Many people were left disappointed by David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016. Whether it was down to the screenplay, editing or casting choices, there was still a lot of potential to be unlocked with the story of Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad.
When James Gunn was lined up to direct the latest adaptation of The Suicide Squad, there was a reason to be optimistic. He has proved in the past, particularly with Guardians of the Galaxy, that he can take relatively unknown characters and make audiences fall in love with them. However, with the number of characters that were announced for this film, there was also a reason to be worried that there would just be too much to handle.
In the beginning, it can certainly feel overwhelming with the large cast and how quickly the story gets going. However, once all of the introductions are done, it is clear what the focus of the film is, and the story is incredibly tight.
In the past few years, comic book movies have felt relatively safe and formulaic. The audience knows from the start who will survive and who will be killed, the action sequences all look the same and there is little room to have fun with the style of the comic book genre. James Gunn takes a lot of risks with The Suicide Squad in both the story and the style, and for the most part, it pays off spectacularly.
Many sequences within this film look like they could have been pulled out of a comic book itself, with the vibrant colours and fun visual effects. In particular, a lot of the scenes involving Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn would make for stunning prints. To have that energy not just within the action but with the editing and cinematography keeps the over two-hour run time feeling very short.
When entering a film like this, there is a question of whether it is a true ensemble piece or if there is a standout. Despite the large cast and the name, The Suicide Squad decides to give full attention to a select few members and they certainly make an impact. Of course, Margot Robbie and Idris Elba are the two that get the most presence within the movie. However, it is Daniela Melchior who steals the film as Ratcatcher 2 which is such a nice surprise. It is also fantastic to see Peter Capaldi have the freedom to be as profane as he wants, as The Suicide Squad truly earns its 15 rating in the UK.
After years of anticipation, it is nice to report that The Suicide Squad is a success. The characters you know and love from Ayer’s version are fleshed out, and the new characters are wonderful additions to the DCEU. In a franchise that has some major hits and misses, it is nice to see Warner Bros. have a strong hit on their hands.
The Suicide Squad is in cinemas from July 30th
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi
Runtime: 132 minutes