SPOILER LEVELS at WHAT YOU SAW IN THE TRAILER
Well, well, well…
We’ve come full-circle haven’t we?
Hello-hello and chatter-chatter!
Welcome to the pre-reboot Corvid Review! New look, new writing! Same great
taste bridge crew (and other friends)! Now I know you lot have all missed Auntie Magpie and her fantabulous reviews, so let’s not waste any more time!
THE SUICIDE SQUAD
Now before we get started… let me just remind everyone that I HATED Suicide Squad, but I was ok with Birds of Prey. I’m just not usually a fan of what DC gets up to. I liked Joker, sure, but I hated Justice League (don’t worry, the re-release is getting a visit from me REAL soon). I liked Wonder Woman, but I hated its sequel and I didn’t like the two Henry Cavill Superman films either. (Don’t bring up my Aquaman review. Just… don’t. The Batman looks cool though). So I wasn’t really looking forward to a sequel to Suicide Squad too much.
Then, the whole James Gunn getting cancelled thing happened (not bringing it up in this post, but we all have some thoughts about the whole thing) and he ended up on both sides of the DC vs Marvel debate. When they said that the guy who made both the Guardians of the Galaxy films was rebooting the Suicide Squad series with a whole new plot and a bunch of new cast members (including people like Taika Waititi, some bowl of fruity pebbles* and Alice Braga), I started getting pretty interested in the new film.
*I know I missed ALL the jokes last time out. I’ve done my research this time!
What I wasn’t ready for is what I just watched.
Let me put it this way: The Suicide Squad is up there with Joker when it comes to how much better it is than the rest of the DC Cinematic films (yup. You heard me right. They’re both above Wonder Woman by a bit.). They’re totally different films and they’re both up there for different reasons, but they’re both a cut above their peers.
Now, I’m not going to go on about what makes Joker good since I wrote a BIGOLD review about it, but where Joker was a kinda-serious, slice-of-life, fictional-character-study, The Suicide Squad is a completely nutcase (and I’m a nutcase, so I have authority on the subject), ninety-nine pennies short of a pound, action-adventure horror-comedy that’s not like anything else on the mainstream market right now.
A long time ago, the Cap’n lent me some films from his archive, and among those films was this one called Super, which I really liked. Guess who that was by? You got it! It was by James Gunn! It was gory and over-violent and had some actually-disturbing things going on in it. The Suicide Squad goes feathers and tails over what James Gunn did with both Super and the GotG series. I kinda went on a James Gunn horror binge last year (’cause I’m the horror bird ’round these parts) and it’s weird how much The Suicide Squad jibes with his original style. Thinking back to how much the studio execs interfered with the original Suicide Squad (not that I think the director’s cut would actually be good based on what I’ve heard), it’s kinda surprising that this film feels like it’s JUST James Gunn and no one else. I guess it really helps when you’re so close to your crew that they’ll threaten to walk if someone even dares to touch you.
Now I can’t give a lot away right now, but the actual plot of this one doesn’t have too much going on when you really think about it. And that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing ’cause the film’s got about a hundred other things to talk about and most of the best bits come from the tons of characters and their interactions. The whole team’s a pretty good mix of misfits, and even though I’m going to say all of them were balanced with each other, we don’t really get to spend enough time with some of them.
At the end of the day, even though the mix is great, some of them are a little cardboard cutout, some of them are a little throwaway, but then you’ve got some that just… do it.
Without giving away anything I shouldn’t give away, I’m going to pick out Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David “I debuted as a crazy person in The Dark Knight” Dastmalchian), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, one of the best ever) as the best of the bunch in this one.
Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (some thug kid) were fun as all hell too. Their… “flirty” banter is going to be used for some tasty memes. I know it already! And weirdly, I liked Peacemaker a HELL of a lot more than I liked Bloodsport. Don’t get me wrong. Bloodsport was a pretty swell character and even though he really wasn’t a Deadshot knockoff (since they both use guns really good and have a story with a daughter and everything), he kinda is at the same time. They’re just similar because their story sounds similar, but there’s also the fact that Elba was originally supposed to be the new actor for Deadshot. When you actually watch the film, there are a lot of differences between the two, but I think it’s going to get lost in the noise in the long run. Peacemaker on the other hand is a completely sane person who loves peace and would do nothing wrong. Ever. Stand up guy! Really liked how straight and narrow his character was! 10/10! It’d just help if I could… y’know… SEE him.
(No! No! Wait! Come back!)
King Shark (Michael “Sly” Stallone and Steve Agee) and Weasel (Sean Gunn) are both … fun, but King Shark’s on his own
hand! playing field (can’t say any more. Sorry). This character’s going to go places in the public eye, even if this film turns out to be a one-off. I haven’t read anything since seeing the final trailer, but the film sets up a certain TV series, and things could end right there unless the film makes like a gazillion Hollywood dollars in the next month.
And before anyone calls me out on it, I’m not bringing up Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) on purpose. All I’ll say is that she’s different from what we’ve seen before. I mean, she’s done the character differently every time she’s shown up, so that’s not too much of a surprise.
When I said that the film was over-the-top gory up above, I meant it. There’s some gore in here that made me really happy seeing how this is a superhero flick (BRING BACK THE 90s!) and there’s some… other stuff which might make you not want to see this with mum and dad, but holy magpies does it fit right in! People get nomnommed. People get ripped in twain! There’s a lot in here for everyone who Saw‘s let down for the last few years (and I’ll get to that soon too!).
Now there are a buncha similarities that The Suicide Squad has with 2016’s Suicide Squad. It’s basically the reason why I said there wasn’t too much going on with the film’s story. When you break it down, they’re really really similar films with similar overarching plots, and I think they should just quietly scrap the 2016 version in the background and put this one up as the only Suicide Squad film that exists. (Sorry David Ayer).
Some of the jokes are a little lame, and the film has a few dull spots, some characters go missing, but it’s a pretty strong film all on its own. I’m putting it that tiny bit above Wonder Woman because it’s something different, done again, but done right this time out. It’s even got some cojones a lot of films don’t have (which by now everyone’s been spoiled for I guess, after talking to a few fellow reviewers) but that shows up a lot in EVERY TV series nowadays. It also looks pretty good, which is a little surprising because of the situations the film gets itself into. Seriously, character CGI is just getting better and better (and that’s without AI I’m pretty sure). It’s got some great characters that you wouldn’t think would be in a film like this, and that’s really where the film’s strength is.
That’s about all I can talk about the film without spoiling it, so it’s time for the big question… Is the film worth watching?
Yup. The Suicide Squad comes recommended by me, and I’m sure the rest of us on The Corvid Review are going to agree with me on this call. To finish things up, here’s my…
The Azure-Winged Magpie: 7.5/10
Not bad. Not bad at all.
The Suicide Squad first releases tomorrow, 30th July in the UK, 5th August in its home territory, 6th August on HBO Max, and 13th August in Japan.
(It feels a little weird coming back to writing. Every time).
— Azure-Winged Magpie up! Up! And Awayyy! *BONK!*
Here’s one of the official posters!