The Suicide Squad is Great!
2016’s Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer is an awful movie, truly awful. Terrible. The Suicide Squad that has just been released, directed by James Gunn – is great. Why are two movies that have the same premise so different?
I think it has something to do with Warner Brothers trusting Gunn to make his movie, rather than a movie that they think people want, which is apparently what they did to Ayer's film. James Gunn is a strange dude, but his strangeness is equaled by his incredible skill to mold comedy and giant action set pieces into one. He creates moments in each of his films, and especially here in The Suicide Squad, that are so memorable and funny/mesmerizing that the overall story arc in his films is almost irrelevant. And I should note that while the story arc in this movie is pretty wild, it is still somehow much more tight and sensible than Ayer’s 2016 version.
Gunn knows that he is making giant and ridiculous comic book-based films that don't need to be considered cinematic masterpieces, so he embraces the crazy and turns out unbelievably entertaining work. I'd say the only place where he falls short in The Suicide Squad is where he attempts to make us care about these immoral characters. I don't think he fails in these scenes, but the movie does seem to stall a bit when he tries to create these 'serious' moments. In his work on GOG, he does much better at creating characters that the audience cares about, Groot especially. But that is for Marvel, and that's what keeps those movies going due to their more established characters. The Suicide Squad is a movie about chaos, so we viewers are fine with sticking to more funny one-liners from John Cena's Peacemaker rather than scenes urging us to connect with Ratcatcher and her father (casting Taika for that role was genius because if that wasn't him, that whole story would mean nothing at all).
But those few minor scenes in the middle of the movie are all that I have to critique this movie about. It understands itself and plays to its strengths, while providing constant humor. Overall I give James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad a 4 out of 5 good jobs. See it now on HBO MAX or in your local theater.