by Allie Vasserman
November 23, 2021
The Suicide Squad (2021) is a DC Comics movie directed by the brilliant James Gunn. Those who saw the trailers for this movie will recognize the main cast, which consists of Joel Kinnaman starring as Colonel Rick Flag, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Margot Robbie as the wonderfully crazy Harley Quinn, John Cena as the Peacemaker, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Sylvester Stallone as the lovable King Shark, David Dastmalchian as Polka Dot Man, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker, and Viola Davis as the ruthless Amanda Waller.
At the beginning of the movie, Amanda Waller and Colonel Rick Flag recruit the convicted old and new Suicide Squad members for another suicide mission. The introduction and recruitment of the Suicide Squad is short and quickly brings the viewer up to speed. Amanda instructs Bloodsport and his team to infiltrate the Corto Maltese government facility to destroy all information on a secret weapon known as Project Starfish. At the same time, she instructs Rick Flag to lead another team that includes Harley Quinn. To reveal what happens next would spoil the movie. The movie starts out with a huge number of superhero villains; during the course of the movie, some characters are injured, betrayed, kidnapped, and killed.
James Gunn directed the first and second Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After watching this movie, the audience will see how toned-down the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are in comparison. Gunn clearly had more freedom to go less family-friendly for The Suicide Squad, which references some dark themes, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It is very bloody and gruesome—several characters die horrible and painful deaths—but it also has hilarious and meaningful dialogues and moments that make it really fun to watch. There are no slow or boring scenes in the movie. James Gunn also includes many hidden references and Easter eggs that fans of the Suicide Squad will surely notice.
I especially like that the movie continues Harley Quinn’s character arc. Her dialogue and actions show that she has grown since Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn. There is a particular, beautifully filmed scene of violence, in which Harley goes on a killing spree. Harley stabs a person and when she does, instead of blood squirting out of the wounds, animated petals and birds appear. I think the scene shows that Harley sees beauty even in moments of violence and death. I also like the energetic soundtrack, which I think fits the movie perfectly.
Some characters’ deaths made me feel sad, while others’ didn’t have much of an effect on me. Some squad members, such as King Shark and Ratcatcher 2, have great chemistry with each other. Their relationship is incredibly wholesome and heartwarming to see. And there is a post-credits scene that reveals the identity of the character who stars in an upcoming HBO Max TV show.
The Suicide Squad is not for those who don’t want to watch violent scenes, but if you don’t mind the violence and are curious to see James Gunn’s version of DC’s The Suicide Squad, I definitely recommend watching this movie.