Goddamnit… is the only word capable of how this movie makes me feel. This goddamn movie has been out for nearly a month and I cannot think of a solid opinion about it. This is the third rewrite of my original review and quite frankly, the final rewrite. The recklessness in my writing this year has become gradually more intense and I don’t know whether to be proud of it or embarrassed. To put it simply, this movie honestly feels like it shouldn’t exist. I genuinely do not know how Warner Bros. greenlit this. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is a fucking blast but my god, does it feel like one huge mistake.
spoilers for ‘The Suicide Squad’ are featured in this review!
As fantastic as ‘The Suicide Squad’ is, it ultimately never justifies its existence. It constantly contradicts itself because on one hand, the movie wears its outlandish personality proudly on its sleeve but on the other hand, it’s also an R-rated blockbuster sequel. It needs to sell tickets, it needs to be mainstream enough to make The Suicide Squad pop-culture icons again after the failure that was the David Ayer movie. It needed to be successful and despite it being a fantastic movie, I just don’t know if this was the movie to do all of that. It felt like a cool gift that you appreciate but then put on a shelf to gather dust as you slowly start to forget about it. I’m not only speaking from experience when I say that this movie has been forgotten faster than Ansel Elgort’s career. As a movie theatre employee, I can see what movies are doing well and as sad as it is, this movie never really got the momentum it deserved. It’s actually insane that a movie of this calibre needed word of mouth to actually go somewhere. It hasn’t even matched its budget yet. Obviously, there are a ton of factors regarding its success, however, even pre-Covid, this would’ve most likely done as great as ‘Birds of Prey’ did and we all know how that turned out. Fantastic movie, wrong audience. With ‘The Suicide Squad’ though, it honestly just feels so lost and disconnected from everything else that that in and of itself was partially to blame for how fast it was forgotten. It’s just a very well-made, very entertaining but ultimately insignificant movie. I’m glad it exists and I’m really happy that Warner Bros. is taking extremely creative risks with its franchises however it doesn’t look like they learned how to strike a balance. They probably thought that handing over an R-rated comic-book movie to James Gunn was enough controversial publicity to replicate the ‘JOKER‘ success. It is so evident that Warner Bros. doesn’t know what the fuck to do with DC that they just greenlight anything and hope it’s successful. We got a ‘Shazam!’ movie before we got a Flash movie like that is actually insane. Harley Quinn has now been in two box-office bombs, isn’t that the least bit concerning?
All of that aside, as I said, this is a fantastic movie. In just its opening scene, it already had more personality and style than the entirety of the 2016 movie. If there’s anything James Gunn excels at, it’s making comic-book movies about dysfunctional anti-heroes. Every single Suicide Squad member gets not one but multiple moments to shine. I don’t fucking know how it’s possible but he not only made a movie with a talking racoon and tree work but now a movie with a kaiju-level, telepathic starfish and a man who expells polka-dots from his body work. Not to mention the killer, humanoid weasel, King Shark and the fact that that a woman can command rats to her will and uses them to overthrow said kaiju-level starfish. This movie is genuinely fucking insane, there will definitely be people who will be utterly shocked and disgusted by this movie and I wouldn’t blame them. It is definitely not for everyone but that is okay! In fact, it’s great that we’re getting comic-book content that is directly aimed at a specific demographic and not a crowd-pleasing, manufactured comic-book movie like a certain one that was released earlier this year.
Calling this sequel an improvement over the first movie would be an understatement. I actually remember liking the first movie but I tried rewatching it and it is genuinely unwatchable. It doesn’t understand its characters, it doesn’t know when to show and not tell and worst of all, it doesn’t know how to be a movie. It’s just a two-hour long music video with Snapchat filters and the attitude of a high-schooler in 2016. This movie doesn’t compromise style for substance. It understands its characters. It utilizes them to their full extent and presents us with multiple fan-favourites. ‘Birds of Prey’ and ‘The Suicide Squad’ understood Harley Quinn, they gave her a worthy arc from the mess of the first movie. The character development and plot are interwoven with the action which is why it’s so effective. We get characterization through the action scenes, it never felt like the movie threw in an action scene just for the hell of it. As a result, the movie earned its right to be overly stylistic because it didn’t depend on the music choice or inventive title cards to create its mood and tone. All of that was just a bonus treat and that’s how it should always be. The cast here is insane. Idris Elba is a thousand percent the star of this movie, he is fucking fantastic. Whether it’s his comedic timing and delivery or his action scenes, he truly understood the assignment. Margot Robbie is once again fantabulous as Harley Quinn, this role was made for her and there’s not much else I can say that I haven’t already in my ‘Birds of Prey’ review. John Cena as Peacemaker was definitely a decision, so were his lines and jokes and quite honestly, I don’t know whether it’s fantastic or a huge mistake. I did not like him one bit but I feel like that was the point so kudos to Cena I guess! Also, King fucking Shark, what a scene-stealing icon, my god. I want a King Shark series, spin-off and movie franchise right fucking now.
Overall, this movie is great, yeah! It’s an incredibly entertaining time, it’s genuinely hilarious and you should definitely check it out! Is it the movie they should’ve chosen for a revival of this premise? Probably not. Is this movie still incredible regardless? Definitely. It’s essentially one long fever-dream and considering it’s a comic-book movie, I don’t know if that’s really a compliment. I feel like this movie should’ve been the movie of the summer but instead, it’s just there and it’s great but it will probably be forgotten by next month. Anyways, this review is long enough, this is just my opinion, be sure to form your own and not listen to what the internet is telling you!
‘The Suicide Squad’ is now showing in theatres as well as streaming on HBO Max.