Skip to main content

Movie Review: James Gunn's The Suicide Squad (2021) *No Spoilers*

The Suicide Squad One Sheet
I was initially excited to see James Gunn's The Suicide Squad right from the first trailer. However I ended up skipping seeing it in theatres based on the red band trailer because, while the blood and gore was cartoonish, I felt it was likely something my partner might not be into (or at least would want to see on a big screen). Plus I knew it was a self contained story so missing it would have little to no effect on other DCEU films that may be hanging on to their connectivity.

Unfortunately, in Australia, the film wasn't released on streaming simultaneously, and I wasn't prepared to rent it as a premium download. If I'm going to pay that kind of price I'd rather own a movie on physical media (I'm the one person who still buys movies on DVD).

With that preamble, my partner bought me the film for Christmas on DVD and we did watch it together. I'm fairly certain she enjoyed most of it but some of the graphic violence was a little too much, judging by the occasional cringing gasps I heard.

People have debated as to whether The Suicide Squad is a sequel to David Ayer's Suicide Squad or a reboot. I would say it's neither. It's definitely in the same timeline, because the returning characters from the first film clearly know each other and know the deal with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). So it's set after that film, and likely after Birds of Prey too, since Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) makes it clear she's not with the Joker anymore (which isn't a spoiler so much as an anecdote). However that's all the connection it has. It doesn't build on events from those films at all. This is a complete new story.

In terms of the plot, as you would expect, Amanda Waller puts together a completely new, bigger, and weirder, Suicide Squad (officially known as Task Force X), who are sent to the small island of Corto Maltese to stop a particularly deadly weapon from being used against the USA after the island goes under a forced regime change. Mayhem ensues.

The Suicide Squad has pretty much everything I want in a comic book movie (except I wouldn't  complain if the blood and graphic violence was toned down just a bit even though it's extremely cartoonish). It completely embraces the silliness of the more fantastical elements of comics and somehow manages to make them plausible in a real world environment.

The obvious example being Starro, a completely ridiculous character, given a great backstory, and the CGI animation is so well done it feels totally present and plausible that such a creature may actually exist.

Then there's characters like Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) that seemingly wouldn't translate to live action well at all but everything from his backstory to how his superpowers work just kind of makes sense (within the context of this film). If I'm really honest, if there were plans to do a Polka-Dot Man series or film, I'd be interested to see it even though everything I know about the character is what I saw in this movie.

I feel like the entire cast bought their A game to this film and made the most of however much screen time they had. Those that stood out most were generally the characters with the longer screen time, because you got to know them at least enough to care a little about their fate.

What's more impressive is how James Gunn balances the characters and story so that everyone seems to get their moment, and the characters you went in thinking you were going to care about are, very likely, not the only ones you'll be focused on by the end.

Even Amanda Waller's team back in the control center get their moment and story, which is pretty impressive given the huge bump in squad members, foes, and the fantastical, compared to the first Suicide Squad film. I don't think Amanda so much as addressed any of her team at all previously).

While the film was a tad too graphic violence for me, I was expecting that based on the trailers, so it didn't have any negative impact on my enjoyment. If you go in expecting some really dark, and sometimes low brow humor, knowing that this is a comic book come to life rather than any attempt at trying to ground anything in reality, you'll have a great time.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the film from one viewing but it's a real swing at making a comic book movie that mostly hits the mark. I mean it's got a literal 'land shark' in it that you don't even question its existence. You just accept it.

There's so much going on, and I think I would've liked to have spent a bit more time to watch some of the character relationships develop. However it's a fun, creative, movie for sure. 

Deserved to do a lot better at the box office. It's easily on the same level as other strong performing movies in the DCEU.

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Batman Cosplay Breaks the World Record for Most Functional Gadgets

Julian Checkley in his record breaking Bat Suit. If anyone should hold the world record for most functional gadgets in a cosplay suit it's Batman. Not the actual Batman, whose suit is actually his work clothes and not cosplay, the honour goes to Batman Cosplayer, Julian Checkley.

ANZAC Day and the South Australian Governor General's New Fence

ANZAC Centenary Memorial Walk, Adelaide SA. Australian's love to honour their war heroes and so they should. South Australia is no exception, with memorials to fallen soldiers in almost every town and city. Adelaide even has road bridges named after famous battles from the Vietnam war. ANZAC Day (April 25th) is the one day where we put all those war memorials to use in memory of all who served from World War I onward with parades and dawn services attended by thousands. Arguably, ANZAC day is more popular than it ever has been in Australia, with pilgrimages back to Gallipoli in Turkey now a thing that many Australians hope to do at least once. To see and attend services where it all began.

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

A.I. Can Now Create Art Based Upon Text Prompts - DALL-E 2 and CrAIyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

"a painting of a fox sitting in a field at sunrise in the style of Claude Monet” Image by DALL-E 2, OpenAI.com One thing people have often said is that machines will never replace creative artists because they lack the imagination and emotion required to create anything meaningful. A.I. technology is now good enough to work as writing assistants, including sites like Jasper and Rytr , where you simply tell the A.I. what you want to write about and it'll produce a complete article on that subject. The article may not be perfect but it can sure save you a lot of time. DALL-E 2: Realistic images and art from a description in natural language. With the release of DALL-E 2 there is now an A.I. that can produce realistic (or artistically styled) images based entirely on text prompts in seconds. We're not just talking about collaging a few images together here either. DALL-E 2 can create images where everything looks fairly seamless and purposefully included. Rather than me try

Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, and Sentient Machines - Where is my Robot Companion?

As fascinating and exciting as the world of robotics is companies like Boston Dynamics , Disney Imagineering , and Engineered Arts (which I wrote about their very human-like robot, Ameca , in my previous post ), have demonstrated it's very possible to create human like robots. That is, something along the lines of C3-PO from Star Wars , or Sonny from iRobot . Arguably, what isn't possible at this time, is creating a sentient robot i.e. something that can think for itself, develop its own ideas, and even have emotions.  I say 'arguably' because being 'sentient' is a somewhat relative term. If we're talking the equivalent of human sentience then current robots and artificial intelligences (A.I.) are a long way off. However, we can create robots that are capable of learning on their own.  You could, conceivably create a robot that starts out following its programming then, over time, learns behaviors and problem solving in ways never conceived by its creator

The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App. Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper. Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.  In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership. Braille App Trick List. One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression. There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by diff