Pretty much ignoring the previous Suicide Squad which was released five years earlier, James Gunn comes in as writer/director and delivers a subversive, laugh-out-loud action film based on the DC comic of the same name.
This time out Waller (played viciously by Viola Davis) throws together a team to infiltrate the island country of Corto Maltese with a mission of destruction. The only people that are capable of pulling it off with the least guilt over the countless deaths they are going to cause are supervillains.
The story throws together Margot Robbie’s incarnation of the now iconic Harley Quinn, as well as Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Colonel Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone).
Arriving in Corto Maltese the bloodshed gets underway pretty quickly with lots of explosions, lots of strange superpowers, and lots of language. Their main mission is to stop Operation: Starfish, and destroy any materials connected to it, which leads them to the man running the project, Thinker (Peter Capaldi).
But nothing is easy for this team, there are personal differences, emotional baggage, and questions about the mission.
Gunn, who has now moved into the driving force behind the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe delivers an incredibly enjoyable film, that delivers great action beats, humorous moments, and shows that he knows his material.
Elba is tonally perfect as Bloodsport, and his interactions with Cena’s Peacemaker are so on point. In fact, everyone’s dialogue is so sharp that you may have to watch it more than once to get all the little throwaway lines and moments that you may have missed because you were laughing.
The film is also backed with a solid soundtrack, though nowhere near as great as the ones he’s thrown together for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
I love the fact that Gunn also brings in a lot of his regulars to fill out other roles, and they also serve as a great little misdirect. Micheal Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Taika Waititi all show up, and honestly each of them turn in fun moments, but it’s really something to see Davis lean into the sheer insanity of Waller and what she will do to look after her charge, the United States.
I find myself hoping that this one gets a sequel, or that at least we get to see some of these characters (especially Bloodsport and Killer Shark) pop up later in the new DC universe that is coming our way under Gunn’s guidance.
And the best thing about this film, it allows you to forget about the previous title with the same name.