It’s amazing how big a difference a definite article makes. The original Suicide Squad had a less than favourable reception and reeked of panicked studio interference. Now James Gunn, armed with the slate-cleaning title The Suicide Squad, is given the freedom to do what he loves at a rating that is far more his speed. The franchise is now redefined with Gunn’s hyper-violence and choice language and, for the most part, it’s a delight.

Gunn is having his cake and eating it – delivering on spectacle while writing in a postmodern commentary on comics themselves. Two characters are introduced as essentially carbon copies of each other, which Gunn turns into a very funny and creative battle of egos. While others are selected from DC’s D-list of forgotten villains, reimagined and humanised by Gunn’s script. The film itself is constantly balancing indulging and justifying its own silliness; which is good fun, but what we gain in entertainment we lose in sincerity.

Compared to Gunn’s other comic book offerings there’s no moment here that grabs you by the heart. Not for lack of trying. The brief attempts at surrogate father-daughter relationships feel trite, undeserved and are ultimately unfulfilled. And while Gunn’s iconic use of a jukebox soundtrack returns it feels overplayed this time.

However, while Gunn’s formula may be starting to show, his cast are bursting with energy. Idris Elba is a charisma machine, Margot Robbie’s Harley is as delightful as she’s ever been, and John Cena’s Peacemaker steals nearly every scene.

A huge improvement on the original and, without question, a James Gunn film. The characters and action are great, but the film sacrifices all emotional impact and it may prove less memorable than some of Gunn’s other outings. Pure dumb fun, doesn’t get more dumb, nor fun than this.



CAST: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian

DIRECTOR: James Gunn

WRITER: James Gunn

SYNOPSIS: The new incarnation of The Suicide Squad, (a group of highly skilled supervillains) must travel to a remote island to extract data from a mysterious military base. If they survive their mission they get a reduced prison sentence; if they fail their mission the bombs implanted in their necks will explode.