Expertly comic and wildly energetic, this squad kills it all, especially the original Suicide Squad.
The Suicide Squad
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman): “Here's the deal: we fail the mission, you die!”
Bloodsport (Idris Alba): “We find out any information you've given us is false, you die!”
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie): “We find out you have personalized license plates, you die!”
Woven into the above quote is the heart of the ingenious superhero satire, The Suicide Squad. The adventure is a relentlessly action-oriented and bloody superhero/supervillain mashup with an equal measure of droll humor like “personalized plates.” This Keystone-Cops band of doomed mercenaries is working to overthrow the dictatorship of a small South American island, Carto Maltese.
The first act, reminiscent of the original comic-book-derived Suicide Squad but with more bite, is non-stop joking in the spirit of Deadpool, possibly wittier. The usual introduction of the talented but eccentric band is rife with guffaw jokes and satire.
Sylvester Stallone stands out as the mumbling King Shark, who eats humans, as apt a metaphor for invading armies as you could want. Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) carries the physical weight of a loathed herd of rats and the metaphoric importance of what an invading army is thought to be. The wildly dangerous Weasel (Sean Gunn) reminds us that a Groot-type will often show up in this genre but maybe more terrifying and right from hell.
While the second act drags as in most superhero movies, the third, with the struggle to overtake a malignant tower housing a monster alien starfish, is chockful of jokes again and just as importantly the themes of a vulnerable population and rise of the meek. With the action at peak, writer/director James Gunn still lards the story with wit.
The Suicide Squad, be it a sequel or a remake (arguable for either descriptor), is a smart takeoff on the genre for those tired of the more serious Marvel series. It’s plain good fun, well-acted, and expertly photographed (see it in IMAX if you can).
For late summer, you couldn’t have a better reason to go back to the cinema.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JohnDeSando62@gmail.com
The Suicide Squad
Director: James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Cast: Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Idris Alba (Concrete Cowboy)
Run Time: 2h 12m