Quick-Thoughts: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad

Nihilism moment. 

James Gunn has little sympathy for the dead; we get no exaggerated memorial scenes to jerk off decease-afied fictional characters, and the innocents gashed about are treated almost as disposable as the lead assemble; our narrative is headed by socially-awkward psychopaths who dont give a whole lot of Fs when it comes to the company that surrounds them who are also coincidentally controlled by a fellow psychopath with a corrupt high rank, thus the tone here would only make sense to have this psychotic, nihilistic view of the uncensored terror that reigns in The Suicide Squad

But, that’s good, that’s VERY good especially when being present in our modern overwhelming of superhero stories where most are drafted to seem inhumanly biased towards their perfect savior characters rather than the often thousands of people that have to suffer, die, and even combat themselves around their stories; why not just seem inhuman to all? You could make the case that Gunn is actually mocking David Ayer’s original Suicide Squad (2016): a fiasco of a movie that was so desperate to be more poignant than it needed to be with its forced and mawkish moments of “togetherness” and “friendship”, where in this sequel, it’s pretty much background noise in front of the bullet gashing and shark gnawing, even being played off for laughs at times in consistency with the two hours of — mainly — ego-driven absurdities in violence, competition, betrayal, etc. that precedes it. 

James Gunn directs action as always with the lovable distinction of say superhero fan-favorite Sam Raimi, concocting resourceful ways to shoot action whether or not they seem like just a weak attempt at being quirky or genuinely work to enhance the grip of its colorful pizzaz. Gunn furthermore, unlike the OG Suicide Squad, shows himself capable of writing plenty of competent, grounded, and memorable characters in just a bare amount of time. The highlight scenes for me I’d have to say were the Bloodsport and Peacemaker “show-off”, Harley Quinn’s bright and sadistic hallway show, and a commendable moment with Rick Flag of all characters? Speaking though of highlights, this movie does kind of feel like a pick and choose your favorite moment situation, as if there are already many more squad adventures that have been told in its chronology, competing in moments rather than overall story since story seems, again, like background noise in Gunn’s picture.

I guess what separates The Suicide Squad then from the majority of its genre is that it simply feels like a series of casual side tangents concurring, as if it were being executed in the vein of an actual comic book, hopping to the next or stepping back from the last wacko conundrum with its aimlessness being its charm, yet being extremely careless about it rather than acting as if anything happening should be taken completely serious given how many stories such as these constantly occur in American pop culture’s massive catalog of “save-the-world” superhero tales; it’s strange for a multimillion dollar, blockbuster feature-length with a body count so inflated to be carefree with what’s happening, as if it were nothing more than just a randomly selected action-adventure episode from some off-brand, MA-rated Adult Swim cartoon, but honestly, I kind of rate that.

Verdict: B-

2021 Ranked, DCEU Ranked

“The Suicide Squad” is now playing in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max.

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