Preview: The Suicide Squad

Leo Dawson takes a look at the upcoming Suicide Squad film

Leo Dawson
25th August 2020
Warner Bros.
As a spiritual sequel and soft-reboot of David Ayer’s 2016 supervillain blockbuster, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad appears to tell a more grounded story and yet ups the ante through characters and action

Following a group of super criminals sent on high security black ops missions, kept in check by bombs in their heads, the Suicide Squad comic books are some of DC’s most famous reads. The original Suicide Squad (2016) movie, despite being a box office smash, remains one of the most hated offerings from the DC Universe in recent years. Panned by critics and fans alike for it’s over the top edginess, messy editing and backwards interpretation of some of DC Comics’ most famous villains, Task Force X AKA The Suicide Squad were in dire need of a re-brand.

Making the transition from Marvel to DC, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn seems to have plucked the more favourable elements of the original Suicide Squad (Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, etc.) and dropped them into a brand new setting and cast of characters, much more suited to highlight the Squad’s true cinematic potential. Described at virtual comic book fan-event DC Fandome as a “gritty 1970s war movie”, Gunn has done away with the jarringly grim approach of the original Ayer movie and replaced it with his own comedic and action-centric flair.

Margot Robbie's performance as Harley Quinn has been universally praised
Image: IMDB

In a showcase of obscure back-catalogue villains that included a criminal mastermind with the ability to communicate with hordes of rats (Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher II) and a multicoloured jumpsuit wearing psychopath (David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man), Gunn appears to have really made use of just how expendable the members of the Suicide Squad are, packing the team with plenty of targets for Amanda Waller’s trigger finger.

Despite leaning into the true craziness of the source material, the plot of the 2021 movie seems much more grounded in reality than its 2016 counterpart, a major complaint audiences had with the original. Instead of taking on an over-powered shapeshifting witch, the Squad will be fighting a corrupt South American dictatorship, with the DC Fandome sneak-peek footage showing Jai Courtney throwing boomerangs across the beach and Idris Elba’s Bloodsport carrying a cartoonishly large gun through the jungle. Margot Robbie is also heard saying James Gunn has really “set the vibe” for the movie, taking inspiration from the campy John Ostrander comics from the 80s and adapting them in the way only a true fan could.

The cast remains just as stacked as the original with new stars including Peter Capaldi, John Cena, Nathan Fillion and Taika Waititi. Currently, it is unknown who Taika will be playing or voicing. However, now that we know a cuddly, eight-foot tall, CGI humanoid shark-man called King Shark will appear, assumptions can be made…

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is currently in post-production and is set to hit theatres in Summer 2021.

Featured Image: Warner Bros.

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