The Suicide Squad

Amanda Waller is not out to win friends, only to influence the outcome of a very specific situation to be favourable to the US government, the highest levels of which are the only body to whom she is answerable, dealing with a coup which has placed a military dictatorship in charge of the island nation of Corto Maltese, creating a potentially hostile nation with access to the extra-terrestrial secrets of Project Starfish where once a dubious ally existed.

The mission to penetrate the laboratory complex called Jotunheim in the capital of Corto Maltese and destroy all that they find within, liberating the oppressed people is not a goal, and the expected mortality rate is high; thus, Waller has gathered the deadly but disposable individuals who comprise Task Force X, a mismatched group of superpowered misfits also known as the Suicide Squad.

Trigger-happy misanthropes offered ten years off their sentences should they survive, it beats killing time in prison, and with a betting pool on who will survive they set out, Waller playing for keeps and deploying her forces strategically to ensure the most likely to succeed have the advantage in their initial task of traversing hostile territory to contact the scientist who runs Jotunheim, “the Thinker,” the others sent unknowingly to act as a decoy.

The second big-screen deployment for the supervillain superteam, The Suicide Squad as written and directed by James Gunn is everything David Ayer’s 2016 effort failed to be, compromised from the outset by the constraints of what DC wanted their Extended Universe to embody and hampered by a marquee name leading man whose family friendly brand identity required an irredeemable murderer to be portrayed as “misunderstood.”

Heroism a matter of perspective, Will Smith’s incongruous Deadshot has been excised in favour of Idris Elba’s more convincing Robert “Bloodsport” DuBois, joining returning stars Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Viola Davis as field operations coordinator Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, George “Captain Boomerang” Harkness and coldly manipulative architect of the game Amanda Waller.

Joined by John Cena, Peter Capaldi, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone and Gunn favourites Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker as Christopher “Peacemaker” Smith, the Thinker, Abner Krill, Cleo Cazo, shark human hybrid Nanaue, Savant and “the Detachable Kid,” with an array of guns, polka dots, rodentia, teeth and random limbs they unleash colourful and cartoonish ultra-violence on whoever strays in their path, usually asking questions later, straying off-target like a runaway van on a wet road.

An extremely high body count to be expected of the Suicide Squad, in the ranks, those that stand in their way and collateral damage, fresh from her Fantabulous Emancipation and blessedly Joker free it is once again Harley Quinn whose character is graced the most solo screen time but the ensemble is more balanced than before, moving through the action as a semi-functional team rather than waiting for an opportunity to demonstrate their powers.

Exercising the same indifference to staying within established format as he did when he launched the Guardians of the Galaxy and with every fight punctuated by joyful pop ditties, anarchy and aliens are unleashed and loyalty is a tenuous concept made for kinder times, but while not all pawns are worth the effort saving the world always is, as is defying authority in whatever form it has manifested.

The Suicide Squad is now on general release and also screening in IMAX



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