THE SUICIDE SQUAD Review: James Gunn's Magnum Opus Is A Beautiful, Blood-Soaked Blast

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Review: James Gunn's Magnum Opus Is A Beautiful, Blood-Soaked Blast

You've seen the highly positive social media reactions to The Suicide Squad, but now that the review embargo is up, you can find our take on James Gunn's utterly bonkers DCEU debut right here.

When James Gunn claimed that Warner Bros. had basically given him free rein to go off and make The Suicide Squad exactly as he saw fit with zero restrictions or parameters, most of us took it with a pinch of salt. After all, this was the same studio that had gained a reputation for micromanaging its filmmakers and insisting on tonal and narrative changes which completely altered the final product.

Well, having seen the film, we can safely say that the writer/director was not exaggerating, because The Suicide Squad is genuinely, gleefully, James Gunn dialled all-the-way-up-to-11(ly), insane.

Setting aside the gore (and it is very bloody) and the trademark irreverent/sophomoric humor (most of the gags lands, some don't quite), this "Man on a Mission" style DC Comics adventure might just be the most bizarre mainstream blockbuster of all time. The plot itself is fairly straightforward, but Gunn peppers the film with lots of brilliantly odd little touches. One moment, in particular, is so jaw-droppingly bonkers that we're afraid to say any more for fear of spoiling the visual.

The story begins with Amanda Waller assembling a (mostly) new team of recruits for a mission known as Project Starfish. This incarnation of Task Force X is told only that they are to infiltrate the heavily fortified island of Corto Maltese, and that if any of them cut and run, Waller will detonate the explosive device in their head. After a disastrous opening battle, the depleted team make their way inland, only to discover that Waller left out a few minor details during her briefing. 

Our "heroes" must then decide if they're going to complete their mission no questions asked, or risk losing their heads by deviating from their objective to protect the locals.

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad - Official Rain - One News Page VIDEO

Of the new faces we meet, Bloodsport is the closest thing to a primary protagonist, with Rick Flag, Peacemaker, Ratcatcher 2, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and, of course, Harley Quinn all given roughly equal time in the spotlight. Even with so much going on around them, Gunn ensures that all of these characters are well fleshed out and vital to the story. King Shark and Ratcatcher will likely emerge as fan-favourites, but it's honestly impossible to single out a weak link, due in no small part to the excellent performances. 

Everyone brings their A-game, but Daniela Melchior deserves special mention. Ratcatcher 2 proves to be heart of the film, and the young Portuguese actress delivers a powerful, star-making turn. John Cena also surprises as Peacemaker. The WWE Superstar turned actor showed promise in some of his earlier roles, but really gets the chance to demonstrate his range here as the initially amusing, but increasingly unhinged vigilante.

Then, there's Starro the Conqueror. A few eyebrows were raised when this relatively obscure DC Comics baddie was revealed to be the main villain, but it's actually difficult to imagine a more perfect antagonist for this film. Equal parts preposterous and terrifying, not even the giant, mass-murdering extraterrestrial starfish proves to be completely unsympathetic.

So, is The Suicide Squad a reboot or a sequel? As frustrating as the answer may seem, it really does depend on how you choose to categorize it. While it never directly references David Ayer's film, it doesn't disregard or contradict anything that happened in it, either, and there are a few indications that the events of Suicide Squad are canon (Harley, Boomerang and Flag all know each other, for example). That said, if you would rather forget the 2016 movie ever happened, TSS works as a fresh slate for the franchise and its characters (those who survive, that is).

Gunn has already stated that audiences will be surprised by how many of these guys are killed off, so it's hardly a spoiler to confirm that, yes, a lot of these guys are killed off! We're not going to go into specifics, but let's just say the filmmaker may not be quite as ruthless as he made out in interviews, and aside from some early cannon fodder, he ensures that all of the deaths are meaningful and pack an emotional punch.

While a few tears will undoubtedly be shed for the fallen, the most heartfelt moments actually spring from the relationships that develop between these reluctant brothers and sisters in arms as they face insurmountable odds together. Sure, some of them are pretty despicable villains, but most do have some sort of moral compass (even if they can't remember the last time they used it), so don't be surprised if seeing that humanity shine through amid the carnage is what ultimately has you reaching for the tissues.

The Suicide Squad is James Gunn's magnum opus: A near pitch-perfect blend of tones and genres, which somehow coalesces to form not only the film of the year so far, but one of the most purely entertaining comic book movies you're ever likely to see. It is brutally violent at times, but what emerges through the array of flying limbs is a surprisingly tender tribute to camaraderie, and an ode to all the despised and misunderstood creatures out there. 

