The Suicide Squad might not hit the levels of something like Guardians of the Galaxy (still an MCU favorite of mine), but it does take the material in the right direction when compared with Ayer’s 2016 original with a better story and characterization.
The Suicide Squad
Genre(s): Action, Science Fiction, Horror, Comedy
Warner Bros. | R – 132 min. – $49.98 | October 26, 2021
Date Published: 10/23/2021 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The included screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and does not represent the 4K transfer.
THE MOVIE — 3¾/5
Plot Synopsis: Suicide Squad director Amanda Waller (VIOLA DAVIS) sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world — Bloodsport (IDRIS ELBA), Peacemaker (JOHN CENA), King Shark (SYLVESTER STALLONE), Harley Quinn (MARGOT ROBBIE), Ratcatcher 2 (DANIELA MELCHIOR) and Polka Dot Man (DAVID DASTMALCHIAN) — to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag (JOEL KINNAMAN) on the ground to make them behave.
Note: This review does contain some plot SPOILERS, so please beware.
Review: The Suicide Squad is the follow-up yet also not follow-up to the 2016 financial hit (but critical and audience failure) directed by David Ayer, which was a mess of a film and one I enjoyed at first but soured on in subsequent viewings, finds Guards of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn putting his own darkly humorous take on the colorful array of C-level characters ripped from the pages of DC comics. The result for me was a tad mixed. It’s clearly better than Ayer’s take (or the studio’s anyway) and provided plenty of fun, yet at the same time can’t say it’s terribly memorable, more of a throwaway extravaganza with little staying power.
One thing going for this Suicide Squad is a great, well-rounded cast. First off, Gunn immediately utilizes the name of the “Suicide Squad” to its fullest cutting down a whole bunch of unknown villains in the opening sequence, including Savant (Michael Rooker), T.D.K. (Nathan Fillion), Javelin (Flula Borg), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Black Guard (Pete Davidson) and Weasel (Sean Gunn), plus Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), one of the few characters returning from the previous installment. All brutally taken down in gruesome manners.
The actual Suicide Squad team for the duration of the movie is certainly an eclectic group, headlined by Idris Elba as Bloodsport, pretty much a similar character to Deadshot played by Will Smith who declined to return, thus a quick search and replace for the script instead of Elba playing the same character. This squad also includes Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn (for a third time now); David Dastmalchian as the ridiculous Polka Dot Man; Daniela Malchoir portraying Ratcatcher 2 who controls, well, rats and has a cute sort-of-sidekick with Sebastian; and last John Cena as the violent Peacemaker, loving peace so much he’s willing to kill for it.
The cast here work well together and have more chemistry compared to the 2016 film and Idris Elba, charming as ever, is great in the lead while Margot Robbie is once again at home as Harley Quinn, in fact I think she was better here than in Birds of Prey, a film I wasn’t completely wild about. Maybe for her, less is more? The others meanwhile get their moments, I would say Daniela Malchoir was refreshingly wonderful to the point I hope she’s included in any follow-up. And for his part, especially playing such a goofy character, David Dastmalchian was great as well.
The Suicide Squad has all the flair of James Gunn with irreverent humor and bloody gore. Where else will you see a walking, talking shark eating a man whole? Or a creepy weasel in prison for murdering 27 children? Or a giant Kijû wreaking havoc on a small city? It’s insanity from beginning to end and although I’m not quite sure where this ranks within the DCEU, there’s no denying it’s entertaining.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Audio Commentary — Writer-Director James Gunn. He’s probably one of the few who can make solo tracks so informative and entertaining.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (17:27) that were trimmed or cut from the film, likely since they didn’t add much to the plot or characters.
Gag Reel (10:23) is filled with plenty of line flubs and fits of giggles.
Brining King Shark to Life (5:40) looks at the visual effects and practical work with motion capture for the great character and combined with Sylvester Stallone’s voice.
Gotta Love the Squad (11:37) — Featurette on bringing James Gunn’s version of Suicide Squad to the screen, calling it a sequel to the comic book more than anything.
The Way of the Gunn (7:50) is on the James Gunn’s process for directing.
Scene Breakdowns for “It’s a Suicide Mission”, “My Gun’s Bigger Than Yours”, “Harley’s Great Escape” (also on 4K disc) and “The Fall of Jotunheim”. Each one of these provide behind-the-scenes on these were choreographed and then filmed.
Starro: It’s a Freakin’ Kaiju (6:17) delves into the monster in the finale and its origins and design in the film.
Last up are three Retro Trailers: War Movie (3:25), Horror Movie (1:23) and Buddy-Cop (1:17).
4K ULTRA HD VIDEO – 4¾/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4½/5
Warner Bros. sends out The Suicide Squad onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it’s shown in its original theatrical (and streaming) 1.90 widescreen aspect ratio and has been given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. Even with its dark humor, there is plenty to admire from both transfers. Detail is sharp and very well defined, particularly noticeable on the 4K although the Blu-ray still looks good in its own right, while colors are bright and vibrant with some slight aid by the HDR (I do not have the equipment, but Dolby Vision is also available).
AUDIO – 5/5
Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs come accompanied with Dolby Atmos tracks. This is exactly the movie to showcase all available channels. On the low end, the LFE kicks on for the many action sequences while the center channel outputs crisp and clear dialogue and the front and rear speakers help give the aforementioned action some great depth as well as some of the ambient noises or the (mostly forgettable to be honest) score.
OVERALL — 4¼/5
The Suicide Squad might not hit the levels of something like Guardians of the Galaxy (still an MCU favorite of mine), but it does take the material in the right direction when compared with Ayer’s 2016 original with a better story and characterization. The humor doesn’t always land but as a whole this was a fun time.
The following screen captures came from the included Blu-ray disc and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.