If there is a theme here, it’s about the shifting nature of loyalty. Are we in this game of life for ourselves, our family, team, or country? The Suicide Squad also wouldn’t be a James Gunn movie if the line between good and evil didn’t exist. The issues of trust between the squad are tested at every moment.
Whenever I thought that Margot Robbie was a questionable choice to play Harley Quinn, she managed to come through with each successive performance to own the role wholly. Idris Elba is the star, and his line delivery and physical performance are fantastic. John Cena exceeds his F9 performance by miles and equals his Trainwreck performance. I hope that comes off as a compliment.
“…the true star…is James Gunn himself.”
But the true star of The Suicide Squad is James Gunn himself. His fingerprints are all over every aspect of the film. He was given an enormous budget and giant cast, and nothing or no one is wasted. Mikaela Hoover and David Dastmalchian play pivotal roles, and these seemingly minor characters prove to be anything but. I could also say the same thing about the CGI King Shark, who could quickly be passed over as a joke. It’s clear that the filmmaker understands not only the superhero genre but knows enough about the DC universe to satiate life-long fans. Better yet, he knows how to have fun and bring the hyper-realistic comic book world to the screen in a way that leans more toward 1960s Batman than the MCU.
The Suicide Squad is that rare sequel that far exceeds its predecessor. I’m hoping this is the start of a new direction for DC and Warner Brothers by allowing the creatives they hire to have more freedom to play in their IP toybox. But, sadly, we know they won’t.
"…that rare sequel that far exceeds its predecessor..."