‘The Suicide Squad:’ a true redemption story


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“The Suicide Squad” is the newest film apart of the DC Extended Universe.

Reese Duncan, Staff Writer

From an overload of satirical gore to an excellent soundtrack, writer and director James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” blows 2016’s “Suicide Squad” out of the water. The premiere in theaters and on HBO Max was highly anticipated, and many agree that the film did not disappoint.

The story tells of a group of eccentric anti-heroes, who have all found themselves in Belle Reve maximum security prison. To get their sentences shortened, they must join the top-secret “Task Force X,” aptly nicknamed “The Suicide Squad.” On this mission, led by the hard-core Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the convicts must infiltrate the island of Corto Maltese, a region brimming with enemies of the U.S. government. Then they must shut down a super-shady laboratory containing “Project Starfish,” an unknown enemy of extra-terrestrial origin. Any defiance can result in a mutilated head, courtesy of an explosive device implanted in the neck of each squad member.

The newest installment of the DC Extended Universe was not clearly marketed as a sequel nor a reboot to “Suicide Squad.” This is most likely due to the critical nightmare that was “Suicide Squad,” which received a score of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes and 5.9 on IMDb. On the other hand, “The Suicide Squad” has a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.4 on IMDb. These scores truly reflect how a touch of effective cinematography and lovable characters can liven up a film.

The film features an all-star cast including Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark. There are even appearances from “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson as Blackguard and actor/director Taika Waititi as Ratcatcher 1. Gunn’s eye for directing actors to their fullest potential is evident in this film, making it even more exciting to see all of these stars come together in a single feature. His iconic directing style and sarcastic humor firmly established in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” comes back once again, violent as ever.

In July 2018, Gunn was fired by Disney from the production of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” due to offensive tweets unearthed from over a decade before he was originally hired by Disney. Almost immediately after getting fired, Gunn was approached by Warner Brothers to make a DC film. Gunn was intrigued by the idea of “The Suicide Squad” and chose to make it his main project. In March 2019, Disney reinstated Gunn for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” Disney, especially Marvel Studios, tends to keep a firm grasp on their directors. This means steering them away from making movies for other big-budget franchises, so this occurrence is rare. 

While Gunn is exceptional at making memorable superhero films, “The Suicide Squad” is not perfect. Although the visuals of the film are exciting, the storyline seemed to be lacking. The enemy was fairly ill-explained, appearing to the audience without a clearly defined backstory nor motive for all of the destruction. Some of the characters introduced at the beginning of the film were also ill-explained, never getting the backstory that these beloved figures received in the comic books. Alas, not all characters can be fully described for the sake of time, so Gunn’s decision to leave some information out is logical.

Overall, “The Suicide Squad” proves itself a worthy comeback film for the “Suicide Squad” franchise. Sept. 5 was the last day to stream the film on HBO Max, but it is available for rental or purchase on Amazon Prime at any time.