This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
eli’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Wow. Holy shit. Do not read this review if you haven't watched this movie, I think I spoil literally everything. and please watch this movie, it's neato!
This was my most anticipated movie of 2021, and, honestly, one of the movie I've been excited for the most period. I have waited for this movie since 2017. And I finally saw it.
Every single thing that the original Suicide Squad fucked up this movie succeeds in.
Y'know how in the first movie, none of the characters have any chemistry? Except for the single scene at the bar, there's no reason for them to care about each other at all. Well, the main characters spend this entire movie bonding, and you actually feel something when Peacemaker betrays the team.
Y'know how in the first movie, the plot was basically nonexistant? This movie has a perfect action movie plot. I honestly think that. It's interesting enough to keep me invested through the scenes of characters just talking, It's exciting enough to keep action scenes thrilling, and the villains are competent enough as threats without stealing the show from the film's extensive main cast. I think the generic military villain trope was subverted well by having almost every new president die within two or three scenes. Capaldi as The Thinker was appropriately weird for a minor villain, and Starro was actually fucking scary, thanks to the body horror and gore the R-rating allowed for. It's paced perfectly too, the action never felt like it went on too long, the talking never dragged out to the point of boredom, and the jokes were spaced out enough to not overload the movie with one liners and quips.
Y'know how in the first movie, Harley Quinn was a sex object? David Ayer's movie films Harley in such a disgusting manner, and she never really becomes her own person, just the Joker's toy. In this movie Harley is a completely independent person. She's smart, she's capable of saving herself, she's funny, she dresses like a comic book character and not a 14 year old's Grand Theft Auto player. and she's actually fucking cool.
Y'know how in the first movie, all of the characters basically had interchangable traits? Pretty much every character in the Ayer movie is written the same, and the only thing that made Harley stand out was Margot Robbie's performance. The only character who seemed to be written as, like, a character was Jared Leto's Joker. But he sucked, so who cares. This movie fixes all of that. John Cena's Peacemaker is hilariously lacking in self-awareness, David Dastmalchian's Polka-Dot Man is brilliantly miserable, Stallone's (and Steve Agee's) King Shark is hilariously dumb and cute, Daniela Melchoir's Ratcatcher II is incredibly sweet and full of heart, Idris Elba's Bloodsport is badass, funny, and likeable, and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is as brilliant as she always is!
But holy shit. Rick Flag. 2016's Suicide Squad single-handedly convinced me that Joel Kinnamen was a shitty actor, but this film actually fucking gives him some character. He's charming, he's funny, he's cool, he's strong, he does the right thing, he leads the team, and I actually gave a shit when he died. James Gunn made me care about Rick Flag.
Even the minor characters are fun to watch! Pete Davidson's immediate betrayl and brutal execution had me laughing even though I saw it coming from a mile away, Weasel was even grosser than I thought he would be, Savant's subversion of a typical Michael Rooker-type character was hilarious, Javelin was sexy, and I actually got a little bit bummed when Captain Boomerang died! I could talk about literally every character in this movie but I feel like you get the idea by now. They're also all funny. Like, I think I laughed at at least one thing from every character in this movie!
There's honestly so much more I could write about this. How beautifully it's shot, how fucking funny it is, how much I loved Sebastian the rat and King Shark the shark. How good the soundtrack was (huge improvement over the selection of random pop tracks from the first movie), how good the lighting was, pretty much everything. But above all, this movie is fucking fun. I wasn't bored for a single second of it. James Gunn knocked it out of the fucking park with this one, it's a perfect comic book movie and it's my favourite superhero movie of all time (sorry Spider-verse).
The Suicide Squad is perfect, it's everything I wanted back in 2017, and more.