James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is a soft reboot of the 2016 take on the DC villain team, and contains some of the same cast, such as Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and of course Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

One of the biggest problems with Suicide Squad in 2016 is that it took itself far too seriously. A film about B-List villains being used by the government in insane missions because their lives are expendable should be a wacky, entertaining film that takes risks, and that is exactly what James Gunn does with The Suicide Squad.

This film really plays up to the title of the team, which David Ayer’s version did not do. Less than a handful of the squad die in the 2016 version, but (without getting too spoiler heavy) let’s just say a lot more die in this one. From the very beginning, the film is fun and shows that it isn’t going to be an ordinary comic book movie. The squad are tasked with destroying a secret science project on the fictional island of Corto Maltese, after it has been taken over by an anti-American regime. Many of the squad are used as cannon fodder at the beginning of the mission, but each death is different from the last and they are all creative, and darkly funny.

The cast for this film is perfect, Margot Robbie excels once more as Harley Quinn, showing a different side to the character from what we have seen in her previous two outings. She is becoming stronger and thinking for herself more, and is no longer hung up on Mr. J. The new additions to the squad, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark, make up the spine of the team for the majority of the film, and are all fantastic in their roles. Personally, my favourite character was Bloodsport, but Ratcatcher 2 also has a really interesting arc amidst all the chaos of this film. John Cena shows once again that he is a capable actor, albeit more suited to a comedic role, and he’s fantastic and hilarious as Peacemaker – it’s clear why James Gunn was so keen to make a TV series about the character with him.

The big bad in this film is giant alien starfish-type being called Starro, who first appeared in the Justice League of America comics over 60 years ago, and it is the perfect being for the squad to fight in the climax of this film. The sheer absurdity of the monster fits the tone of what a Suicide Squad film should be perfectly, a huge contrast to The Enchantress in the previous film, who was boring, and didn’t fit the mould of what the villain in that film should have been, but that’s a conversation for another time.

James Gunn does an excellent job, with great characters and a story that’s cohesive, while being wacky, entertaining and taking risks. Add to all this a phenomenal soundtrack and great CGI effects, and The Suicide Squad is everything that you could want from a comic book film, and it sets a new precedent for directors to take more risks and try to pursue what they want to do in this genre, rather than just fitting the mould of the many films that have come before. This is everything that the 2016 film should have been and more.

Movie: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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