MINOR SPOILERS FOR A RECENTLY RELEASED FILM
So my plan was to see The Suicide Squad in theaters. I had some friends lined up, we had the date all planned out, then a COVID scare dashed all our plans. This is the unfortunate world we live in, highlighted also in the fact that this fun movie is considered a box office bomb during its second week because a majority of people don’t feel safe in a theater yet. I’m not sure what movies are actually thriving right now, but maybe new metrics will be needed to judge movies during this post-pandemic pandemic. Where was I? Right, The Suicide Squad, emphasis on “The!”
As the joke question goes, is The Suicide Squad a sequel or a reboot of 2016’s Suicide Squad? Yes! From the previous movie we have returning characters of Harley Quinn (Mrs. Margot Robbie, last seen in Birds of Prey), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Where’s everybody else from the first film? I don’t know, maybe they fucked up on a mission and the bombs in the back of their necks were detonated. As for the rest of the cast, it’s a lot. On the Suicide Squad itself, we add Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Bloodsport (Idris Elba, AKA Heimdall from Thor), Javelin (Flula Borg, who I know as the “Selfie! NOT A SELFIE!” guy from Vine), King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Peacemaker (my nemesis, John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian from The Dark Knight and Ant-Man), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) TDK (Nathan Fillion), and Weasel (Sean Gunn). Did I miss anyone? I don’t think I missed anyone, but it’s still a very large cast–shit, right, and also Savant (Michael Rooker, AKA Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy). Pretty sure that’s actually everyone for real this time.
Part of the draw of this movie is not knowing who’s going to survive. Yes, I just listed 14 characters, but not all of them are going to make it to the end. A good number of them are going to go the way of X-Force in Deadpool 2. Hell, the opening sequence even includes Waller’s tech minions betting on who will die first. Bit of a spoiler, but I’m sure a lot of people noticed that Pete Davidson was barely featured in the trailers, so don’t add him to your list of “People who Survive.” Personally I picked two characters, and I was right! Granted I used a bit of meta knowledge: there’s no way Warner Bros. are going to kill off ████████, and █████████████ has an upcoming show, so odds were good that they’d also survive. There were a few others I expected would survive, but didn’t feel sure enough to bet hypothetical money on.
So of the mainest characters in the film–AKA the ones most featured in the trailers–are a motley crew. Bloodsport is the reluctant leader, taking the place of Deadshot after Will Smith left due to scheduling conflicts. A black marksman with a complicated relationship with his daughter? Check. Harley is the wild one, although toned down a little since the film leans pretty heavily into a comedy and the others have to have their own moments. King Shark replaces Killer Croc as the aquatic humanoid monster and Polka-Dot Man replaces El Diablo as the conflicted powerhouse, but Ratcatcher 2 doesn’t really match up with anyone in Suicide Squad, instead acting as the heart of the team. She’s missing her dead father (Taika Waititi), Bloodsport more or less misses his daughter, and the two find a platonic connection. Uh oh. In a movie like this, that doesn’t always mean both of them are coming out alive…
I really liked The Suicide Squad, and not just in comparison with how lackluster Suicide Squad was. Writer/director James Gunn has been temporarily freed from the prison that is Disney mandating a PG-13 rating at most in all their films. It’s along the lines of Deadpool in that it earned it’s R rating without being too egregious. Sure, there’s plenty of swearing and gore, but it never felt gratuitous to me. Then again, ██████████████ does get their face shot off and we get to see the inside of their head, so if that sort of stuff puts you off, you might want to skip this one. As for the rest, I highly recommend
borrowing a friend’s checking it out on HBO Max if you’re not feeling comfortable being in a theater for 2 hours. I recently just barely felt comfortable, but events have me starting to question all that. 2021 has been one fuck of a year…
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