It sure feels good to see a comic book movie that’s tons of fun, and “The Suicide Squad,” a reboot of sorts from writer / director James Gunn, is one of the more enjoyable ones I’ve seen in years. The film feels like it’s the total and complete version of the story that Gunn wanted to make, because it is. That’s why it works so well. This is a movie by DC Comics fans for DC Comics fans, and everything comes together in such a perfect storm that it doesn’t disappoint.
Super Villains are held captive at Belle Reve, a prison with one of the most wretched, meanest reputations in the world. Every prisoner’s dream is to plot an escape, and some of the baddest of the bad are given the chance when they are recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for a top secret government assignment on Task Force X. This covert search and destroy mission forces some of the worst psychopaths to work together, all unleashing their own brand of mayhem. From Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), to Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher (Daniela Melchior), and Peacemaker (John Cena), their nonstop wrecking ball of violence and mayhem is merciless.
The movie has the same tone as the Amazon Prime series “The Boys,” and the comparisons are unavoidable. In the same way, Gunn takes this band of awful people who’ve done terrible things and somehow makes the audience want to root for them. Some do have goodness left in them, and a couple of the bad characters actually find redemption by the end. A hefty dose of edgy sarcasm and dark comedy ensures none of this gets bogged down in sentimentality.
I loved almost everything about “The Suicide Squad,” from the costumes to the performances to the special effects. The story is lacking, but the rest of the film is so well done that it’s a forgivable misstep. DC may often play second fiddle to Marvel, but this movie is DCEU done right. It’s bloody, funny, and has just enough heart to make the band of merry misfit anti-heroes endearing. Plus, it’s just a really, really wicked awesome movie.