Friday, August 6, 2021

The Suicide Squad (2021)

Streaming Services: HBO Max
Movie Name/Year: The Suicide Squad (2021)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length:  132 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Atlas Entertainment, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, The Safran Company, Warner Bros., Cinemundo, HKC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore, HBO Max
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Actors: Alice Braga, Amanda Rabinowitz, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian, Flula Borg, Freddie Stroma, Idris Elba, Jai Courtney, Jennifer Holland, JoaquĆ­n Cosio, Joel Kinnaman, John Cena, John Ostrander, Joseph Oliveira, Juan Diego Botto, Karen Fukuhara, Margot Robbie, Mayling Ng, Michael Rooker, Mikaela Hoover, Nathan Fillion, Pete Davidson, Rey Hernandez, Steve Agee, Storm Reid, Sylvester Stallone, Taika Waititi, Viola Davis
Blurb from IMDb:  Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

Cat’s Point of View:
I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been that The Suicide Squad was released to HBO Max in conjunction with its theater premiere. There just aren’t enough adequate words. It was a foregone conclusion that Selina and I both had this at the tippy top of our Top 20 lists.
In the time between the original Suicide Squad (2016) and now, as information about this new iteration surfaced, my anticipation and enthusiasm have only grown.
I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
James Gunn (Slither, Super, Guardians of the Galaxy) was firing on all cylinders when bringing his vision of this film to the screen. I loved his decision to focus on more B-list antagonists for the team and honoring the feel of the comic universe the characters spawned from. His dark and wicked sense of humor shone through every particle of The Suicide Squad.  My hats off to Warner Brothers Studios for not fiddling with his vision.

Another decision that I was over the moon about was that the first Suicide Squad movie wasn’t completely retconned by this one. There were small hints here and there that this story simply moves on from that point – it neither references the former production nor ignores it.  No one is pretending it doesn’t exist – we’re just not rehashing the same story. It’s a fresh take on the team-up with new characters and a few core personas returning.
Let’s be real. It would have been a hell of a task to have anyone try to fill Viola Davis’ (Fences, Troop Zero, The First Lady) shoes for Amanda Waller, or Margot Robbie's (Goodbye Christopher Robin, Terminal, Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood) as Harley Quinn. Honestly, I didn’t hate Joel Kinnaman’s (Robocop, Run All Night, For All Mankind) Flagg in the first movie – but I’m thrilled he got a chance to explore more facets of the character in this soft reboot.
I could babble for days about this cast. Seriously. Gunn and his casting department had strokes of pure genius when they filled these roles.

I only have one quibble with this entire production. When they lost Will Smith (Bright, Spies in Disguise, Bad Boys for Life) as Deadshot due to scheduling conflicts, and brought in Idris Elba (100 Streets, Molly's Game, Concrete Cowboy) that was a stellar decision. The point where they went a little wonky was taking Deadshot’s background and somewhat copy and pasting it for Bloodsport. I’m glad they shifted the character so that it left room for Smith to potentially return in the future. I just wish they’d done more tweaking with the story surrounding Bloodsport so that his character stood apart more. It was the only element that felt redone out of the whole thing.
Let me be clear, however, that I’m not as familiar with most of the characters tapped to comprise the team this time around. I haven’t read the comics where Bloodsport was featured, so I don’t know what his story is – and my quick delve through online resources didn’t tell me much. It could just be a coincidence that Bloodsport and Deadshot have so much in common. Who knows. It certainly didn’t impact my ability to enjoy the hell out of The Suicide Squad or cause me to appreciate Elba’s character any less.

The cinematography was spectacular, the action on point, the stunts crazy and cool, the undertones of friendship and team camaraderie heartwarming, and the effects (both CGI and practical) were killer.
Speaking of such, I loved the hell out of the ‘chapter’ graphics that worked their way into scenes. Those and a few other touches really gave me a nostalgic comic book feel. There were so many visuals that could have been right at home on a comic spread and I was completely here for it.
Even though this film is based on comic books, I do feel that it should be stressed that the R rating for The Suicide Squad is highly deserved and should be taken into consideration by parents. There’s quite a bit of graphic gore, expletives, nudity, sexual situations, and innuendo.
If you have a chance to go watch The Suicide Squad safely in a theater, I can only encourage you to do so. This sort of movie is only better on the big screen, and it’s even the first R-rated movie to be filmed entirely with IMAX cameras. Let me tell you, if I could see this in an IMAX theater, I would in a heartbeat. However, for those that cannot venture out, HBOMax is currently streaming The Suicide Squad for their subscribers - for no extra fee.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 93%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 89%
Metascore – 74%
Metacritic User Score – 7.6/10
IMDB Score – 7.9/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5

P.S.  There are 2 additional scenes that play during the credits.
Movie Trailer:

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