence.

While Will Smith’s Deadshot didn’t return, Idris Elba’s Bloodsport is something of a reboot as another captive helmeted hitman desperate to reunite with his daughter.

But this is where the similarities to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad end, as Gunn revives the volatile DC franchise.

READ MORE: The Suicide Squad post-credits: Is there a post-credits scene?

The Suicide Squad review: A hilarious, gory and absolutely outrageous popcorn blockbuster (Image: WB)

amanda recruits in jail

Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller Recruits Her Latest Suicide Squad Into Jail (Image: WB)

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Without a doubt, the most refreshing aspect of Gunn’s new film is its humor, as The Suicide Squad is laughably hilarious pretty much the entire way through.

And most of the comedy comes from the eclectic and even weirder roster of little DC villains the writer-director has chosen for the team this time around.

John Cena’s Peacekeeper, who is so committed to maintaining harmony that he will kill as many men, women and children as deemed necessary, is the protagonist with Elba’s Bloodsport.

Another highlight is David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man, who literally shoots acid-like dots at enemies to dissolve them while imagining them to be his abusive mother.

suicide squad and rebels

The Suicide Squad is much funnier than its predecessor (Image: WB)

the suicide bomber poster

The Suicide Squad opens in UK theaters on July 30 and in US theaters on August 5, 2021. (Image: WB)

But the scene-stealer has to be Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark, a fish-human hybrid who’s a little slow and can’t help eating people whole when he’s craving some “num-num”.

This violent beast really turns out to be a sweetheart in some of the film’s more heartfelt moments, which are also shared by Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2 and her very friendly rodent.

As for The Suicide Squad’s mission this time around, the task force is sent to a South American island called Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory.

To gain access, the team must find Peter Capaldi’s Gaius Grieves, an incredibly intelligent super villain. As the story progresses, they may also eventually have to defeat a giant alien starfish called Starro the Conqueror. Yes, it really is as crazy as it sounds and it’s a lot of fun.

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Another prominent aspect of The Suicide Squad is its massive and insanely violent action sequences, inspired by 1970s war movies, which wouldn’t look out of place on a John Wick or Deadpool outing – so expect plenty of deaths from the get-go.

But like Robbie’s Harley Quinn solo film Birds of Prey, the gory and brutal moments are more like live-action Itchy and Scratchy than anything real if there’s any concern from the more prudish viewer.

Additionally, towards the end of the film, there seem to be some subtextual themes commenting on US imperialism and Guantanamo Bay, which were recently explored in the much more serious award-winning The Mauritanian.

But at the end of the day, The Suicide Squad is a big, loud, funny piece of popcorn entertainment that helps reboot the cinema, just like it has its own franchise.

The Suicide Squad opens in UK theaters on July 30 and in US theaters on August 5, 2021.

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