James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad proves what previous DC films were yet to master. Being unique garners attention.
James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adds visceral violence coating the film in entrails and gore defusing comparison between this and its earlier incarnation.
Before the opening credits roll, the camera lingers over the decapitated, disembowelled, and massacred cast of recognisable faces similarly duping audiences to Deadpool 2.
Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, Slyvester Stallone, Michael Rooker, Taika Waiti, John Cena, and Jai Courtney star as a large ensemble cast, and as such, audiences should be prepared not to get emotionally invested in anyone.
Additionally, starring Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn for the third time after her standalone movie, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, and initial appearance in Ayer’s original Suicide Squad, Robbie’s maniacal portrayal of Dr Harley Quinn is one character fans and audiences can confidently know to expect to shine throughout the film.
Hooked On A Bad Feeling
In fact, I would argue that Gunn saw the praise and success of Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, choosing to emulate both her dialogue and visual stylistic portrayal on-screen, allowing Gunn to focus his efforts on introducing newer, obscurer characters, and ironically, it is Yan’s own interpretation of Harley Quinn I found myself reminiscing over.
Instead, the grotesque splattering of innards and brains filled the screen as Gunn clearly had his reigns loosened since moving from Disney’s Marvel to Warner Bros’ DC, demonstrated by Gunn saying in an interview, “[Warner Bros] gave very few notes – they were usually good and minor and I took them if I wanted to and didn’t if I didn’t want to. Warners was creatively amazing.”
While Gunn’s creative freedom is unusual for directors, it follows an interesting conversation about how Gunn was fired and subsequently re-hired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 following social media posts that had surfaced discussing vulgar and dark content subject matters.
Perhaps this is why The Suicide Squad swims in a cesspool of gratuitous violence resulting in a lack of storytelling substance. Not all of what The Suicide Squad tries to accomplish lands, but eventually, when you throw enough faeces to a wall, something will stick and eventually it does.
Granted, if torn between having to rewatch this edition or Ayer’s Oscar-winning attempt, I would choose Gunn’s version, but in truth, I hope to never give either the time of day again.