Steak House: Lasas Steak House Palanga 

DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals The Disturbing Alternate Ending He Decided Was Too Dark

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals The Disturbing Alternate Ending He Decided Was Too "Dark"

The Suicide Squad director James Gunn has talked more about the movie's original ending, revealing the twisted fate of a fan-favourite character he ultimately decided was too dark. Read on for details!
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Confirms He's Working On Another DCEU Project After PEACEMAKER

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Confirms He's Working On Another DCEU Project After PEACEMAKER

The Suicide Squad writer and director James Gunn is putting the finishing touches on Peacemaker, but he's confirmed that another DC Extended Universe project is on the way in the not too distant future.
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals INJUSTICE-Inspired Harley Quinn Concept Art

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals INJUSTICE-Inspired Harley Quinn Concept Art

Ahead of The Suicide Squad's Blu-ray release, director James Gunn has shared a new batch of concept art for the DC Comics movie featuring a closer look at early designs for Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Will Smith Reveals Why He Didn't Reprise The Role Of Deadshot In THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Will Smith Reveals Why He Didn't Reprise The Role Of Deadshot In THE SUICIDE SQUAD

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad brought back several characters from David Ayer's original, but Will Smith's Deadshot was not be among them. In a new interview, the actor finally reveals why...
DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE: The 7 Most Impactful Moments From The Franchise So Far

DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE: The 7 Most Impactful Moments From The Franchise So Far

The DC Extended Universe has given us plenty of unforgettable moments since Man of Steel flew onto our screens, and in this feature, we take a look at the franchise's seven most impactful scenes.
Latest Headlines
ETERNALS Rotten Tomatoes Score Revealed; Leaves It Short Of Certified Fresh Status

ETERNALS Rotten Tomatoes Score Revealed; Leaves It Short Of "Certified Fresh" Status

It goes without saying plenty more reviews for Eternals will be counted in the coming weeks, but the movie's initial Rotten Tomatoes score has been revealed, and it's not in "Certified Fresh" territory!
ETERNALS Reviews Promise A Visually Stunning, Overstuffed (And Overlong) Movie Unlike Any Before It

ETERNALS Reviews Promise A Visually Stunning, Overstuffed (And Overlong) Movie Unlike Any Before It

The review embargo for Eternals has lifted, and these verdicts are definitely more of a mixed bag than expected! Despite some strong visuals, it appears this isn't going to earn Chloé Zhao another Oscar.
DUNE Opens To $40.1 Million At The Domestic Box Office; Passes $200 Million Worldwide

DUNE Opens To $40.1 Million At The Domestic Box Office; Passes $200 Million Worldwide

Dune is now playing in U.S. theaters, and despite debuting simultaneously on HBO Max, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic took in over $40 million domestically, passing the $200M mark globally in the process.
HAWKEYE: Jeremy Renner & Hailee Steinfeld Take Aim On Official Poster For The Upcoming Disney+ Series

HAWKEYE: Jeremy Renner & Hailee Steinfeld Take Aim On Official Poster For The Upcoming Disney+ Series

With exactly one month to go, Marvel Studios has released the official poster for Hawkeye, featuring Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), and Lucky the Pizza Dog taking aim!
MS. MARVEL Promo Art Confirms MCU's Kamala Khan Won't Have Her Comic Book Embiggening Powers

MS. MARVEL Promo Art Confirms MCU's Kamala Khan Won't Have Her Comic Book Embiggening Powers

There have been rumblings for a while now that the MCU's Ms. Marvel won't have her classic embiggening powers from the comic books, and that's been confirmed in new promo art for the Disney+ TV series...
ETERNALS Stills Shift The Focus To The Marvel Cinematic Universe's New Love Story With Ikaris And Sersi

ETERNALS Stills Shift The Focus To The Marvel Cinematic Universe's New Love Story With Ikaris And Sersi

Seven new stills from Eternals have been released, with the majority putting the focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's latest (and oldest) love story with Richard Madden's Ikaris and Gemma Chan's Sersi.
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Promo Art Reveals Spidey's New Logo And Makes Changes To The Black & Gold Suit

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Promo Art Reveals Spidey's New Logo And Makes Changes To The Black & Gold Suit

Some newly revealed promo art for Spider-Man: No Way Home puts the spotlight on the wall-crawler's new logo, while we also see that some key changes have been made to that mysterious Black & Gold suit...
ETERNALS TV Spot Unleashes The Deviants On The MCU; New Poster Shows Arishem Looming Large

ETERNALS TV Spot Unleashes The Deviants On The MCU; New Poster Shows Arishem Looming Large

Marvel Studios has released a new TV spot and poster for Eternals, and if you've been hoping to see more of Arishem and the Celestials, then we definitely have you covered. Check them out after the jump!