The Suicide Squad (2021) – Enjoyable Distraction 7/10

2021 is a weird time. COVID. People not going to see the movies in theaters (if even able to find one open with the film you’re interested in). Films are just not being made. Big big blockbusters and their releases just seem to be a thing of the past. I hadn’t seen a new movie in over a year until a friend randomly turned to me and was like “wanna see Space Jam 2 this weekend! It’s on HBOMax so why not, right?”. I was floored. New movie, at home (legally), wasn’t even on my radar. F-it. Why not. Anddddd Space Jam 2 was trash. Haha. I’ll probably write a review of it later but bad reviews don’t get me as excited as good ones. Bad reviews boil down to: it sucked, don’t waste your time, I suffered so you don’t have to. While GOOD reviews are fun: I liked this, and that, and oh this was cool, etc. That was this new suicide squad film. It was fun. It was quirky. I think most people would enjoy at least parts of it.

Did I enjoy the first suicide squad film!? Nope. That movie blew. From my memory of it not only did Jared Leto and the director try and create something no one asked for, it was just weird. The way that whole movie was shot, the plot, the art direction, the cast… man it just wasn’t for me. Well maybe for most people too. The reviews (from what I remember) had it falling pretty flat. The premise is freaking great: Rag-tag group of off kilter super heroes not only not giving a s*** but having awesome/crazy cool powers. Their interactions genuine, being told what to do by the man (in this case, woman) but each of them having their own secret agendas. Coulda/shoulda/woulda been great… but the first iteration sucked. Well I can safely say all the things I wanted done with the first movie were fixed in the second.

(Spoiler free) The opening block of the movie is phenomenal. You get a great sense of why the movie bears its title. Do you need to watch the first movie to “get” this installment and have it be relevant? Not at freakin’ all. I’d even go as far to say: pretend the first one didn’t exist and enjoy this film separately. Nothing is meaningfully brought forward and since the first movie trash, keep moving. So the initial scene again is my favorite. The funny thing is it wasn’t my favorite while it’s happening, but once you move past it and realized what just happened I went from liking it to freakin’ LOVING it. You meet my new favorite superhero, “Weasel“. Literally the dude doesn’t say a word yet the way he moves and interacts, comedic gold. You also meet my second favorite “Polka-Dot Man“. You just feel for this guy. His backstory of being a pushover, his “power reveal” moment, and his story arch are just so damn cool. There’s a scene where he and my surprisingly least favorite character, Harley Quinn, are going at it verbally and I was rolling.

Maybe in the beginning Harley Quinn was cool. She’s cute, she’s athletic/agile, she says one liners, but man… to me she’s turned into that one character (read kid on Call of Duty Xbox Live in 2009) that you just wanna mute. Hard. When she first appeared on the big screen almost a decade ago I was in love. You felt for her. She was mentally wronged and in love, but now it’s just… old? The joker’s not there (THANK THE LORD), she’s just now… being extra. I’m over it. I wanted to fast forward any scenes dedicated to her. When she did her over the top ridiculous moments, I just groaned and moved on. I really thought she’d be the highlight of the film, turns out it was the supporting cast that did all the work here. Felt like high school all over again.

Overall the film was fun! The action was cool. Good graphics, two comical villains, over the top violence and gore, Idris Elba being outstanding as always. The tech group at the HQ were standup comedians and definitely seemed like a fun group I’d want to hangout with. Overall I really liked it. Was it a little long? Yep. Would I have cried if I missed this one. Nope. But for a mid week film to watch as a “why the heck not” I really liked it and I think most of you would too.

-Z

Image Credits: Feature, 1, 2, 3.

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